DEN National Institute Day 3

What a day!  It was great and I am totally exhausted.  So much happened that I can only give you the highlights otherwise this post would be way too long.

We started the day with a keynote by Steve Dembo.  As usual he said what I’ve been noticing, but of course I had yet to make the full connection.  So he starts by talking about the characteristics of a digital native.  Then he reminds us that in order to reach these kids we need to start thinking like them.  Digital natives have a need to be connected and teachers who are responding to the change in our global community have begun to exhibit the same characteristics.  In the end, it’s these innovative teachers who are finding ways around the limits established by the technology barriers in our school systems – just like our kids.  I know the web nazi here in Portsmouth sees me coming and knows that we will be doing the two-step about some website.  Steve said if we took one thing away from his session we should remember to find a way to share the information that we learn with each other and “just do it”.  Not everybody is able to blog or podcast or do a presentation in Second Life; but some can and the rest can twitter or plurk and let folks know what’s going on and where to find the info.

We had several professional development sessions today as well.  I decided to go to the geocaching session.  There are some TRTs in Portsmouth who have begun to geocache, but since the charge was being led by those working in the secondary sciences, I thought it could not apply to what I was doing.  Boy was I wrong!! We learned that geocaching could be very much cross-curricular and/or elementary in focus.  I was so intrigued that I actually decided to join the group who was going out to geocache in the afternoon.  Yeah, I know, those of you who know me would never believe that I would actually go out walking around the city of Silver Spring in the middle of July in 90 degree weather. Have I got news for you!  I was so motivated by Bridgette and her enthusiasm that I actually moved out of my comfort zone.  We found three out of the four caches that we went looking for.  We were out for two hours and we must have walked 50 miles!!  (OK – that’s an exaggeration)…I was hot and sweaty, but it was oh so worth it. I’ve got pictures and video for those of you who need proof…
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We ended the night with a tour of the DC area.  We had tour buses and professional tour guides and some of the best folks – all of my new friends who are fellow DEN Stars.  I’m ever so grateful for this opportunity.  Discovery has treated us so well. I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow…

Ruth Okoye – DEN STAR – Portsmouth, VA

Comments

  1. Katie Knapp, VA LC Chair

    Very cool! I attended Bridget’s geo-caching session at the LC Institute and had a blast. There are so many ways we can incorporate this neat technology into our elementary curriculum. Thanks fo sharing, Ruth!

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