Beyond the Textbook: DEN PreCon 2010

Your DEN Leadership Councils (PA, NJ, NY) and our Discovery Managers and Directors have worked hard to bring educators the best preconference yet. Unless you are working with the team, it is really hard to imagine how much behind-the-scenes work goes into planning and making the DEN PreCon an enriching professional development experience. With over 170 registered and in attendance in the AM, and with Keystone CFF joining us this afternoon, Lance Rougeux, Director of the DEN, said our numbers will exceed 200 precon participants. The Trinidad room is packed and we are 5 and countdown to Beyond the Textbook. A great day is in store for all participants, with morning and afternoon sessions, sprinkled with visits to the school store, being called to the office by the guidance counselor, recess with STAR showcase presented by over 20 DEN STARS and GURUS. I know you can always attend virtually the sessions that presenters stream, but let me tell you that NOTHING beats being here live for this amazing day.

Structured after a day at school, Beyond the Textbook began with Morning Announcements, an amazing Discoverystreaming Plus video about fueling student achievement with digital solutions for 21st century students. Lance opened the premier PA event, welcoming NJ, NY, and MD, mentioning that Michael Cichocki, Patti Duncan, Jennifer Brinson, and RJ Stangherlin were highlighted in press releases. We began with the Pledge, stood, and read:

I pledge alliegance to the community of the Discovery Educator Network, and to the STARs with whom I sahre: one DEN, under Discovery, with standards-based digital media for all.

The sessions today are lead mostly by DEN STARS and GURUS, and Lance thanked us. The School Store is located in the back of Trinidad. We all started with 3 tickets for the school store, but throughout the day you can compliment your presenters and they will give you some more tickets, and you might even earn them for a Q&A session.

Our guidance counselor, Matt Monjan, let the teachers talk, describing their presentations. Patti Duncan‘s AM session, 50 Ways to Use Discovery Education Digital Media, focuses on different ways to use digital media in the classroom. Her PM session, Top 10 STEM Resources. Lodge McCammon‘s FIZZ session will do classroom simulations with super hand-ons activities, culminating with shooting a video. Meg Griffin‘s session Math Matters explores ways to use Discovery resources in math. Nancy Sharoff‘s Visual Literacy is about the impace of visual media in the classroom and Avoiding the Principal’s Office: Managing the Cyberbully is about controlling disruptive students. Traci Blazoski‘s Creative Construction with Digital Media will simulate an art class. Jim Beegley‘s Discovering Social Studies will culminate with his daughter’s Civil War Sallie project. Christine Southard’s Study Hall session focuses on special education needs. Jan Abernethy‘s Tigers presentation works with PBL, and Steve Dembo is doing the Top 10 Web 2010 tools. Our guidance counselor dismissed us to leave for the first session.

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