The DEN Leadership Council Symposium was held at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts this past week. I had the pleasure of attending and thought I would share my highlights.
Edmodo was my favorite new tool. Used throughout the week, it was the most useful way of connecting and collecting information. I was easily able to look back at our chats to refresh my memory about the week. I can’t wait to use it in my classroom.
Sunday - After registration, we had a fun getting-to-know-you event. I enjoyed saying hello to old friends and meeting new ones.
Monday – We started the day with Dr. Lodge McCammon, specialist in Curriculum and Contemporary Media at the Friday Institute
for Educational Innovation. We learned some ways to make quick videos with our students. Then we had fun creating some videos of our own. You can view them here. And be sure to check out Lodge’s educational songs in the audio section of Discovery Streaming.
We then toured Boston, seeing Fenway Park, Quincy Market, and the Cheers bar.We ended at Fablevision, where we got to hear from Peter Reynolds about the importance of creativity in school. We also received an autographed copy of Peter’s new book, Rose’s Garden. I also learned from CEO brother, Paul Reynolds that Fablevision is working to put all their software online. Hurray for Fablevision.
Tuesday -We began the day hearing from Chris Dede, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Harvard Graduate, School of Education. You can read about his presentation in my earlier blog post. blog post. He was very inspiring.
The rest of the day was spent learning about and discussing the new features coming to the Discovery site. Keep reading our blog and the National DEN blog to see about the features and find out about webinars you can attend to learn how to use them.
Tuesday evening we had a great time at AmeriDEN Idol. While sharing some terrific tools, such as Wallwisher.com, ZooBurst, and LiveBinders. We were judged by Simon Lance Cowell, Paula Saundra Abdul, Ellen Lindsay DeGeneris, and Randy Justin Jackson.Google Fight was a show stopper.
We were all surprised that night with a visit from the Glogster creators. They talked about new connections, such as a one button Glogster insert in Wikispaces. They discussed the success they’ve had thanks to educators, and thanked us for using Glogster by giving us all One Year Premium Glogster accounts. Way to go, Glogster!
Wednesday -This was the day we were introduced to the unconference forum. Steve Dembo had us decide between different topics that were suggested the previous night. Each facilitator led a conversation relating to that topic. There were sessions on Cell Phones, IPads, UDL, Augmented Reality, and 1 to 1 laptop management, among others. This was a great opportunity to really delve into ideas.
Thursday - We had a great opportunity to head back into Boston to attend the Building Learning Communities conference. We all wore our new DEN t-shirts like good campers, making us easy to spot in the crowd. We heard the keynote by Michael Wesch about possibilities in the classroom and then attended various sessions. My favorite session was presented by Darren Kuropatwa, a math teacher from Canada, who discussed some fabulous ways to use technology to get insight into student thinking.
One idea – have students take pictures relating to a topic, upload the picture into Flickr.com and use the note feature to annotate the picture with reasons it relates to the topic.
Thursday night was 70’s night. We dressed in 70’s outfits, sang 70’s karaoke songs, and danced the night away. The big 70’s STAR of the evening – Conni Mulligan.
Friday - This was our final day. We spent some time in groups discussing leadership jobs. The events team came up with some fun event ideas. The blog team discussed ways to spotlight STARs. The LC Chairs discussed how to connect with new DEN members. Stay tuned to the blog for information about upcoming events.
All in all, this was one of the best DEN symposiums I attended. I made some great new connections with people, learned about some fantastic tools, and heard some amazing people speak about education. Thank you, DEN, for an educational and fun time.