Here’s a little information about one of Wisconsin’s newest STAR Educators, Diane Doersch, of Neenah. Welcome to the DEN family!
What is your teaching background/experience?
I am currently the Director of Instructional Technology in Neenah, Wisconsin. I have taught at the elementary level for 11 years then at the middle school computer applications level for 11 years before becoming Director of Technology in 2008. I am in charge of the district infrastructure as well as the professional development for regarding technology and its application in the classroom.
How do you use Discovery Streaming with students/teachers?
Here in Neenah, we have developed a technology professional development structure that allows for monthly technology integration training through Professional Learning Days. Each building has a technology mentor team which consists of a classroom teacher from the building, the building library media specialist, and the differentiated instruction coaches.
We use Discovery Streaming to help teachers see the rich content-specific resources they can use in the classroom to create engaging and differentiated lessons. This year our teachers received district issued laptops and our entire school district went wireless. We felt it was not only important to provide the hardware and tools for 21st century learning, but also include the content and resources DE has to offer.
Each month our technology mentors gather to plan the next month’s lesson. We have created quarterly benchmarks of goals we want to accomplish with our buildings regarding Discovery Education. We are starting with teaching teachers how to download engaging content, moving on to teaching teachers how to create online quizzes and assessments, and ending with advanced features on how to edit DE content using green screen and voiceovers.
What do you hope to gain from becoming a STAR Educator and what do you see as the benefits?
I hope to meet up with other Directors of Instructional Technology or technology leaders in the district to share ideas for the classroom, for the planning of professional development, and to build possible classroom partnerships. We can do far more together than separately!