Discovery Education Summer School – WOW!

The Discovery Education Summer School last week was a wonderful opportunity to get fired up for the new school year!  A big “shout out” to all the people involved… “Thank you so much for sharing your expertise and time.” In Dedham, MA, we had a group of eight people participate for the four days.  It was a wonderful chance to relax, share ideas, and take part in the DEN community.

Our group was a cross section of elementary, middle and high school teachers who had not taken part in a webinar learning experience before.  They didn’t know quite what to expect. We met in one of our high school computer labs and viewed the webinars as a group on the big screen. I ran a back channel chat with my group using Typewith.me, which was a new experience for all of us. We shared our ideas, links from the DE Chat window, questions, and frustrations. This tool also allowed me to address their questions after the webinar and to continue our discussion.

Teachers received PDPs for participating, creating a lesson based on webinar ideas and resources, and reflecting on each day’s experience. Although they were overwhelmed at times … (I don’t think they were ready for an A-Z presentation of Live Binder)… they loved exploring all the ideas, resources, and websites. They were also happy to see from the DE Chat that others in the DEN community were also feeling lost at times, which made them laugh instead of becoming frustrated.  They were hooked by the Digital Storytelling sessions and were blown away with the Live Binder resource link. Now they want to know more about how to use Live Binders in their teaching. A few will go back and view the archived Live Binder presentation now that they have a context for the tool.

Teacher comments (I know there are a lot listed, but I just had to share!):

  • I had an “Ah ha” moment when I went onto Moviemaker 2.6 and started clicking/playing around.  I realize that some of the clips from Discovery School are very useful, but it was so much fun to take some of those clips that I found for my lesson and slice them so that they would be shorter and keep the student’s interest.
  • Although I don’t teach science anymore, I found the science webinar to be very useful in terms of websites.  I would love to create posters on glogster as well as “wordles” for my lessons.  The presenter had a lot to say but I found her websites (ppst) extremely helpful to further build lessons.
  • This was more useful than I had expected. I have been trying to come up with a way for the students to research and synthesize their findings and ideas about the historical basis for the Iliad and Odyssey. Digital Storytelling would engage more of the students. The links posted on Scoop were so helpful. I LOVED playing with Piikistrips and am already half way to creating a comic to introduce The Odyssey.
  • Although I am no Oscar winning producer quite yet, I found that this will be a very useful resource with my reading groups and later as a presentation tool when I teach writing in fourth grade classrooms this year.
  • (Day 4 comment …) Today, I have to admit, I was spent!  However, I am so appreciative of the opportunity to learn about all of these resources this week.  These various websites and www.discoveryeducation.com have me excited to start off the school year with new ideas!
  • The whole day WOW’d me….I thought it was great, because so many of the ideas were related to what I wished I could do to enhance the learning experience for my students.  The role of the Reading Teacher is changing and I need to change with it.  It’s great because it gives every student a chance to experience a topic or concept the way they are “wired” (i.e.-visual, kinesthetic, hands on, auditory).
  • LOL. I immediately created linoit.com and edmodo.com accounts when the presenter introduced them. I am sold!

 As you can tell, fun and learning were experienced by our group. We also had the opportunity to talk about social networking in the classroom and perhaps the use of Fakebook. They loved the idea of creating a Fakebook profile for an historical figure or characters in a novel or play. I shared a video on Gamifying Education, which led to a discussion of how teachers can help students develop “agency,” and how Discovery Education and Web 2.0 tools could help.

Overall … an incredible learning and sharing experience for everyone. Thank you Discovery Education!

Comments

  1. Robin Talkowski

    Just reading your post made me wish I was there with you. Thanks for including some of the resources discussed. I look forward to checking out the archived webinars.

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