So, I’m not afraid to admit it–I’m a pretty competitive person. When I was in school, I always liked contests and prizes (Ok, I still do). Sometimes the activities would be so much fun that we wouldn’t even realize that we were learning. Now I like to translate that competitive spirit to my employees (and hope they don’t catch on to the fact that I am trying to teach them something!).
My team was fortunate enough to get a mini Day of Discovery not too long ago to see some of the creative ways that teachers and administrators are using Discovery Education in conjunction with free resources on the web to improve the students’ learning experiences. It was 2+ fun-filled hours with an end goal in mind – each person had to come away with an idea for a 5 minute digital presentation using at least one resource from Discovery Education. After creating the projects, each person had to review their project with the team. The team voted for the top 3 projects, with the top vote-getters included in this Cache and Cookies blog post.
And the winners are:
Our overwhelming favorite was “Let’s Rock Out” submitted by Jen. Jen’s background is in dance, and she incorporated her favorite pastime to teach her “students” about the rock cycle. The list of sites and DE resources she used is plentiful, including an animation about the rock cycle and instructions provided by a famous personality:
Beau took us on an interactive tour of our kitchen using Prezi, a free presentation software. As we maneuvered through the kitchen, he highlighted appliances and used Discovery Education videos to tell us about the technology behind our coffee machine, for example. For the caffeine addicts in the group, this might have been a little bit more than we needed to see! His presentation was slick and professional looking and on par with most of the other projects he has been involved with on the support team. (Unfortunately, my skills are not quite as slick and I wasn’t able to put the presentation in a format that WordPress would like.)
Johnny showed a bit of his tongue-in-cheek humor that we have grown so fond of (as well as providing the audio track with his guitar). Slides 9 – 13 demonstrate one of the “missing” conversations between JFK and his brother, RFK, demonstrated through voicethread, that was pivotal in the Cuban Missile Crisis and for some reason isn’t very well known.
All in all, I was overwhelmed by the finished products that everyone on the team submitted. I think they had fun putting them together and definitely gained an appreciation for some of the great things that can be accomplished in the classroom using digital media.
I can’t say enough good things about the work that Matt Monjan and Lance Rougeux’s teams do to make these Day of Discovery events so successful. If you haven’t been to one, you really are missing out on some great information.