What I Learned at Summer Camp DENSI 2012
Back in April, I was honored to be chosen as a DEN Summer Institute attendee in Bozeman Montana. This year, DEN Boasted the largest Summer institute with over 70 active LC members as well as a healthy mix of new Star Educators. Networking with so many new people was accelerated by the use of MeMe card packets, creating an easy icebreaker while empowering attendees to make connections right from the start. True Montana style was enjoyed, pairing grilled wild game fare with Storm Chasers Reed Timmer, who enlightened us with the STEM connections in Meteorology, sharing amazing MT area footage, explaining the engineering and technology which supports his passion: analyzing ways to predict danger to help keep families safe.
We continued to enjoy the surroundings on Sunday Morning. We headed out to Yellowstone National Park, where we learned about the many different active geysers while gaining insight regarding quality photography. We took advantage of the extended bus ride learning more about technology we use every day. While riding out to the park, National Geographic photographer, Dan Cox taught us how to correct histogram adjustments on our variety of phones and cameras to enhance our photo opportunities throughout the park. He accepted the challenge of taking our group picture and graciously passed a print to each of us, along with releasing the rights to the photo for us to use as we see fit!
Monday started with an amazing Keynote with David Warlick, who emphasized the shift from 20th century learning within limits to 21st C learning with NO Limits. Because of his presentation on “Cracking the Native Information Experience,” I was empowered to confront the great challenges of my new AP Calculus venture by embracing the value of student blog postings. I realized that even though the curriculum and pacing is tight, I can still create a supportive digital community of learners while reaching high levels of analysis, application and synthesis through student blog postings! I had chills and teared up as I realized my AP Calculus students would not only accellerate AP Prep, but I would be supporting my students Native Information Experience! This was the first of many great “Gifts” I would take back to my students and colleagues!
By 10 AM, I was filled with relief and excitement! The day was full of dynamic sessions, offering a variety of learning opportunities for all. Monday ended with the DENmazing Race, building more support among our DEN community. Although we enjoy the competitive spirit, the true goal is to have great fun, supporting each other throughout the challenge.
Learning and sharing continued into the evening where curiosity and desire pushed attendees to gain more ideas and 21st C insight from eachother. Although it was easy to get pulled in to late night sessions, we were careful with our time, as many attendees committed to early morning Fit Club Obligations. Rita Mortenson arranged a number of options for us including, running, walking, geo-catching and alternative aerobic activities.
Monday was powerful – and it was just the start! Watch for the next post which will share the highlights of day 3 & 4! There is certainly much more to share but as of now, I need to go catch up on a bit of sleep! Watch for the next post regarding great gifts to all DE STARS for 2012 and the excitement of the final twoDENSI days!