Are you LEARNing?

Every so often, I browse some of my favorite blogs for inspiration. I found the reminder I needed this morning on DEN Guru Jen Wagner’s blog ‘Thoughts by Jen‘.

I have the privilege of traveling, presenting, and learning among very talented educators each week, but after I read Jen’s post “Opportunity: LEARN”  I have to ask myself am I really LEARNing?!?

Here’s a snippet from her post

So I invite you to LEARN as much as you can — at the next conference you attend by:

L:  Listening
You know what you think.  You pretty much agree with what you think.  So stop and listen to what others think.  Don’t be preparing your response as they speak.  But truly listen….to the words said, to the words unspoken, to the body language, to the facial expression, to the emotion, thought, convictions, and ideas.  Don’t feel you always need to add your thoughts — at least not immediately.

E:  Eavesdropping
Listen to the conversations that are not planned.  Sit down in the hallway and listen as people wander by.  Wander the exhibit hall and stand with someone as a demonstrator tells them all about the product.   Then invite the person into a conversation with you to discuss what you just heard.  As you wait for a session to start, be aware of the conversations around you…..and go ahead, get up and move into those conversations.

A:  Asking Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask what you think everyone else already knows….because you might find everyone else is wondering the same.  And ask beyond the “why, what, when”, etc.   Be brave to challenge the question….not criticize or condemn, but get beyond the obvious and often the fluff to find out more.

R:  Re-evaluating
What you hear might not jive with what you know, trust, or believe — but don’t diminish an idea just because of that.  Toy around with the ideas you disagree with to see what the deeper reason might be and seesaw with the ideas you feel so strongly on just to see what gave them such a strong foundation.

N:  Networking
Don’t leave a conference without making a connection with at least 3 to 5 new people (hopefully, much more!) that will become your allies.  Exchange twitter names, blog urls, skype names, etc etc etc.  Make a commitment to STAY IN TOUCH, to be each others sounding boards, accountability partners, litmus tests of ideas, etc.

Share with us something you have LEARNed recently from completely one of the activities above!

p.s. Thanks Jen for continually being a source of inspiration for me!



  1. Margaret Dumas

    I learned so much yesterday at our DEN event with Melanie! I am definitely impressed with the resources available to us through DE and I have barely scratched the surface of ways to use them. I just realized this morning that my students can generate content folders! Now I am suggesting that they complete all the research first, adding their sources to their content folder, then build the board.

  2. Paula Word

    I enjoyed our first session with DEN. I am so impressed with all that is being used in our district and how many resources are available through our wonderful teachers in Baldwin County. We exchanged many ideas and resources. I have researched many of the sites and ideas and I am eager to learn even more!!!

  3. Danyl January

    Listen: My first DEN event opened my eyes to the many possible uses of Discovery Educations beyond showing clips or movies to introduce or reinforce a lesson. I loved listening and learning about the resources that are available. I think one thing I have taken away from the meeting is knowing I can set up a class in Discovery Education and give assignments for students to complete. I hope to learn more about the possibility of taking virtual field trips.

  4. Sally Labak

    I am curious about the storyboards and how I can use them with Kindergarteners. If anyone out there has any examples please share.

  5. Mark Spradling

    Eavesdropping: At my first DEN event I found my seat early and waited as others came in and got settled. Doing this really allowed me to absorb some of my fellow colleagues knowledge on various DE topics. Without intervening I was able to learn tricks others use and solutions to similar problems that I was dealing with at the time. It can be very informative to be a fly on the wall.

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