I am so happy to take some time to share the love and support DEN has given me. Since my first experience with DEN team members in 2010, my understanding and implementation of 21st C learning techniques has grown exponentially.
Sure, I have always been a very motivated educator, pursuing professional growth, sharing my feats while searching for answers to new challenges.
What I lacked was a tight community of proactive, motivated educators who were always ready to lend a helping hand, freely offering unending support.
It is hard to grasp if you have not yet experienced the “Love of DEN.” So I will share a specific experience, demonstrating the power of DEN. Maybe then you will take advantage of this PLN too.
Educators willing to reach out to each other any time, any day, any way:
I happened upon a social gathering where I knew none of these DEN folk. In a friendly conversation, I voiced my pressing need to learn green screening. At 12:30 AM ,DEN pal 1 grabbed her computer and screen and said – “Well, Come on! Lets go do this!” We proceeded to a vacant space where we worked together for over an hour, just to satiate my initial understanding.
By the next day, there were more people willing to share and work together, using free time between meeting obligations. A group of 9 DEN Folk continued to work together, problem solving different platforms in which we could use. DEN Pal 2 worked on the side, helping me learn JayCut, a former free online green screen program. DEN pal 3 shared with me how to do video editing and voice over. DEN pal 4 was always ready to patiently explain any glitch, communicating long after we had all returned home via facebook, sharing how to use stop motion JellyCam.
I proceeded to use all of the above tech learning to create a stop action green screen STEM video. These events happened in a 4 day span, and were only a fragment of what I had experienced in that time. I shared my new twist on the tools, and my mentors and other DEN friends, (Pals 1 – 24+) congratulated me, while considering the next wild step in this learning chain.
(Names were excluded to accentuate the fact that all DEN Folk freely give their support to others)
Since that time, there have been many technological changes. JayCut is long gone; there are many more stop motion options beyond JellyCam. The video editors change… iPods /iPad 1 ,2 ,3, tablets, Chromebooks…Technology is fluid. We kept growing because we all kept helping each other.
You cannot Love a specific technology. Whether it is hardware or software, we know it will be replaced, updated, outsourced, bought out, upgraded or disabled. The interest in Technology lies in the thrill of the challenge, knowing you can find support on your Journey.
We thrive because of the DEN Community. This supportive, driven group of growing educators problem solving together, valuing each other’s diversity and strength. The Love of DEN is a professional support network that will always be there for you, ready for the next challenge in 21st C education.
If it were not for the Love and Support DEN freely gives me, I would struggle to keep up with the changes. I would become frustrated, running into roadblocks that would hinder my growth. Where would I share my wild techie triumphs without feeling awkward?
There is a silent fear that lingers for all DEN folk, if their District would drop DE. Some of my DEN Friends have already experienced this.
The good news is that the DEN Friendships see no contracts or time frames. These DEN Friendships stay strong, consistently supporting each other as the technology changes and evolves.
Being deeply loved by DEN gives you strength, while loving DEN deeply, gives you courage! ( modified quote from Lao Tzu)