This year I had to miss the Discovery Summer Institute and it reinforced to me why Discovery Education, The DEN and DEN Events are so important to great teaching. All of these activities promote engagement and engagement makes learning fun, memorable and sustainable.
Discovery Summer Institute engages teachers from all over the world. Each person who attends the Institute comes away with great new ideas on how to engage students with learning. Teachers come away feeling energized and full of new ideas. Even though I did not attend, I watched the live streaming from the Institute and came away with several wonderful green screen ideas as well as some great science discrepant events. If you have never been to a Discovery Institute make it a goal this year to apply it will be the best professional development activity you do all year. It helps teachers anticipate the beginning of the new school year instead of dreading it.
DEN and DEN events are another way to build engagement for not only teachers, but students as well. There is a huge DEN Star presence on Edmodo, Facebook and Twitter. Need help or an idea? Mention it on one of these social networking sites and a DEN star will definitely respond with a helpful idea or words of encouragement. As school begins this idea of a virtual PLN that you can reach out to for support is incredibly valuable as a time saver.
DEN events also help teachers and their students become more engaged in meaningful collaboration and learning once school starts. The events and webinars for teachers and students are all worthwhile. The student webinars are so much fun and provide a way for students to interact with students from across the country. Any time there is a way for students to interact and publically demonstrate new knowledge the level of engagement will be heightened. Sound Great?? Here are a few that are coming up that are worth noting:
DENapalooza – Pittsburgh
Sat, September 21, 12am – Sun, September 22
These are just two of many DEN events planned for the upcoming month. Besides live events you can attend webinars from the comfort of your home or classroom.
I encourage you this year to raise your level of engagement in Discovery. If you participate more in DEN you will not only enjoy teaching more, but your students will enjoy learning more, because they like you will be actively engaged.