The DEN has been supporting and inspiring Dave for a number of years. “At DENSI 2014 in Nashville, I was asked to be part of DEN Speaks where I gave a 10 minute presentation on being “connected”. During that presentation, I had a slide referring to “finding your tribe”. That slide has truly summed up the impact that the DEN has had in my life. The people that are part of my tribe understand, appreciate, and support each other. Priceless!”
How do you start your day?
Even before leaving the house, I checked my school email. I am sure no one in education is surprised that emails get sent at all hours of the day and night. By checking early, I can find out if I have any urgent items to attend to at the beginning of the school day.
Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher because several of my junior high and senior high teachers encouraged me to do so. I had incredible respect for those teachers and their suggestions held considerable weight. Since I enjoyed working with and helping others, it felt like a good fit.
What is one of your favorite ways to use Discovery Education?
In my role at a Technology Director, I provide training on DE for our staff. I love showing them all of the different resources that Discovery Education provides. That creates a “Light Bulb” moment.
What is a ritual you have in your classroom?
One of my teaching time rituals was to allow my students to do daily “Talk abouts”. A talkabout is a combination of talking and walking (think of a walkabout). About half way through the period, students would take a 1 minute talk about to walk around the hallway outside of my classroom. They had to be silent unless they were talking about a mathematics topic!
The intent was to get the blood flowing and re-energize the body! Students would return to their seats with an energy you only find at the beginning of the hour. Refreshed minds increased their attentiveness and learning.
How are you involved in education aside from your role as educator?
One of the most satisfying things that I do in education is present at a number of conferences. I have presented at many educational technology conferences and have also presented at marketing conferences, career conferences, and even a national assessment conference. I like to share practical, easy to implement, resources.
I am also very active in a variety of professional learning networks with other educators. We connect mainly through Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ communities.
Failure will happen. Embrace those times and turn them into success with patience and persistence. I would also encourage those individuals to seek the support of other tech using educators. Ask those friends to “hold my hand”. They don’t have to travel this road alone.
What advice do you have for first year teachers?
Model for your students how to handle failure and turn it into success.
What sites do you visit to assist in your teaching practice?
Everyday I visit Twitter and Facebook as they are my primary networking sites. Many resources are shared on these very popular sites. I am also a frequent visitor to my Google+ Communities. eSchool News is another site that I use to stay current with educational technology trends. To stay up on current happenings in the Apple world, I visit Macrumors.com.
What other organizations/groups are you a part of?
I am a DEN Leadership Council member and a DEN Guru (Class of 2014). I work with CUE Rockstar Camps as a staff member. I also am a staff member for iBooks Hackathons where we teach teachers how to create digital textbooks. I am an active member of the Grandville-Jenison Chamber of Commerce dating back to my days as a School To Career Coordinator.
A tie between two things!
My most memorable DEN experience happened during the 2012 DEN Summer Institute and our trip to Yellowstone National Park. A visitor to the park decided to get up close and personal with a Bison, which, by the way, is against the law. We had about 150 DEN members see this happen, yet I believe I was the only one that snapped any pictures of it.
Another memorable DEN experience was being chosen for a DEN Speaks session at the DEN Principals Summit in Nashville, 2014. This short presentation for the administrators attending the summit gave me an opportunity to showcase the power of connecting with others in the DEN. That session was so well received that I was asked to do an encore presentation to the entire DENSI community.
When you’re not working, where are we most likely to find you?
Where will you find me when I am not working? You mean there is a time that I don’t have to be working? I think I missed that part of my contract.
In my “spare” time, you can often find me helping out around our high school with football or basketball. I run the scoreboard for our home games for each of those sports. I also score and announce at our Girls Varsity Softball games.
When at home, I find it hard to stay away from the computer or iPad. I am frequently using those devices just to stay in touch with my network of friends, both personal and professional.
How can others connect with you?