Posts By Betsy Ruffin

  1. 8. Discovery Streaming and….

    Gifted and Talented Students So, I’ve recently taken an online course on differentiating instruction for GT students.   Differentiating instruction can certainly be a challenge in today’s heterogeneously grouped classrooms., but with a bit of help from Discovery it can be done.  Here are a few ideas to start with: Tiered Assignments — covering the same […]

  2. 7. Discovery Streaming and…

    … integrating with other online resources! Discovery is wonderful as a standalone product for use in classrooms, but it also “plays well with others”.  Here are some ideas for using Discovery Streaming and online databases together: Thinkfinity — a free for educators site — has graphic organizers available.   Choose a graphic organizer for students to […]

  3. 6. Discovery Streaming and…..

    test reading as a reading genre Now there is a odd title idea.  It is not my own however; I got this from a book I’ve been reading called Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller.  It’s subtitle, Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child, is a clue to the content.  Ms. Miller, a 6th grade language […]

  4. Where in the World Wide Web 2.0? A DEN Update

    DEN members are still SOCIALIZING on social networking tools of web 2.0. Updating a Texas blog post from last year, here are the latest on places to find the DEN: Texas DEN’s Facebook: Texas DEN Where else in the World Wide Web are you finding the DEN? A side […]

  5. 5. Discovery Streaming and….

    The Holidays! As the winter break draws nearer, have you found that the students are less attentive than usual?   Discovery Streaming has items to help! First, some holiday title suggestions from the catalog:  The Magic School Bus: Holiday Special — grades 2 – 4 Christmas Tales from Foreign Lands (various titles in series) – grades […]

  6. 4. Discovery Streaming and…

    Special Education Having taught special education for some years, this is still an area close to my teacher heart.  Some ways to use Discovery to help this special set of students: > Closed captioning videos can provide a visual – auditory link to help with reading, whether for general reading or for specific content areas.  […]

  7. 3. Discovery Education Streaming and….

    Award Winning Books! Discovery can be a great cross-curricular tool.  Use subject area videos to coordinate with award winning literature for across the curriculum learning. First, some sites for finding award winning titles:   Texas Library Association —– for Bluebonnet Award Nominees and more American Library Association — — for Caldecott, Newbery, and many more Other […]

  8. 2. Discovery Education Streaming and….

    Reading! Discovery had elements that can help meet many reading needs, such as: for English Language Learners, special education students, or simply reluctant readers, use close captioned videos to encourage learning by hitting both audio and visual modalities; use the advanced search option to specify the closed caption option for a search Teaching literature genres? […]

  9. DEN News and Reminders

    The new Discovery Educator Network site is now live with a sleek clean updated look.  Check it out at Summer is a great time to engage in some professional develop and Discovery has some good choices.  Check the Professional Development section for interactive and courses for credit options.  To receive the monthly e-newsletters from […]

  10. Hooray for Teachers….

    May 3 – 7 is National Teacher Appreciation Week and the DEN folks do appreciate their STAR members!  Each day this week the DEN National team will post about something special for DEN Stars.  Monday’s event was a free one-year account with Prezi, a slideless presentation tool.  Check the National Blog (  for more details — daily!

  11. The Stars are shining in Texas

    Two Texas DEN Stars are featured in broadcasts: On Earth Day, Elaine Plybon was featured in a podcast with Steve Katz and LiveBinders.  The podcast archive can be found HERE. Elaine was also featured in March on a Discovery Educator Network Shining STARs webinar, where she talked about the transition to a paperless classroom. On April […]

  12. Planet Earth now available from iTunes

    Continue celebrating Earth Day with the series Planet Earth now available from the iTunes store.  Climb mountains, trek through jungles,  get up close with animals and more in this wonderful series.  Each episode is $2.99 with the whole series available for $19.90, $29.90 for HD.  Just open the iTunes store and search in TV seasons […]

  13. TCEA 2011– STAR presenters wanted

    Yes, the fantastic 2010 convention is just over, but it is already time to think about next year’s version.    We would LOVE to see lots of Texas DEN Stars presenting their Discovery – Technology expertise!   For more information and to send in a proposal, go to:

  14. Using Discovery to Help Special Populations

    Discovery has great tools for all learners; that includes those with particular needs.  Here are a few ways to help those special students: Use closed-caption videos to provide an auditory – visual language learning experience. Find materials in Spanish and other languages for ESL students. The ReadyZone can be used for homebound students. Use the Builder […]

  15. Dive Deeper: What I Learned

    From the students via their appreciative teachers, these comments on what a typical group of students learned from Phillipe and the folks at Seattle Acquarium:  My students enjoyed learning about and seeing some of the unique fish and sea creatures at the aquarium that they had never seen. They ALL learned about: why you should […]

  16. TCEA and the DEN

    UPDATE  2-7-10 The survey results show Wednesday and Thursday noon in a tie for first place as choice for our tweetup meetup eatup.  So I am making an “executive decision” and saying that we will have our DEN fellowship on Thursday at 12. For those meeting in person, we will gather at the convention center exhibits […]

  17. Getting Creative

    “Two heads are better than one”   We’ve heard the quote and its relative “two minds are better than one”.   In today’s web 2.o- social media world, sharing is encouraged and collaboration cheered, but copyright issues can still arise.  What if someone tries to make money off of your freely shared creation?  What if they change it […]

  18. Web 2.0 and Discovery — A partnership

    There are so many good web 2.o tools out there, several with a Discovery presence already.  Now, how can we use those Web 2.o tools with Discovery products to help academic achievement.   Here’s a few ideas: >>Wikis are a great and easy start.  Create your own special Discovery related wiki with subject pages to add […]

  19. Web 2.0: Discovery on Da Tube

    You Tube  that is.  Discovery Education (and the Discovery Channel and more) have a presence on this video sharing site.   To see what is available, go to:  Or Teacher Tube perhaps.  For some Discovery Education related videos there, go to:  Also on Teacher Tube, check for the just created Texas DEN group at: […]

  20. A Den Shining Star

    Lori Reed, a Texas DEN Star Educator, is featured SmartTechnologies website.  Catch her shining moment at !  What creative ways do you have to use interactive whiteboards, like the Smart Board, with Discovery products?  If you have a special  moment –  such as being featured on a website, presenting at a conference, receiving an award, or […]

  21. TCEA nominations now open

    TCEA – the Texas Computer Educators Assocation  — has opened nominations for their 2010 Educator Awards.  Catagories include Classroom Teacher, Library Media Specialist, Instructional Tech Specialist, and more.  Now, we know that DEN members and DEN Stars are some of the best when it comes to using technology in education, but we would like for […]

  22. Blogs and Wikis and Moodles, Oh My!

    What does it all mean!?   You’ve heard the terms, perhaps from other teachers or students, perhaps from crossword puzzles or comic strips.  Now you want to know for sure about what all those Web 2.0 terms mean and get a handle on what’s out there.   Here are some helpful sites for learning the lingo …… — […]