I could not have been more excited when I was asked to present DE at our district’s tech fest this year. They asked me to present at all 3 sessions, but I asked to just do 2 sessions so that I could go learn from someone else! I was overwhelmed with the possibilities of things I could present on. They left my window wide open and said, “Do whatever you want!” So after a lengthy discussion with the amazing Jannita, I narrowed it down to two topics…. “Integrating Digital Media with DE” and “Learning Beyond the Bell”.
Honestly, I am still in shock that I am being asked to present on anything regarding technology. I was in our Ambassador program one year ago, and I can’t believe how far I have come. My DEN family that I met at DENSI has helped me, inspired me, encouraged me and taught me more than I ever thought possible. I feel like the most important parts of my presentations should be trying to explain the importance of the DEN.
Despite minor technological difficulties ( I am in the process of transitioning from PC to Mac), both of my presentations went really well. I found I didn’t even need my notes. Once I got started, I didn’t want to stop. Everyone said my enthusiasm was just contagious. I know I even got a few more people to sign up for our Spring 2015 Ambassador program (which I am running!)
I just know how much both using DE resources, attending DE trainings, and collaborating and communicating with everyone in the DEN has transformed not only my classroom teaching, but my general outlook on education. I have become more confident, more open to new experiences and risk taking, and a role model to others in beginning their journey on the digital integration path. I want everyone to experience these same transformations and positive experiences.
In short, thank you DE and everyone in the DEN for everything you have brought to me in this past year. You have all truly transformed me and helped me to become a better me. I love being able to share what I have learned. I know that I have made an impact on teachers and all of their students both at my site and within my district.
I am anxiously awaiting the announcement for DENSI 2015 (as I know we all are) so I can begin my application. I’m hoping to be able to attend again to recharge my batteries and learn from all of the amazing educators that make the DEN possible.
Alright, I’ve been home from DENSI 2014 for a week now. I’ll be honest, I have spent most of that week decompressing from DENSI at the beach, hanging out with friends and reading trashy beach novels. But I’ve also spent a good part of that time reflecting on my time spent with my new DEN family. DENSI 2014 was truly the most amazing experience I’ve ever had in 16 years of teaching. I kept hearing it would be amazing, but until you have been there is no way you can understand the sense of community and level of sharing, positive energy, excitement, enthusiasm and I’ll say it… LOVE. Everyone there loves their job, loves the students they affect, loves to learn and loves to share with the DEN community. As I stated in my reflection at our unclosing ceremony, as a newbie, I was totally overwhelmed, but I learned SOOOOO much. I learned that even though I am a somewhat techy person at my site, there is so much more that I don’t know and that we don’t do. So much more for me to learn, so many more opportunities to bring new things and ideas to our students. But most importantly, I learned that it’s ok that I didn’t learn everything. There is no way a newbie, or anyone for that matter can begin to scratch the surface of the amount of knowledge that is present in one room of these amazing educators. But I learned that I have resources now, I have ideas now, I have things I want to try now. And when I struggle with these new ideas, I have this incredible resource of 150 people to go to. I know if I need help or I have a question, I can tweet, or post on Edmodo, or Facebook, or email, or call (or any of the other 43 ways I can get in touch with my DEN friends), and I KNOW someone out there has the answer, and is willing to take the time to help me, and answer my questions.
My amazing team leader, Nancy Sharoff caught me on Thursday when my brain was on full overload and I was truly feeling that I didn’t belong there, and that I had nothing to offer. I am always a “giver” at my site and even within my district frequently. During my week at DENSI, I was clearly a “taker” and I took as much in as my brain could handle. But this sat awkwardly with me and made me feel uncomfortable at first. I didn’t feel like I had anything to add to anyone’s conversation, and that everyone was more expert than I. Nancy reminded me that I was chosen to be there for a reason, and that I did have things I could contribute. So, I committed to myself that I would share as much as I could when I returned, and work really hard this year, to spread the DEN love. I’ve been working through my notes and experimenting on things like Prezi, Kahoot, Symbaloo, Padlet, Aurasma, and more. I’ve got a list of things to discuss with my principal next week to begin my PD with the staff at my site and around the district. As part of commitment to spread the DEN love, I am excited to say I will be working to help plan DENapalooza Anaheim on September 13. I can’t wait to get together with my southern California DEN family and work to make that day amazing for everyone who attends. If we can make it 1/10 as awesome as DENSI, I will consider it a success!
I’d also like to throw out some DEN love to all my suite mates in 1106… Linda, Laura, Susanne, Gina and Ana. Miss you girls, hope to see and talk to you all soon. Let’s Glide!
Here I am at Discovery Educators Network Summer Institute 2014 (DENSI) in Nashville, Tennessee. I am at a point where I am so overwhelmed that I feel like I am now more stupid than when I got here. I’m sure that after some reflection time at home, all this will sink in and all the amazing things that I learned will sink in. Rafranz is helping us newbies set up our first blog, and here I am! Stay tuned for more beginner blogs.