Last week I attended my first Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) Conference in St. Charles, IL. Anne Truger, DEN Star and Past President of ICE did a fantastic job of recruiting DEN folks to present at this conference. These are some of the DEN Stars that presented at ICE: David Fisher (Florida), DENnis Grice (California), Tim Childers (Tennessee), Patti Harju (Michigan), Kristy Vincent (Texas), Conni Mulligan (North Carolina), Rachel Yurk (Wisconsin), Cathy Houchin (Illinois), Karie Huttner (Wisconsin), Amy Klubertanz (Wisconsin) and Carlos Fernandez (Florida). Forgive me for those that I have overlooked.
The Power of the DEN was most evident during Karie Huttner and Amy Klubertanz’s session Discovery Education: Common Core and Creation. This session was attended by quite a few DEN Stars. Karie and Amy did a terrific job presenting. As questions were asked, Karie and Amy responded confidently and openly. When they were unable to answer a question, they simply looked to their DEN friends for support and assistance. The DEN Stars chimed in when appropriate to support their fellow Stars. It was a remarkable experience as the presentation was comfortably expanded to almost a discussion among the DEN Stars with the other attendees benefitting from the event.
Afterwards, I thought back as to how others in attendance may have viewed the interaction among this small group of friends. I would guess that they were impressed that so many would attend a presentation to support two of their own. Further, I would guess they were intrigued by the way the presenters openly allowed input from those same folks. While Karie and Amy were the leads, the room became the presentation as others were encouraged to share. Finally, I would believe that those observing this interaction were curious as to the natural bond that brought all of these DEN Stars to this room. Karie and Amy wrapped things up by sharing about the Power of the DEN. And the people attending this session left knowing that Discovery offers something quite unique and special. They saw that first hand.