Welcome to the Colorado Blog

January 27th, 2012

Happy New Year Colorado DEN STARs!!


Our Colorado Leadership Council has officially launched! All of the LC members are excited and looking forward to a great year!


Here’s what you will find in this month’s Colorado DEN Newsletter:

  • Colorado Blog
  • Meet Your Colorado LC!
  • Upcoming Colorado Events
  • Upcoming Global DEN Events
  • Maintaining your STAR status…it’s easy!!



Your Colorado Blog

As our LC gets up and going, you will be able to visit the Colorado Blog – http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/blog/category/colorado/ on a regular basis. The blog will allow you to stay up-to-date on all of the latest news and events around Colorado and the DEN. In addition to events, we hope to utilize the blog as a tool to share great Discovery Education tips and tricks, as well as highlight the great work our Colorado STARs are doing in their classrooms.



Meet Your Colorado LC

As I already mentioned, all of the members are excited about the launch of the Colorado Leadership Council. Here are the members of the 2011-2012 LC:

Chairperson: Jennifer Jensen

Events Team: Gwynn Moore (Coordinator), Christine Archer-Davison, Angie Wulff

Blog Team: John Christopher (Coordinator), Cate Beck, Shannon Wentworth, & Jason Cochrane

Visit the Colorado Blog to be formally introduced to all of the LC members.



Upcoming Colorado Events

  • Learning 2.0: A Colorado Conversation – Saturday, February 25th
    Learning 2.0: A Colorado Conversation, is a conference/unconference/meetup for teachers, administrators, students, school board members, parents, community, and anyone else who is interested in education. There is NO COST for attendees to join the conversation. Our Events Team is currently in the process of putting together a DEN STAR event, so be on the look out for future information.
  • EdCamp Denver – Saturday, April 28th
    EdCamp is an unconference devoted to K-12 Education issues and ideas. (This is a free event.)
  • Technology in Education Conference – June 19th-21st
    TIE will once again be held at the Cooper Mountain Resort. Be sure to keep your eye on our blog and newsletters for more information regarding a DEN STARs event!



Upcoming DEN Global Events

  • DEN SCIcon2012 – Saturday, January 28th
    DEN SCIcon focuses on providing participants with some of the most effective strategies for transforming their science classes through the meaningful and effective integration of digital media content. Visit this link to learn more and register for this virtual conference: http://links.discoveryeducation.com/scicon2012
  • Digital Learning Day – Wednesday, February 1st
    Digital Learning Day is a nationwide celebration of innovative teaching and learning through digital media and technology that engages students and provides them with a rich, personalized educational experience.
  • Spring Virtual Conference – Saturday, April 21st
    Plans are just getting underway for this annual DEN event. The Colorado LC will be hosting an in-person event so mark your calendars now!
  • DEN Summer Institute – July 21-26 in Bozeman, MT
    Up to 125 STARs will be invited to attend the DEN Summer Institute. Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with fellow STAR Discovery Educators from all over during an exclusive, intensive, week-long networking and professional development event. We encourage all STARs to apply! Visit the DEN Blog to learn more! http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/blog/2011/12/19/den-summer-institute-2012/
  • DEN Webinar Series
    The DEN offers some amazing webinars for STARs! An upcoming event will be with DEN Guru Rita Mortensen on February 7th. Visit the Webinar page to learn about all of the scheduled webinars. If you aren’t able to attend the live webinars, remember that you can access them via the archives.



Maintain Your STAR Status

You don’t want to miss out on any of the exciting DEN events, so be sure to maintain your STAR status each school year. There are several ways for you to stay active in the DEN:

  • Report at least two events from this past school year
  • Report one event and upload a resource to the Educator Resources library on the DEN site
  • Report one event and tell us one other way you have shared the power of Discovery with your peers (e.g., newsletter, podcast, etc.)


And it’s never too late to become a STAR!! If you have colleagues who want to become a DEN STAR, share the information from the DEN web site. The link to apply is at the bottom of the page.


We hope 2012 is off to a great start for you and your students!



Shout out to Shannon

January 6th, 2012

I just wanted to give a shout-out to Shannon Wentworth one of  Colorado’s Leadership Council members.  I don’t know exactly where she finds the time to be on the ball with everything, but it is great to see her featured as one of Discovery Ed’s Stars.  Keep up the good work Shannon!

DEN Virt Con at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

October 26th, 2011

DEN conference at DMNS

This past Saturday at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, we had bunch of educators attending the Virtual Conference.  It started off with an outstanding breakfast:  eggs, pastries, bacon, I think there was fruit too…but who eats healthy when your at a conference?? In addition to that, the tables were stacked with candy…like tons of candy!  Nice job Lindsey on orchestrating the whole day.  After viewing one of the first segments of the Virt. Con., we got into some digital story telling.  We were introduced to some popular technologies like Blabberize and Animoto, we also got a presentation from a guy from Tech4Learning.  Sorry, I don’t remember his name.  Then we really got crazy.  We had an all out IronDen photosynthesis digital story telling challenge with a pig as the main attraction.  Now personally I thought the judging was a little off (since my team did not win), but  everyone put out some great displays of digitally telling what photosynthesis is.  It doesn’t matter that we didn’t win, because Lindsay hooked me up with a sweet Chef’s Apron with a chef’s hat that was decked out with the IronDen logo.  There were also some participants that won some cool prizes like software from Tech4 Learning, astronaut cut-outs, and other Discovery gifts.   All in all it was a great day and it will be great to see what the Colorado  LC has in store next!

Colorado Tech or Treat

October 10th, 2011

The Leadership Council of Colorado is putting on an incredible, fun, and engaging event.
Discovery Education TECH or TREAT at Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Saturday, October 22, 2011 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM (MT)
Denver, CO
At this event, you will be able to network with many other educators that use or are interested in Discovery Education. There will be FOOD, Prizes, and free admission into the museum after the event.
Click on the link below to register for the event. I hope some of you will make the trip to Denver!


Teachers Burned out Already??

September 30th, 2011

It’s crazy to think about this, but the more and more that I work with teachers, the more burned out it seems they are. And it’s only October! My wife told me that a new teacher cries almost every night because he feels defeated every day and the effort put into the profession, just isn’t good enough. That doesn’t seem right to me….a first year teacher with all of the energy and optimism feeling like he can’t do anything right. Let’s go down the other road: 10 – 20 year veteran teachers just sick and tired of all the regulations. You have to teach 90 minutes of writing….80 minutes of reading…another 90 minutes of Math. And then maybe, just maybe you can squeeze in 15 minutes of Science and Social Studies. The problem is creativity is being drained. The love for teaching is being sucked out by assessing, assessing, testing, meeting, data, and more data. Data can be useful….but currently it is overkill! The solution? Take a good look at the Big Picture! (Where have I heard that before?) And what is that big picture? What is America supposed to be? In my mind a place where the individual has the opportunity to become whatever they want to become provided they put it in the time and effort and maybe even a little luck to succeed. Education is just like the NFL. Some people make it, others don’t. Some get injured and have to find another job. Students have to compete for their education. Students have to make up their mind to be motivated to do their homework, to read 20 minutes a night, to want to be the best in the classroom. Those who do, will succeed, those who don’t probably won’t. But that has nothing to do with a teachers ability. It’s time to take the pressure off the teacher and refocus that pressure back on the student. Thinking about pay for performance…try paying a student to perform, if that doesn’t motivate them, then they probably don’t care about being educated.

Kickin Off in Colorado

August 23rd, 2011

Well the school year has furiously began and teachers are in the full swing of educating their students. There is so much going on, especially in Fountain School District 8, that it is hard to keep up. There are at least three schools subscribed to Discovery Education and basically using it as their science curriculum. Most of you know that there is a big push in Colorado to try and get more and more activities started around the state. The leadership council met at the TIE conference in June as a way to get the LC going. One great way to stay in the loop and communicate with us to follow my Blog and post to it frequently. Drop me a line if you are a DEN Star and want to get more involved with Discovery ED!