Build a Bridge with Local Media

March 5th, 2013

As much as we tend to think the media is out to get us in education, I am believing more and more in the power of building relationships and that the media will be just as eager to cover positive stuff happening if they are alerted with enough lead time.

I recently reached out to our local ABC affiliate because I have become friends over the years with one of their reporters. Another one of their anchors has a son who is a classmate of my daughter. We asked them if they would be interested in being part of our lip dub project and they were very excited to get involved.

We were able to incorporate them into the actual story of the lip dub and they aired a “making of” and an “It’s live” set of pieces about the project. They posted our final project and then sent it out across social media.

Whether you have any previous  personal connections to local media or not, social media makes them extremely accessible. It never hurts to ask if they want to get involved.

I created a page on my classroom blog that contains some background on the final project, bonus stills from the production as well as both packages they aired.

So great to be back in the DEN!

March 4th, 2013

Back to Discovery feels so good!

It is go great to be back as a full-fledged member of the Discovery Educator Network…although it feels like I never really left.

You see, a couple of years ago our school district left Discovery because was offering its services for free. I won’t say anything about the other service but I speak for more than myself when I say we sorely missed all Discovery Streaming and this community offers. Shortly before the switch every one of our elementary teachers in four buildings were collaborating to point all had reached STAR status.

Even though I no longer had access to the “official” DEN materials and opportunities, I still had access to the people. Dennis Grice and Ken Shelton are two of the closest friends I met at the DEN Summer Institute in Silver Spring in 2008 and I knew that Carol Anne McGuire and Paula White and Emma Haygood who I met that summer were always just a tweet or email away. These people make up the core of the lifeline my Personal Learning Network provides me. I never lost them.

As my career has expanded beyond just teaching into the consulting realm, the combination of great product and great people is why I often recommend to schools I help that they look at Discovery Education. This summer  I had the unique opportunity to work with the Fusion Academies in California. Their unique one teacher to one student  approach seemed tailor made for the ways Discovery products can meet individual needs. It felt really great to log back into Discovery Education as member of the Fusion team and then show them all of the great digital assets as well as the great people waiting to help them grow. I am hoping I can log in to Discovery soon as a member of my regular district.

I have applied for the Summer Institute this July in Vermont. I am longing for a week where I can dive back in over my head connecting with fantastic educators. Fingers are crossed! No matter what happens with that application, there is always this forum for connecting.