Archive for Education

Feb 24

The Kansas Discovery Education Network Leadership Council wants to invite all DEN STARS and fellow teachers to the 2015 MACE Conference educational “Discovery” gathering. The LC is looking to promote this global community through conversation shaped around your needs for professional development connecting various aspects of Discovery Education. Check out the Thinglink embed for various resources available to all educators as well as items specific to Discovery Education users. These are just a few of the discussion points we will be facilitating.

The educational “Discovery” event will be hosted at the Bluemont Hotel in Manhattan, Kansas on Thursday, March 12th from 6pm to 8pm. This time frame allows for all MACE Conference participants to walk down to the hotel following the day’s events. Please see the map below for location of the Bluemont Hotel.

To register for the Kansas Discovery Education Leadership Council’s Educational “Discovery” event visit our Wufoo form. We look forward connecting with our fellow Kansas DEN educators!

Jun 17

DENapalooza logo The Kansas DEN Leadership Council wants to invite all Discovery Education subscribers and STAR educators to participate in DENapalooza Wichita.

On Saturday, August 23, Discovery Education will be offering a FREE day of professional development and connecting with your peers at Challenger Middle School in Goddard, KS. The day will start at 9am with formal presentations from the DEN team and selected session presenters. If you are interested in presenting at DENapalooza Wichita submit your session by completing this form. Lunch time will provide opportunities to connect with other participants. The afternoon’s format will be in an unconference style. Sessions may be led by DEN STARS, Gurus, and DEN team members. Please keep in mind, even though the event is scheduled to end at 3:30pm, the learning and connections made at DENapalooza Wichita will be an ongoing collaboration. To continue the collaboration, the KS LC is looking to develop other events to go along with the 2014-2015 school year events the DEN have already planned.

Please be sure to register as tickets are going quickly for DENapalooza Wichita. The KS LC and DEN team look forward to seeing everyone in Goddard!

Jun 07

Please allow me to introduce myself, my name is Dean Mantz. I have been teaching since 1994 in Central Kansas. My connection to Discovery Education goes back to the early days of the DEN and United Streaming. The DEN has been a major player in how I taught my history classes and developed as an educator as well as an adjunct professor. To pay forward those benefits, I joined a small group of Kansas educators and started the state’s first Leadership Council. After helping establish the LC in Kansas, I applied to be a Discovery Education Guru and was blessed by being selected in 2011.

In being a member of the DEN Guru family, I have been asked to contribute to this series of “If you give a DEN Guru an iPad…” blogs. I hope that my contribution introduces something new and beneficial for each of you reading this post. So, lets dive in and start off with some of my iPad accessories. I have shared them in this picture.

When looking to step away from my busy schedule I will attempt to relax using a variety of iOS apps. The first of three I would like to highlight is known as Fit It. Fit It is an puzzle game consisting of multiple levels of difficulty. The puzzle provides multiple shapes that you must arrange into a square in finding the solution. As you attempt to solve each puzzle music can be played from your own downloads or from a selection with the game itself.
Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 12.41.54 AMThe second app for relaxing or listening to while working around the house is TuneIn Radio. This Internet based radio station app’s content is growing rapidly. I will use it to listen to sports talks shows or hearing music played from local radio stations while miles, if not states away from home.
The final app is an option that most iOS users have at their disposal. Can you guess it? Yep, iBooks. What other way is a refreshing way to escape other than reading your favorite author or technology tool how-to book.

As an educator that appreciates his PLN and loves learning from others, I have found numerous apps for students and teachers to adopt at all levels. The first one I always recommend is Notability. This app is an oldie but a goodie! For those of you not familiar with the app, think of a LiveScribe pen but functioning within an iPad. The app records audio and correlates it with your notes. Notes can be either typed or handwritten. If you are really good, try designing visual notes while recording the audio. But the app does not stop there. You can export the audio and notes and share with others, organize all notes in folders for organization, and import student work enabling feedback to be sent back to them. My second education app comes from my early classroom days. It is an excellent US Geography app that provides current events briefs, US regional information and interactive games for students. Do those descriptions have you thinking? Let me give you one more hint, it was developed by those that drive our PLN. Correct….Discovery Education’s own US Geography app. Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 12.53.57 AM

Discovery Education's US Geography The next app is one of my favorite for screen casting. Knowmia’s app “Teach” is a great option for those unable to purchase Explain Everything but want features apps like Educations, ScreenChomp, and ShowMe does to provide. It is my opinion the best two features in Knowmia’s app are webcam recording and the ability to import and play videos. Now, if these options have you interested in learning more about “Teach”, I encourage you to watch the overview video by iPadagogy.

Finally, I would like to leave everyone with an iPad typing tip that is not as commonly known as folks may believe. This tutorial video addresses some hidden options that one may display by holding down the period key on an iOS keyboard.

May 05

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Apr 28

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Apr 23

See on Scoop.itEDUcational Chatter

Dean Mantz‘s insight:

I have just began testing this recommendation by Richard Byrne on Free Technology 4 Teachers.  But in the time I have taken to test the web resource, I have found it to live up to the billing of syncrhonizing notes to the video.  Now the video used was from YouTube and the site does have an option for other videos.  So, I will be looking further into what other video sources it will work with while synchronizing one’s notes to Google Drive. 

See on

Apr 22

See on Scoop.itEDUcational Chatter

Dean Mantz‘s insight:

I realize this post from Nik Peachey is dated November 2011 but it does still connect with learing in 2013.  I find some of the recommended sites valuable options for those of us that facilitate online courses whether it is for K12, post secondary, or graduate students.  


Among the 10 tools listed by Nik I am most interested in reviewing and  Here are Nik’s descriptions for the two sites:


You can use Vyou embed a video booth that students can go at any time of day to ask you questions. The video booth gives the impression that you are always available and builds some presence on your course. The messages students send you are delivered to an inbox and you are notified so that you can answer them. Vyou also has a very handy mobile app so you can answer the questions where ever you are on your iPhone or other mobile device.

Tricider is a great tool for crowd sourcing opinion. You start with a single question problem and then you or your students can add possible solutions to the problem. Students can also add some pros and cons to the solutions and vote on the ones they prefer. These can be embedded into webpages and can give far more structure to online discussion than things like threaded forums which often become garbled and confusing.

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Apr 21

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Apr 17

See on Scoop.itEDUcational Chatter

Dean Mantz‘s insight:

In looking to continue the improvement of my own classroom instruction, whether it be with pre-service students or professional development sessions, I am always looking our for insightful Blooms Taxonomy approaches.  This post from Learning Solutions Magazine contains a well constructed event map.  Within the map one will find knowledge components mapped to presentation types that are then matched up with procedural and declartive assessment methods.  

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Apr 16

See on Scoop.itEDchat

Dean Mantz‘s insight:

This new twist by Wikispaces looks quite promising when it comes to a more interactive and learning management type of environment.  Wikispaces Classroom allows for the integration of News Feeds, Projects section, Assessment piece, and more.  For those of us already using Wikispaces we can migrate our current wikis into a Classroom format by completing the process through the settings area.


Finally, be sure to visit the Wikispaces blog daily and further details and assistance is shared regarding Wikispaces Classroom.   

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