Midwest Batting Practice

DEN Batter SwingThe Midwest is 4th in the race for the Spring Training Pennant.  We’ve got a great schedule ahead, with several large events, but as my coach always said, “practice makes perfect”.   To kick it up a notch, I’ve schedule some “Batting Practice” webinars.  Here’s what you do:

  1. Pick a Tuesday afternoon practice from the below list.
  2. Talk it up in the teacher’s lounge, over lunch or after-school.
  3. Register those interested or just your self using below links.
  4. Get that group together in a lab, around a computer or in a room with a digital projector.  (Make sure there’s a speakerphone)
  5. Hand them off to me for a quick (30 minute) DEN overview.
  6. Record those recruits.
  7. Reap reward, Official DEN Jersey.

 Batting Practice Schedule(Click time to register) 

May 6 2:30 PM Central 3:30 PM Central 

May 13 2:30 PM  Central 3:30 PM Central

May 20 2:30 PM Central 3:30 PM Central

May 27  2:30 PM Central 3:30 PM Central

June 3 2:30 PM Central 3:30 PM Central 

Contact me if you have any questions, michael_bryant@discovery.com  

Kankakee’s King Middle to Visit Discovery

 School Bus 

DEN STAR Educator Tracy Selock and 20 5th graders from King Middle School in Kankakee School District 111 will visit our Evanston, IL office on Friday, May 9.  Mrs. Selock’s class will present their digital stories and web2.0 projects to Discovery Education employees.  Following their presentations and lunch, the troop will head into downtown Chicago to spend the afternoon in the Shedd Aquarium

Tracy has been a DEN STAR Educator for over a year, attended the Berkeley 2007 DEN Institute and has been selected to attend the 2008 DEN National Institute in Silver Spring, MD.  We look forward to the class visit and can’t wait to see the presentations. 

If you’d like to see the presentations live, click here at 11:00 AM CDT on May 9 to view or use below window. 

Hamilton Lunch & Learn

I head over to Hamilton, MI on May 7 to join DEN STAR Andy Losik and over a hundred other future DEN STAR educators for a full day of professional development.  Hamilton Community Schools will be hosting the event, with Discovery Education sponsoring a “Lunch & Learn” session.  

I’ll be presenting an overview of the DEN, with teasers of what’s available when you become a DEN STAR.  My challenge/bet for them:

Challenge 1 (Reward: 1/2 day of training for district)

50% of attendees become DEN STAR Educators by May 14

Challlenge 2 (Reward: full day of training for district)

100% of attendees become DEN STAR Educators by May 21 


Follow this Step-by-Step Become a DEN STAR Educator Guide to become a DEN STAR Educator today.

In addition to the above challenges, I’m offering a follow-up webinar to DEN STARs only within the district.  Click here to register.

If you’d like to host a “Lunch & Learn” or take part in a similar challenge within your district, contact me michael_bryant@discovery.com.

World Feel a Little Green Today?


Did you wake up a little greener today? Maybe? Today we celebrate Earth Day. People across the globe will refrain from flicking that cigarette butt out there car window on to the highway. The buses and trains will be a little more crowded than usual. You’ll bring your own organic cotton bags to the grocery store. You might even buy that stainless steel $20.00 coffee mug at Starbucks for your Caramel Macchiato instead of using their disposable cup. Will you keep the same habits tomorrow? How about the next day? Will doing any of the above help the environment?I’m not sure exactly what I should be doing as a responsible inhabitant of this lovely planet. I thought bringing my amazing Discovery Educator Network Water Bottle to work instead of buying the bottled stuff was enough. Apparently, I have much to learn. Good thing there’s a place I can go to learn more about being eco-friendly, the Chicago Green Festival.The Chicago Green Festival runs May 17 – 18 at Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Avenue.

Celebrating what’s working in our communities, green festival showcases more than 350 diverse local and national green businesses displaying and selling eco-friendly, fair trade and sustainable products. More than 150 visionary speakers appear for standing-room-only panel discussions, presentations and main stage speaking events.

Attention DEN STAR Educators!Join me on Saturday, May 17 for the Chicago Green Festival at Navy Pier. I’ll be there all day learning how to become eco-friendly, while eating a few cheeseburgers from “The Billy Goat Tavern“. To make it even more interesting, how about a few contests.

  1. The district that brings the most Future DEN STAR Educators, will win a half-day professional development session for that district. A prize worth $1,250.
  2. The DEN STAR Educator that brings the most Future DEN STARs will receive a gift bag full of Green items.
  3. Take the contest into your class. Chance to win a $1,000 grant from GM and Discovery Education. You must be a middle school teacher. Details are below.

GM & Discovery Education: Live Green Teacher Grants

Please register below and make sure you register a colleague. Families are welcome to join us, but please only register educators below. Space is limited to 60 so register soon.We will plan to meet at 9:30 AM in front of Navy Pier at the Navy Pier Fountain. You’ll receive updates via email as the date draws near.Powered by Wufoo

Macomb ISD “Advanced DE streaming” Webinar

Webinar A huge thank you to all that participated in the webinar this afternoon.  Great group with great questions and I look forward to working with them as Discovery Educator Network STAR members, as they are all logging on now and registering.  (here’s the link in-case you’ve misplaced it)    I have to give a shout out to Frank Miracola with the Macomb ISD and my teammate  Matt Monjan, without their work today’s  webinar would not have been possible.  Matt’s work on the streaming A-Z blog is jam packed full of DE streaming tips and tricks, including information from today’s “The Rise of The Video Game” webinar.  The “Earth Day” assignment can be found here, on the Digital Passport’s blog.  This blog is all about web2.0; specifically web2.0 apps we find useful for educators.   The assignment incorporates VoiceThread, the site we discussed during the webinar and incorporated into the Writing Prompt.   Below you will find links to the powerpoint, the entire archived webinar from today and a quick, 5 minute overview of voicethread.  I’ve also placed links for some powerpoint sharing websites other than slideshare

 Building a Bigger Builder 

 PowerPoint Presentation


Archived Entire Webinar 

Macomb ISD Advanced DE streaming Webinar 04/09/2008 


 5 Minute VoiceThread Overview

Quick video overview using Jing on Voicethread.com


Slideshare.net alternatives 


Remember if you have any questions please contact me and if you’re in the Macomb area, look for more information from Frank Miracola for a professional development opportunity in August. 

Earth Day with voicethread & Discovery Education streaming

 Planet Earth

The World is Just Awesome!!

Lets not trash it, heat it up or waste it.  Look around you.  Look around class, the school, the community and your own home.  How can you make a difference?  Get a little info by watching, reading and listening to others.  The share your thoughts.  The only wrong answer is no answer.

I created an assignment in Discovery Education streaming for Earth Day.  I also incorporated the use of a great site, voicethread.com.  If you haven’t heard of it check out the assignment below by clicking on the link.

Teacher Printable Version: Earth Day streaming and voicethread assignment

Student Link to Discovery Education streaming Student Center.

Direct VoiceThread link.

Teacher Notes

Extension Hands-on: Trash sorting Lab
Never heard of it? It’s simple. Collect trash for a few days. (Important: No animal by-products! Don’t want to send anyone to the emergency room. Plant material perfectly ok, but put that left over pot roast in Fido’s bowl or simply another trash bag) Bring trash bag into school and have students sort it. You can give them sorting categories or even better have them come up with their own. Also throw in come process skills here, how do you measure how much? Let them figure it out.
Main Point: A lot trash, well just isn’t. How much(grams, volume, other) needs to go to the landfill?
Extension Media:
Got DE Streaming Plus? Have them watch a Planet Earth segment. The world rocks. Any will do, but “The Future” one is on topic. Don’t have DE Streaming PLUS.

Psst!! You can become a STAR Discovery Educator and get it for free through the end of this school year.  No really, just another benefit of being a STAR. Find out how here.