DENSI 2013 Share Out

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Jeannine on 31-07-2013

DEN Summer Institute 2013 – Unimaginable, Indescribable, Unforgettable

There is a line in a movie about defining who the cast is and they discover that each of them is A Brain, An Athlete, A Basket Case, A Princess, and A Criminal. But together they will always be The Breakfast Club. It’s funny. Discovery Education sort of reminds me of that. Individually we have our strengths and our flaws. Together we are powerful and wonderful. Look at what was accomplished on Sunday (the packing of 200 meals for those in need in roughly 20 minutes). We each have our own personalities but together we make one incredible group. There is nothing like #DENSI. I am grateful to have attended a few of such gatherings. Each one different. Each one memorable. Each one fantastic. But there was something about this year that made it just magical. Maybe it was the sense of anger and hurt and frustration that so many teachers have experienced this year. Taking a few days to feel valued, appreciated, energized, laugh, sing, learn, lean, and bond. Thank you DEN Team for putting together such a wonderful week. People talk about the small change that one person can make. Let’s think about the large change that Discovery Education can make in the world of education. 150 educators gathered. They were inspired. They experienced “Joy”. They will bring that experience back to their mini-worlds and share that Joy and Experience. How many students and staff members will be on the receiving end of the wonders that were our individual experiences at DENSI2013. The ripple affect will be great. I can’t wait to read the Twitters, blogs, and see the photos that will be generated during this the 2013-2014 school year because of DENSI2013. Thank you!


Now for my recap brief recap of the week. Without being a fly on the wall there is no way to allow you into the fabulousity that is DENSI. But hopefully some of these notes will help others to gain a new perspective or a little more insight into how their classrooms can be enriched. Some notes are longer. Some notes are shorter. Some topics I was familiar with. Others were new to me. The cool thing is you come away with at least something from each session created by these caring educators. Thank you all for sharing.


DENSI2013 – Day 1, Friday

  • Beautiful drive
  • Lunch with Katie Searcy, Katie Warren, Paula Naugle, Margie Rogers, Carolyn Rains
  • Checked in
  • Met DENnis, Tim, Brandon from the Ferry
  • Parched quick visit to shell – water
  • Preconference dinner
  • DENLC Precon kickoff unconference topic suggestions –
    • My topic submisstion – DEN birthday celebrations to build community
  • Walmart debacle (turtle paced checkout)
  • Den teacher summer camp party

Day 1 Photo Recap

 DENSI2013 – Day 2, Saturday

  • Woke up to once again sharing with my wonderful roomie, Paula Naugle
  • Unconference Day – a day of unstructured planning for continuing the DEN. A day of unstructured learning about topics that interested LC members.
  • Dinner at Skinny Pancake with Paula
  • Walk along the beautiful Burlington boardwalk

Day 2 Photo Recap

 DENSI2013 – Day 3, Sunday

  • Community Service Project

Others helped pack 200 lunches for local Burlington families. I helped assemble cards that were included.

  • Spread the DEN

The T-shirts we purchased help raise $850 for the Purple Feet Foundation

  • Impromtu Fieldtrip to Ben and Jerry’s
  • Press Photos
  • BBQ – a great meet and greet
  • Kristin Wilcox from North America shared her story
  • Chompie and Lance shared some news
  • Team Meetings
  • WDEN news worthy moment … creating the news?

Day 3 Photo Recap 

DENSI2013 – Day 4, Monday

Day 4 Photo Recap

DENSI2013 – Day 5, Tuesday

  • Keynote – Richard Byrne
  • Mobile Magic with DE – Robin Martin
  • Exploring Edmodo – Selena Ward
  • Saw a few overwhelmed faces so I decided to hang out by the Fireside Lounge. Tweeted out my location in case anyone wanted to pull back a minute and connect.
  • How to Hook Em…. Engaging Science Demonstrations
  • Name That Tune
  • DENmazing Race
  • DEN summer camp activities

 Day 5 Photo Recap

DENSI2013 – Day 6, Wednesday

  • Keynote – Hall Davidson – The New 3 R’s (Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and QR Codes)
  • Getting your Google Certification Going – Cheryl Lykowski
  • Oh the Places You’ll Go for Free PD – Chad Lehman
  • Let Them Be Heard – Leanne Daughrity
  • Dinner with @plnaugle and @techynana

Day 6 Photo Recap

DENSI2013 – Day 7, Thursday

DENSI2013 – Day 8, Friday

  • UnClosing – Interested individuals stood up to reflect on a great part of this week
  • Dean Shareski – Whatever Happened to Joy
  • Dried our tears and moved on to bring our joy and passion back to our respective buildings
  • Since my husband wasn’t expected to arrive until 8:00 pm. I offered to run Paula Naugle and Monique Liles to the airport. Just couldn’t say goodbye. Thankfully we can stay connected through the DEN and social media. So my parting words were “Catch ya on the Web”.
  • Came back to claim my items from the dorm room and check out.
  • Offered if anyone else needed a ride since I had extra time. This turned out great. Stephanie Bass who otherwise would have spent hours sitting at the airport came and had lunch with me. Then we walked along the beautiful water’s edge. On our walk we ran into Bridget who joined us. Then we ran into Jill, Carlos, and Casey exploring. We all gathered for a cool drink at Splash. A perfect way to spend the afternoon.
  • Drove Stephanie and Carlos to the airport.
  • Went to await my husband’s arrival so that my summer vacation could begin now that DEN Summer Camp had concluded.


Please can I come back next year!!??!!?? And just for good measure as my Dad use to say, “Pretty please with sugar on top.”

More notes to come. Just realized a few are in a different medium.



Grateful to Have Discovered Discovery

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Jeannine on 28-07-2013

A blog post will follow soon regarding this latest Discovery Experience – DENSI.  But as I reflect on DENSI I can’t help but be grateful for the larger experience of The DEN.

Connected Educators has been a hot topic the last few months. Funny thing is connected educators have been around for much longer than that. There were teachers that met collaboratively face to face for years and years. Then the digital age rolled in. Email, forums, Twitter, Facebook, and more helped teachers to connect. There has been discussion about assisting teachers and students to access the web in more cost effective manners. Yes, please. I am blessed. I am connected through the web. Not everyone is so lucky. This should become a universal right for all. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with web capabilities.

Several years ago, I discovered a product called United Streaming. It was brought to our school via channel Thirteen. As the technology person in the building the then assistant principal gave me the school account to explore. I found you could add other teachers for free as long as my colleagues used a code from Thirteen. Yay, once shown many were hooked. What fabulous resources awaited. Then progress down my digital time-line a little and you will fall on the day I shed tears for the death of a web tool. When I could no longer log into United Streaming the withdrawal symptoms came on quickly. Luckily, being connected as I was through Twitter, I found out we could pay to keep the tool. Then our district restructured itself and the value of the product was seen. United Streaming was funded for those that were interested. I tried my tears and signed up quickly. Along the way professional development came to our district on how to better use the tool. Around the same time The Discovery Educator Network was forming. The trainer explained the concept as best as she could and encouraged us to register for free. I did so. I communicated. I learned. I developed. I grew. I connected. I made friends. I attended events. I flourished. I agreed to assist. I took on leadership roles. I attended more events.

I got married. I didn’t attend. I got sad (love my husband immensely but missed my DEN family). I watched everyone else connecting and sharing.

I began attending again. I had a blast. I learned much more. I grew much more. I shared much more than before. I built a personal learning network. It’s that PERSONAL word in there that means so much. People I have “met” virtually and met in the real world have become part of my world. It overlaps now between my digital world and my personal world. I happen to have the pleasure of working with a few DEN stars in my district. I connect with DEN stars around the country (and now internationally). Over the years we have become a family. I know, it sounds like when a TV show cast is interviewed and they say “we really are a family.” With the DEN, this is not said lightly. This is said factually. We support each other. We miss each other. We help each other. We help each other grow. We love. And we love whole heartedly. The DEN is amazing. The DEN is indescribable.

I don’t believe there really is an adequate way to describe to those that are not part of the DEN what it truly is. In 2011 several attempted with this video:

My clearest nutshell definition would be –

The Discovery Educator Network is a group of like minded educators who are brought together by the power of Discovery Education to collaborate, learn, and lead together. It brings opportunities to try new technologies to better support the needs of students and teachers in the process of acquiring the necessary skills to succeed.


Notice that I said Nutshell Definition. The DEN is so much more. It is camaraderie. It is inclusive. It is the most outstanding network to be a member of. We are proud to stand up and say, “I am a part of the DEN.” This happens by choice after amazing experiences. Recently I heard about a certain technology company that gave lots of devices to educators. How nice. Then you find out perhaps the technology given was a cast off. Things that make you go hmmm. With Discovery Education it isn’t about the tangible gifts (although yes, I love my Discovery Educator Network baseball cap), it is about much more intrinsic notions. It is the sense of value that each of us are given. We are each rewarded with love and connection.

There was a contest to earn a “Got Den?” T-shirt. The important part is not the t-shirt it was the fun for those earning them. There is much joy in looking back at the pictures. Discovery Education does not just hand us devices. It hands us thoughts and ideas and skills to make our teaching better.

To all those that are part of my PLN and DENLN thank you. To those at the Discovery Education Team that we love so much. Porter, Lance, Hall, Steve, Kyle, Matt, Patti, and the whole team – thank you for providing us with the DEN and our digital family.