My DENtastic Adventure, @DENSI2014.
I find that I do not know where to begin? My adventure started with deciding to create a video application for DENSI 2014 and getting the nod to attend DENSI 2014. I had not attended a DENSI since Berkeley University in 2007. I had no idea what to expect, the changes were mind blowing.
First the number of attendees was double, so many experts in one place. I was a little apprehensive as I disembarked the airplane but that was almost immediately lifted on my arrival at the airport. Meeting with other DENSI2014 Stars I immediately felt at home. I really felt at ease with Kelly Hammond, Mike Sandage & Katy Lakes.
Matt Graves our ride to Vanderbilt University, he welcomed us with open arms. I am so grateful for his insight. In the dorms Amy Dent remembered me from Berkeley in 2007 when we were teammates. I really knew then that this was going to only get better, and it did. By the end of the first day I was inspired, I wanted to learn all I could. I knew that if I could implement some of the amazing ideas I could make my classroom an amazing adventure for students to learn.
So many passionate educators presenting sessions; sharing their knowledge, the keynote speakers with words that moved me to tears, yet also made me appreciate that I am an educator. I felt empowered to continue my journey. Stretching myself beyond what I thought I could every do. I downloaded apps, tweeted through twitter, recorded videos & audio, then began to write lots of notes. I enjoyed every minute of the DENmazing Race (having the gnome), DENovator Faire, the costume themed evening was priceless!! It will take weeks for me to sort through it all, but my goal this year is to take what I have learned and pay it forward.
Sitting on the plane I began to feel a sense of missing something, and that was all of YOU. I felt I was part of something much bigger than myself, that together we are strong/support network. My PLN will include so many people, that can answer questions when I feel I need a advice or direction.
The small tidbits that I take away are:
Greg Siers- Follow your Passion
Jannita-”Be a Problem Solver”
Dr. Lodge-Keep lectures efficient & effective condenses content
Steve Dembo – MakeyMakey kits-3D Printers
Andrew Bellow-students need to question, think, and act, because questions are the new answers.
Kathy Schrock-Activators & Stimulators
Now that I am home I am taking some action. Yesterday I approached my administration about getting the science teachers in my school to be DEN Stars this year, just for starters. I want to do Professional Development to get more teachers using boardbuilder, SOS Strategies and many other DE resources. My students will be the test group this year for the ipad lab, I want to start using the numerous apps that I discovered during the week – aurasma, green screening, audionote, and so many more.
I have to say that I now know what a great Professional Development looks like. I know what it is to be a DEN star. I know it is okay to take what the DEN offers without worrying about what can I do to contribute. I know that I can contribute in small ways. I know I can ask for help when I need to. I feel like I am energized to take on the new year with all its challenges; and when I feel that doubt creeping in I can look back at DENSI2014 and know I can make it through the tough times. I AM NOT ALONE.
Thanks for the memories!!