DEN Summer Institute 2010

I attended my first DEN Summer Institute last week at Bentley University in MA. Met many amazing educators (DEN Stars!) and learned a great deal.  Lodge McCammon‘s all day workshop taught me many new (and simple) ways to use video (Flip cameras) with my students. Can’t wait to have them create their first Paper Slide video or act out a math concept. I am working on finding lower elementary songs to use in concept music videos Lodge Style. Had a great time making the video on Plant Cells with the whole group.

Matt Monjan did a great job showing us all the new features of the Discovery Education website, especially the Builder Tools. I look forward to using the Assignment Builder, Quiz Builder, and Writing Prompt Builder with my class this year. I had fun showing these features to some teachers this morning and it was fun to watch their amazement and excitement at using these tools. One of the teachers kept texting another teacher while we were talking to share the site with her.

I enjoyed meeting Peter Reynolds and visiting his Fablevision studio. The Fablevision website has many wonderful resources for educators. There are Flash versions of some stories as well as a free download of Benjamin’s Bowtie in the Fable Library. He was nice enough to autograph a copy of So Few of Me for each of us. He also autographed my copy of The Dot that I brought along. His books are perfect springboards for lessons on creativity and caring and it will be fun to plan lessons around them.

Hall Davidson joined us later in the week and shared Web 2.0 tools and great tips for making movies with Green Screen and DE Streaming. His presentations are always filled with many great tips/ideas/websites.  I enjoyed talking to him about the ways I have used Green Screen with my 2nd graders.

We used Edmodo as a backchannel during the Institute and it was a great way to learn how to use this tool. We had fun putting up polls, questions, links and images. It still is being used by the DEN Summer Institute attendees to share our trips home, reflections, ideas, links.

Loved all the free stuff – Discovery Blanket, Book signed by Peter Reynolds, DE T-shirt and Glogster T-shirt, great note cards from Florida (Thanks Francie), Hyperstudio, etc.

I enjoyed this first DEN Summer Institute and hope to attend again in the future. I know many people put in a great deal of time to make it happen and I am very thankful. I met Lance Rougeux and many of the DEN leaders for the first time and am impressed by their hard work and leadership. Lance and the  DEN crew were there to make sure we had a wonderful and educational experience. They were amazing!

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