The Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute is an amazing event. I returned from Burlington, VT, the site of DENSI2013, five days ago, and I am still sorting out my thoughts of all I learned, and catching up on some sleep. While the planned sessions take place from 8-5, the learning continues all day, and I didn’t want to miss a minute.
My mornings began with the DENSI Fit Club. I was joined by many educators who wanted to get in some exercise to begin the long days of learning. My fellow Fitters were the reason I woke up so early. I am so thankful for Kate, who taught me how to workout with a hula hoop. Karen, Lea Anne, Kyle, and Steve helped me chart the course for our culminating event, a DENSI Fit Club 5K.
After breakfast, the learning began. I attended Selena’s session on Evernote and learned all the ways it could be used in a classroom. Connie and DENnis taught me how to use green screen with an iPad. Kelly helped us connect to other teachers. Dave and Dave shared a lot of iPad apps for education and Tim educated us on ways to take and edit photos on an iOS device. Tracy taught me about Pecha kucha and Dean added to it with Pecha Flickr. Steve shared just a few of the things he did write about. I am excited to read the book! This list could go on.
The evening activities were just as educational. Working with Kelly, Jake, and Pete, I learned that I didn’t know how to work their GPS system in our DENmazing Race. And, I might mention, we did finish 3rd. Porter and Dean had us play music trivia, remembering the awesome songs that represent North America and pulling tv show theme songs from the recesses of my memory. Hall allowed us to try out his google glass, which was really cool!!
The best part of the DEN Summer Institute is connections I made with other educators from around North America. It didn’t matter where we were, we continually discussed education and how we can make it better. Whether hunting Champ, the Lake Monster, milking cows at Shelburne Farms, dancing to “Gangnam Style,” or donning a costume representing our home, student learning was at the center of our conversations. The educators I met are inspiring, and DENSI allowed me to learn more than I can express in this blog post.
Dean put it best in his closing when he shared five rules. In this, he told us to be silly and laugh everyday. This week definitely allowed us to laugh, a lot! My favorite rule is to show gratitude. So, I want to end with my thanks.
I am thankful for the opportunity that Discovery Education gave us. I was able to connect with educators that I have only seen virtually, through blogs, webinars, and tweets. A really big thanks to my road trip crew, Kelly, Kate, and Judy. The journey was so much fun. I cannot say thank you enough times to the Discovery Educator Network team! Porter, Lance, Steve, Kyle, Jannita, Dean, Chad, and Hall created an event that allowed us to connect and be celebrated for being educators. I am so grateful for being given the opportunity to learn from these amazing educators. Thank you to all my new friends!