On Saturday, October 15th, Discovery Education hosted the largest Discovery Educator Network (DEN) event, in the nation. The “DEN Launch Event” served as California’s DEN members first opportunity to gather together and be connected with California’s best resources in education—each other. Today, they represented what is right in education– dedicated teachers willing to sacrifice their entire Saturday to network and learn new and innovative ways to infuse technology into current California adopted curriculum to meet the needs of today’s digital generation.
Although, registration did not begin until 8:30 a.m. and our official program until 9 a.m., teachers began to file into the auditorium at 8:10 a.m. I think we were all caught off guard by the enthusiasm of these dedicated teachers on a Saturday morning.
Carissa and Alex worked the registration table as California DEN members continued pouring through the gates. When the arrived they received name tags, lanyards, padfolios, lapel pins, and flash drives. Then, they entered the auditorium where monkeys suspended by balloons hung over tables and a continental breakfast waited.
By 9 a.m. approximately 120 DEN Members and special guests (including Fontana Board Members; Dorothy Grant, the school’s name sake; Lucille Renwich, editor of Digital Discovery; and Steve Finch, unitedstreaming sales for the West Coast) had filled the room. Hall Davidson, manager of DEN West Coast delivered a dynamic keynote on technology integration and gave us the kick start we needed to begin a day of networking and professional development.
Sessions began at 10:15 and teachers traveled through four 50 minute sessions in grade level clust ers. Brian Talmadge, a 5th grade DEN teacher from LaMesa Spring Valley School District, kept teachers laughing as they learned how to create movie stars in themselves and their students.
Jan Wee, DEN manager in Wisconsin, inspired the teachers by showing how unitedstreaming could be integrated with the Software. She also held a raffle, giving away gift cards and t-shirts, in each session. Inspiration
Kimberly Smith, Discovery Education’s Product Developer, held a session that gave educators a sneak peek of what will be coming soon to the face of unitedstreaming. In this session, teachers were also able to share how they integrate unitedstreaming and to make suggestions for what they desire from the program.
We had an hour break in the middle, where teachers were able to relax and enjoy a Mexican Style Lunch, which included beef and chicken fajitas, tortillas, rice, beans, chips and salsa. During lunch we showed Discovery Education’s commercial featuring new programs such as Discovery Health Connection and Discovery Learning Connection.
Teachers let out moans when their numbers weren’t called and cheered their winning collegues, during our raffle. Several winners received various hard copy products (cd roms, videos, books), computer bags, Inspiration software and t-shirt, and the long sought after monkey centerpieces.
During the final session of the day, Hall Davidson and I were able to personally visit each session, thank the teachers for their continued dedication, award them plaques,
and send the educators off with one final gift.
For me, it was an exciting day filled with finally putting faces with names. I enjoyed listening to the buzz in the sessions and hallways as teachers collaborated across grade levels, schools, and districts. I am so proud to represent these dynamic teachers in our Discovery Educator Network. California is lucky to have these innovative and dedicated teachers.
I would also like to send BIG THANK YOU to Dorothy Grant Elementary and Fontana Unified School District for their continued dedication to infusing technology in their curriculum and support to the Discovery Educator Network.
So… that sums up my thoughts of the day. Now, let’s hear yours! What did you enjoy most? What was your favorite session? Were you able to make connection with other DEN members?