What have you done today to make you feel proud?!

The 2006 DEN National Leadership Conference has come to a close.

This morning, we were treated to a showcase of the work that each team created over the course of the week — if this was a barometer of the success of the conference, then I can testify that it was a resounding hit.  From an incredibly poetic video about the National Parks, to a robust wiki page full of integrated resources (discoveramerica.wikispaces.com), I’m not exaggerating when I say that the projects the teams created were nothing short of astounding.  We’ll be packaging them up and creating a space on the website where the entire DEN can benefit from them.

The week was such a whirlwind that I haven’t had a chance yet to completely digest everything.  Although we had many ‘big moments’ this week – I think my favorite was a smaller one.   This morning, after the showcase was complete, Kathryn Staton called me over and, with the enthusiasm of a second grader who’d lost their first tooth, said "Betsy! You have to see my movie!!! I’ve never done this before!! Look what I did!!"   Her movie,  created in Adobe Premiere Elements, using clips from unitedstreaming with her own footage and voiceover, was fantastic.  She’d never used Elements before, never storyboarded, never created a movie.  And now, she’s a burgeoning Spielberg.  The look of pride on her face made me proud to call myself a member of the DEN. 

To all of the participants in the conference, I give you my warmest "Two finger salute." It was an honor getting to know you all this week and I can’t wait to see what we all will create together this year! 

What was your favorite moment of the week?!


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  1. Aaron Smith said:

    My favorite moments were when we got to share ideas with the presenters and each other. The workshops were great, but I think many of us learned a lot more from our one on one (or five on one) interactions with the presenters and each other.

    Most conferences I’ve attended didn’t give attendees time for things like that.

    DEN did.

  2. Donna Criswell said:

    I agree Aaron. The time given to learn, process, plan and play is a gift . It’s probably the reason why some of us panicked thinking we could never get the work done. We are rarely allowed the luxury of “play.”

    This was an AWESOME experience! I gained new friendships and lasting memories, not to mention some powerful new tips and techniques to bring back to my district!

  3. Tim Childers said:

    I have to admit, when I “signed up” for this conference, I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into, I just knew I had to do it! This has been probably the most awesome conference I have ever attended.

    From meeting Josh, hearing Alan, and watching China I have a difficult time picking a favorite moment. I guess I would have to say working with my team and the Discovery staff on our group project at Teddy Roosevelt Island was a highlight. I haven’t stayed up until 2 AM in a LONG time!

  4. Carole Gooden said:

    This was a wonderful conference. I agree with Tim, it has been very difficult for me to pick a favorite moment. The thing that sticks out in my mind was the eagerness of everybody to share what they knew.

    This was truly a forum where everybody was willing to recognize that each person had a unique strength, and so, in working on a group project, each person’s contribution was equally respected and valued. It is not often that you find such selfless collaboration among educators.

    Having participated in the project on Theodore Roosevelt, I returned home and read the July 3 edition of TIME magazine much more carefully. This was a special edition featuring Theodore Roosevelt,a larger than life American.

    I look forward to working with members of my team on future projects.

  5. Marie Belt said:

    I was so excited to be invited to the Leadership Conference! I couldn’t wait to attend!
    Then, the first day, my head was spinning! Wiki what? Podcast? Audacity? Zen? (I thought that was some “ultimate state of being”, but I guessed not in this context!) I wondered if I would make it through without making too much of a fool of myself!
    BUT, with the help of the trainers, and the never-ending patience of our group leaders and my team members, I actually made a project! Wow! And, on Friday, I actually knew what all of those terms meant! Even bigger WOW! The week was a fabulous learning experience with so many opportunities to learn…I was learning how to use a special effect in Powerpoint DURING the intermissions between project presentations on the last day!
    I had a great time, learned TONS, and established powerful relationships…Thanks, again, to everyone!

  6. Debbie Bohanan said:

    My favorite moment….wow, what a tough question. I really enjoyed Alan’s speech and it thrilled me that he loved my answer for the politicans on why we need technology. Since the conference, I have written letters to my politicans to stress the importance of technology in education. Hopefully they will listen.

    Hall inspired me to take my digital storytelling to the next level and I was thrilled with the FDR Photostory! Since the conference I have created another photostory on Cownose rays for the North Florida DEN event at the Devil’s Game on Friday July 21st.

    My favorite moment was seeing our project blend together. Each person’s part fit together like a puzzle and when we did our presentation, it felt like putting the final piece in place. I had a wonderful group and I can’t wait to see what we add to our project.

    Keep an eye on discoveramerica.wikispaces.com, it has the potential to grow into something global.

    Thanks for a wonderful experience that I will never forget!

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