For those of you that are acronym challenged, DEN NLC06
stands for "Discovery Educator Network National Leadership Conference
2006". The DEN has been using this as a tag for a variety of collaborative
websites, such as Flickr (search for the tag dennlc06). Also try Hitchhikr,
where you can ‘hitch’ a ride in someone’s conference (Again, look for DEN
NLC). Collaborative efforts such as these help to insure that the learning and sharing at any event will never be over!
Discovery Education Headquarters is an impressive building, but one of
my favorite parts about it is the Discovery blue hue lighting. Our
main room (and others in the complex) can be bathed in a blue hue, lit
from above. Here is one of 27 celing holes – the source of the blue
light. So under the blue hue, we’ve had quite a long and wonderful week at the NLC. One of the neatest treats
was a pre-screening of a new show that Discovery HD Theater will be airing in October.
This ambitious project is called Discovery Atlas, which aims to delve
into cultural, social and other diverse aspects of countries around the world.
We were able to watch the episode on China,
but they also have upcoming shows for Brazil,
Italy, Australia, France and India.
Besides the visual eye candy from the amazing clarity of high definition, Atlas
did a fabulous job of opening our eyes to the country and people of China. They
portrayed an optimistic future, but I couldn’t help but think of what that will
mean for the rest of the world in economics, resources, pollution and even
On that global theme, we also go to meet Josh – the Discovery Educator Abroad. He shared
with us his travels to the Pacific Rim, rife
with all of his hopes, fears, anxieties and outlook. One of Josh’s main
messages was to get out and do it.
Obviously, this applied to hangliding and sheep-shearing for him, but it
translates nicely to education as well: ignore any of your hesitations and do
what you know is best for education! This sentiment was also echoed by Alan November the next day. But
first, he scared us a little into thinking hard about the need for technology
in education. What I took out of this exercise was that technology is the means
to access communication and information in the world. Thus, it is critical for
our students to be literate in this globally important medium. Need some summer
reading? November recommends these titles: The
World is Flat, A
Whole New Mind, and Blink.
Just as a side note, one of the more fascinating things all week was something I found at
a bowling alley. On our last night, we were treated to a fun night of bowling
at Strike Bethesda.
While bowling was tremendously fun, the neatest thing was that each lane
clocked the speed of your ball! Of course, this tickles my science fancy, and I
instantly had a goal to have the fastest and slowest ball (forget how many pins
I could knock over!). DEN member Chris
Craft and I had great fun with this, and he had the fastest ball.
(posted by guest blogger Brian Bartel)