My experience with DEN and the National Conference is one I will never forget! In my almost 24 years in education, I’ve been to lots of conferences and had my share of professional development, and none can compare to this week in Silver Spring/Washington, D.C. with the Discovery Educator’s Network.
The week was filled with information concerning new technologies from podcasting and blogging to movie making with PhotoStory and Premiere. The sharing and learning of this information was a true integration process. For those of you that know about “active learning,” this week followed that style. We learned how and why to use these programs and products in the classroom or for staff development. In teams, our mission was to create a project based on the theme “America Revealed.” Not only do I plan to stay in touch with the national DEN members, but especially my team. Vicki, Jeff, Carole, Tim, Jan, Dawn and our travel leader Matt are a group of very special people!!!
The speakers for the week were Ron Reed and Coni Rechner from Discovery, who told us where DEN is and will be going; Steve Dembo with topics on podcasting and blogging; Hall Davidson on Digital Storytelling (variety and ways to use it); Josh Wolff “Discovery Educator Abroad” and Alan November, “world known futurist.”
We were privileged to get a special viewing of an upcoming special on China. Discovery Network did an awesome job showing us what life is like in present day China. As I saw the way the people of China were moving forward especially in education, the hairs on my neck stood on end! It was a wonderful video, and there are more countries in the series. Look for the first one in September!
All of this learning was exhilarating, but we all had a blast with the evening events and field trips. The evening events began Monday night when we all arrived. The “meet and greet” was so relaxing as each DEN field manager made sure we all met each other and felt at home. The next night we went on a Midnight Tour of Washington, D.C. There’s nothing like having a tour guide to show you the sights, which were stunning! Wednesday night was our special showing of the China film. I’m ready to do my part to get the USA back on top in education! Would you believe that Thursday night we went bowling? I need to practice, don’t I team?
We ended Friday with the showcasing of our projects, thoughts on the weeks events, and sad good-byes to new friends. Once again, this was the best professional development I’ve ever had, and other companies and programs could take lessons.
PS. Did I say the food was great?