Drumroll Please……

Let me introduce you to your DEN in SL Leadership Council members. I have had the pleasure of working with this group of dedicated DEN STAR educators for the past month. The amount of energy generated by the LC to make DEN in SL the place to be in-world is absolutely amazing. On top of it, we’re all having a fun time working together. So without further ado, let me introduce you to….

Riptide Furse (Fred Delventhal in RL) is Chair of the DEN in SL Leadership Council. He works as senior level Instructional Technology Coordinator in Arlington Public Schools, Virginia. He has presented at Northern Virginia Technology Educational Consortium conferences, the Technology and Learning Symposia (Virginia), and the Virginia Department of Education Educational Technology Leadership Conference. Riptide has worked as an adjunct professor for George Mason University Instructional Technology Certificate Program and for the Four Rivers Consortium (Virginia). Along with the teachers Riptide works with, he has won multiple awards at the MHzNetworks International Shortie Film Festival. He is a Discovery Star Educator and sits on the Discovery Education Unitedstreaming Advisory Board. This year he flew with a team of teachers aboard NASA’s Weightless Wonder Microgravity Jet through the NASA Explorer Schools program. Riptide was one of four DEN Star Educators to present for the final EDTechConnect Live Webinar this year.

Lor Fredriksson (Lori Abrahams in RL) is Co-Chair of Events Planning on the DEN in SL Leadership Council. She is an Information Specialist in a 5-6 school in RL. She has been a STAR DEN member from the very beginning. Among her many accomplishments are: Member of the Illinois Computing Educator Executive Board and Program Chair for IL-TCE, the Illinois Technology Conference for Educators. She was curious about SL and since coming in-world has met the most incredible people from all over the world. She spends her SL time learning about best practices in education and having fun at the same time. She believes that DEN in SL is another way to network with educators about new and exciting technology tools to enhance and improve student learning.

Beth Kohnke (Beth Knittle in RL) is Co-Chair of Events Planning on the DEN in SL Leadership Council. She has taught Middle School Math and Science for almost 20 years before becoming a K12 Technology Integration Specialist. She has taught in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ghana, Jordan, Korea, and Saudi Arabia. Quoted from her blog, www.bethknittle.net/WP_Blog “I think one of the underlying tenets that effects how I relate to technology in education is the knowledge that there are many different ways to learn and therefore there is a need for many different tools and approaches to learning. Just as we need to differentiate instruction for our students we also need to differentiate for the teachers we support. SecondLife is just one more tool to help achieve this goal.”

Celestia Cazelet (Elaine Plybon in RL) is Co-Chair of Building on the DEN in SL Leadership Council. She started a "Second Life" because the enthusiasm of the DEN members who were participating intrigued her. Since becoming a resident of SL, Elaine has found it to be a very helpful experience, mostly because of the opportunities to collaborate with educators from all over the world. In real life, Elaine is the Science Instructional Specialist at The Academy of Irving ISD, is mom to five kids ages 6-15, and serves on the DEN Texas Leadership Council as blog coordinator.

JessieMarie Flanagan (Anne Truger in RL) is Co-Chair of Building on the DEN in SL Leadership Council. She first joined SL because it seemed like "the" cutting edge thing to do in education lately, but stayed because of all of the great collaboration and team building that takes place there. Where else could she be friends with all of these amazing educators whose work she has long admired…Kathy Schrock, Will Richardson, David Warlick, Jen Wagner, Hall Davidson, and Steve Dembo….just to name a few. Every day she is struck by what SL "could" mean to education, and wants to be on that bus when it arrives. If you haven’t tried SL, you should, but don’t do it alone…contact one of us to help you along. In SL and RL, you can find JessieMarie/Anne out dancing the night away…umm that’s after all of her DEN responsibilities have been filled. {WINK}

Laelia Laval (Nancy Sharoff in RL) is Blog Chair of the DEN in SL Leadership Council. She is currently entering her 15th year in education and has taught 2nd and 4th grade, 5th/6th grade Math, and will be the K-4 Technology Educator in her district this fall. She also teaches graduate courses in Educational Technology, Children’s’ Literature, and Reading in the Content Areas and has presented at local, state, and national conference on these topics as well. Her time in SL is spent attending various workshops, developing new skills, and traveling around to gather resources for the DEN-SLETs (Second Life Educational Tours) she is creating that will assist other educators acquire new skills while experiencing all that SL has to offer.


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  1. Macsmom Alcott said:

    First of all — I need you to know that JessieMarie is one of the hardest workers I know. She is working diligently (as many of you are) to just make the DEN’s presence in SL fantastic. I have enjoyed getting to know her better….and truly appreciate her hard work.

    Secondly — it is great to know that I have great neighbors and can see your building from my apartment in SL.

    Finally — though I am new to the DEN life — (about a month), I am truly appreciating the welcome that has been given by so many.

    I look forward to meeting many of you in SL — but much more important in RL at NECC.

    Jen Wagner
    aka MacsMom Alcott

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