DEN National Institute-DC

Den2007_083 The DEN National Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland, National Headquarters of the Discovery Channel is now in Day 4! This has been the best professional development I have ever experienced! Here is a rundown of the non-stop action.

Day 1 – After some cool new tips, our group produced an enhanced Podcast (VodCast) of showcasing cool technology projects done throughout many different states. The finished product was shown to the whole group to end an exciting first day.

Day 2 – VIDEO, VIDEO, VIDEO! Based upon the AFI curriculum, stepped up for this group, Joe Brennen shared his expertise to help us produce the ultimate Door scene! At the end of the night, we got to see our videos on the big screen in the Discovery HD Theater. We also had a special guest with a preview of the upcoming (August) Shark Week! We are all now experts on the Hammerhead shark.

Day 3 – Time to start our major projects which will include an interactive assignment for students designed on a Discovery project that is still in BETA. The highlight was the dinner on the rooftop of Discovery National Headquarters followed by a four hour night tour of Washington DC and more!

Day 4 – We are working on finishing up our projects. Mine will include purple and pink puppets from another state! Several Virginia STAR DEN are here with me and we are all tired after all the hard work and the great night on the town.  Dinner is soon and then tommorow we will finish up around noon after we present our projects!

Discovery has put together an incredible week, I can only guess that next year there will be thousands of educators fighting for a place in these national institutes!

Kevin Johnson
Star DEN Member, VA LC Member



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  1. Susan Tompkins said:

    I agree with how awesome this event has been. I am fired up to engage learners and educators with new technology tools!

  2. Katie Knapp, VA DEN LC Chair said:

    I am sooo excited for you all! It is awesome that VA is so well-represented! I can’t wait to hear more when you all return.

  3. Joe Konecki said:

    I agree Kevin, this has definitely been the best professional development I’ve experienced too! It was so much fun, yet learned a lot at the same time! It was really rewarding to meet so many other great teachers and exchange ideas!

  4. Billie Hetrick said:

    Ditto from me too!! My head is still spinning from all the wonderful things I have learned this week!! This was my first DEN Institute and I hope it won’t be my last! Can’t wait to share with my colleagues next week since we are still working until the end of June.

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