The State of the DEN

On Tuesday, Scott Kinney shared a "Status of the DEN" webinar, where we looked back at the last two years and then looked forward to the future.  It was part celebration, part town hall meeting, and 100% filled with DEN spirit.  Would you believe that 2 years ago we had 6 STAR Discovery Educators?  And now we have 2500!  Quite amazing to say the least.

The growth of the DEN has been northing short of phenomenal.  We have Leadership Councils in 16 states (and Second Life), and more are forming as we speak.  We have collectively reached over 350,000 teachers through our events.  Just think about how many student’s lives we have affected through our efforts.  From premieres to Institutes, Days of Discovery to conferences, the DEN has become a major force for positive educational growth throughout the country.

However, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what we can accomplish.  We are constantly seeking to improve the program and rely on your feedback to direct us.  We heard many suggestions from the STARs who attended, but would also like to hear some feedback from those of you who were unable to attend.  What do you love about the DEN?  What could we be doing better?  What changes do you think could be made to the program to help us do more to support your efforts? Take a few minutes to reflect on your own personal DEN experiences and share your thoughts as a comment.  And let’s look forward to yet another incredible school year!

If you couldn’t be there, here is a copy of the presentation for you to glance through:


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  1. Marie Coleman said:

    What do I love about the DEN? Besides the fact that is a tremendous resource of people, ideas, special promotions, and great learning opportunities, the DEN models my philosophical beliefs of constructivism in the classroom for preparing 21st century digital citizens!

    What more could be done?
    I think the DEN does a great job of keeping an eye on future needs, which is critical in this ever-changing global society. Continue to provide frequent and unique opportunities for learning and networking (Summer DNI 07 was incredible)!

    I offer standing ovation for the DEN – though I’ve only been involved for a year, it has been one of the more fulfilling and interactive professional development in which I’ve participated! Kudos to all!

  2. Susan Tompkins said:

    How wonderful the DEN is to provide us with such diverse information! I am discovering new ideas and events each time I log on to DEN. I want to publicly thank all the DEN managers for providing educators the opportunity to learn, discuss, and be involved! This community is a blessing to me and to my faculty since I re-direct almost all of my information at staff meetings and/or conferences. I agree with Marie’s statement that the DEN is progressive and active in searching for innovative tools. DEN helps me develop techniques in my quest for creating a New Generation Learning Environment. Can’t wait to see what else is coming…

  3. Elaine Plybon - Texas and SL LC said:

    I love the DEN! I think that Discovery Ed. has done a wonderful job this last year in building it up to be bigger, better, and to make all of us feel like we have a real stake in it. The webinar is proof that Discovery is listening to what educators want, rather than making decisions blindly. I will continue to be as active in the DEN as I can possibly be and am excited to see all the new things DEN will have in store for us in the future!

  4. Christine West said:

    I attended the summer institute in Chicago two summers ago where we learned digital storytelling using tools I had never heard of until that workshop. It was an incredible experience!

    Since that time I feel like DEN is keeping me in tune with my students ever changing needs through blogs and webinars. Learning from the experts as well as fellow educators is a teacher’s dream come true! I love the Feedblitz coming to me as soon as it is posted. I check email many times a day, which helps me stay connected.

    The incentives to evaluate the new products have been outstanding and my students reap the benefits! I am currently making use of the Help Math program (designed for ESL students in middle school) with elementary students needing accelerated math instruction. I continually encourage my colleagues to join the DEN so they can keep us growing.

    I will be teaching an international curriculum next year and will be connecting my students to the world around them using all of the wonderful tools you have introduced to me in the past year. I’d love to hear all the ways students are connecting to other students around the world! (Last year’s Garageband webinar was outstanding!)

    My suggestion for a change would be to offer webinars several times on different dates. Unfortunately many evenings are already booked with classes, meetings, conferences, etc.

    Thanks for all the professional development you have offered and continue to offer! On an educator’s salary, I must say the price is right! As my husband’s friend from the east coast would say… DEN is wicked awesome!

  5. Lynnette Criner said:

    The DEN has provided me with opportunities to network and learn how to more effectively use the technology I have available in my District. It has also given me a solid feeling of belonging to a larger community of educators who are all interested in teaching not just the subject matter, but the values of global responsibility for sustainability and peace. DEN is inspirational!

  6. JUDITH VALLE said:

    I think what we are doing is great. We all are contributing as a big family. I just wish I knew how to get more STAR members in my area. Although, I do give several workshops on technology, unitedstreaming and get everyone excited on DEN, not too many join. If anyone has any idea please help.

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