On November 2, 2009 approximately 600 Verona Area School District staff and administrators had an amazing “Day of Discovery”. Steve Dembo, from Discovery Education, was the featured keynote speaker for three outstanding presentations.
He started out the day with a thought-provoking session in the morning called “Learning to Speak Native: How education is being transformed in 140 characters or less.” He began by explaining how the amount of information online keeps increasing while the barriers to accessing it continue to decrease. He also showcased how thousands of teachers are providing access to free lessons every hour of every day and how we could access these lessons. He emphasized that educators who create a personal learning network will always have the resources they need to stay ahead of the curve.
The second keynote presentation he did was called “The Native Lifestyle“. In this fast paced, session, Steve pointed out how web 2.0 tools are being utilized, and shared some of his favorites along with some concrete examples of how they could be used in the classroom K-12.
If that were not enough for one day, we had lunch and then the high school staff was treated to one more presentation called “A Day in the Life of a Discovery Educator.” Steve took us step by step through a day in the eyes of a 21st century digital educator. From the moment we get to school until the last bell rings. He showcased how digital media rich lessons can be used in all curricular areas to meet the needs of all learners. While doing so, he also demonstrated and highlighted the features of the Discovery Streaming site.
This was by far one of the most engaging staff development days I have ever been a part of. By the noon break, many of my staff were already checking out microphones, trying to access the websites from the morning’s sessions, and just really, enjoying the information that Steve shared. I would highly recommend every district have a “Day of Discovery” with Steve Dembo. – Rita A. Mortenson, STAR Discovery Educator, Educational Technology Coordinator
Steve’s presentation was thought-provoking and practical. By early evening I had already received three emails from teachers who had successfully used Web 2.0 tools that he demonstrated. They were proud of their accomplishments and excited to integrate them into their curriculum. – Bill Lemberg, STAR Discovery Educator, Educational Technology Coordinator
In my opinion, Steve hit a home run. He inspired our staff. He gave practical ideas for using technology. And he challenged us to use tech solutions in ways the original creators hadn’t even thought of. – Linda Christensen, Director of Instruction, Verona Area School District. –blog post written by DEN Star Rita Mortenson