Wisconsin at the DENSI

Wisconsin represents at the 2011 DEN Summer Institute in San Diego, California!

Recently, three WI DEN Leadership Council members (Peg Hartwig from Marshfield School District and Karie Huttner and Rita Mortenson from the Verona Area School District) were selected to attend the 2011 DEN Summer Institute in San Diego, CA.

The institute started on Saturday, July 9 with a dinner on the terrace of the beautiful San Diego State University.  We then had a special visitor, Danny Forrester from the hit Discovery TV show Build it Bigger (http://www.dannyforster.com/).  His presentation and the architectural information he shared was AMAZING.  He has traveled to 50 countries within the last 5 years for his TV show, and the stories he told were incredible.  It was fascinating to hear him talk about how and why buildings are built the way they are.

On Sunday, we were treated to a day at SeaWorld!  We boarded buses and off we went to SeaWorld for the day.  The shows, rides and attractions were so much fun we didn’t want to leave.

On Monday we had the distinct honor of going through a day of Discovery Professional Development.  We learned a lot of great ways to incorporate Discovery Streaming into the curriculum.  So many unique ways to peak students’ curiosity.  That night, we had an ice cream social followed by the DENmazing Race, which was basically a creative scavenger hunt done in DEN style.  It was so much crazy fun and it brought out the competitive side in all the DEN members.

On Tuesday, we got to select sessions from a variety of offerings.  There were so many great sessions it was hard to select.  Tuesday night we participated in Pecha Kucha night.  I had never heard of Pecha Kucha prior to this…but now, I want to do this activity in my classroom and with our staff!   If you don’t know what Pecha Kucha is, be sure to google it or go to http://www.pecha-kucha.org/what. PechaKucha 20×20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images forward automatically and you talk along to the images.  It is a great way to showcase your knowledge in a fun and creative way.  I already have tons of ideas for classroom and staff development use.

Wednesday was considered the “unconference day”.  Basically, if you had an idea you wanted to learn more about or share with others, you suggested it.  It sounds like it might be sort of unorganized or chaotic.  But when you have 100+ amazing DEN people willing to share their knowledge…the sky is the limit.  We had over 25 sessions ranging from Google+, iMovie, Green screening, Twitter and more!   So many to chose from.  Wednesday night was our big dinner and celebration.  It was so much fun just hanging out with everyone.

Thursday morning, we were treated to an inspiring presentation by Hall Davidson!  Everytime I get an opportunity to hear him present I am so inspired and get tons of ideas to try in my classroom.  After his presentation, it was time to say “goodbye”.

THANK YOU Discovery Education for bringing us all together to learn and grow.  It was truly and amazing week.


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