DENSI: The End of The Beginning

Part III
…As the final two days of DENSI 2012 progressed, we as educators knew this was only the beginning of our new school year, filled with new ideas and approaches, supported by the connections we had made with each other.

The mission of DENSI2012 was that of DEN Community Service, accentuating the value of our commitment to new 21st C learning opportunities we would employ throughout the school year.  Our “Un-Conference Day” allowed us the time and opportunity to follow our new passions and interests while gaining contact with people who had similar interests.  We were afforded the opportunity to take all that had been formally shared and delve deeper into how we would integrate these ideas and strategies effectively.  We were also given the opportunity to explore the new Techbook 2.0 with Patti Duncan, empowering us to take full advantage of this wonderful gift Subscription from 3M for all DEN STARS.

We enjoy our Ho-Down, having time to be in a relaxed setting without all our devices distracting us.  The camaraderie and support all DENSI folk share crescendos through the evening, leading into our final morning meeting time.  Stars seek out their final connections, trading cards and making plans for the year, only to be once again gripped by a final Keynote featuring Wes Fryer.

Wes rekindled the true love of learning through digital story telling, ( DENSI Streaming archive here).  Wes shared the value of stimulating learners through digital media and the awesome impact it can have, only to be upstaged by his beautiful 8 year old daughter who demonstrated quite skillfully how to create games and write stories.  But Rachel’s contribution was not really so much about the apps she was sharing, but how she demonstrated  confidence as a 21st Century learner, clearly articulating both  hows and whys within the apps she showcased, (Scratch and Story Patch).  It was clear to me that the level of analysis and synthesis this young girl had obtained was because she had learned by doing, by being challenged and accepting failure within the process of learning how to make a story or game.  Because she learned by problem-solving, Rachel had obtained a level of confidence, effectively sharing her lessons learned to an audience in excess of 160 adults.   In listening to Rachel, I had realized that our greatest asset as 21st century educators is our persistence in trying new technology, accepting the unknown and embracing failure to stay on the cutting edge of  21st C education.

Rachel shows Learning so NATURALLY!! …using iPad app Video Star…How Fitting!

Many STARs’ Flights had been moved up, so the Keynote was followed by many quick goodbyes, with the comfort of knowing we would still be connected on Edmodo, Webinars and Facebook.   Quick Goodbyes were lengthened as we entered the airport, realizing we would all be sharing simmilar flights out of Bozeman. Planes were donned with many DEN Fingers and Backpacks. There was a level of DENSI comfort during our quiet flight to connections.

The last two weeks, we have been chatting on Facebook, posting on edmodo and blogging many of our experiences. I have had challenges with new, interesting programs and have found comfort in chatting on FB and posting on edmodo, to find solutions to new web tools like Powtoon.  DENSI folk are gearing up, making plans for their community service commitments.  The Formal DENSI has closed, Porter has enjoyed a vacation well deserved, and we are ready to take on our school year, thriving on all that was learned and the new support networks we have created.  DENSI has jump started our school year… giving us solutions and support for our new challenges.

A special Thanks to Discovery Education and the DEN Team for this great experience.   Our DENSI community service will shine the whole year through… and if you weren’t at DENSI, we will reach out to you, too!

Now Prepare for Tech or Treat : October 20th, 2012.  Fall Virtual / Live conference.




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