What Is A DEN STAR Event?

Last weekend, I had the great pleasure of attending the DEN Gone Country Mini DEN Institute in Nashville, TN. I spent the weekend with 34 remarkable educators learning about the art of songwriting and it’s use in the classroom. Our culminating activity was to mash-up what we learned with images, videos, and songs in Discovery Education. I learned a lot and got to hang out with some pretty terrific folks in a great city.

A lot of the folks who attended were already STAR Discovery Educators. A few were not yet STARs. As we wound things up, several STAR Discovery Educators told their DEN stories. Those always choke me up a little and sometimes choke me up a lot. I feel so fortunate to spend my days working with such passionate educators. (I digress. Back to it.) We shared with those DEN members who are not yet STARs what they need to do to take the next step to become a STAR Discovery Educator. Really, it is easy.

Just remember STAR:
S – Share something you’ve learned about using Discovery Education resources with your colleagues.
T – Teach your colleagues about this idea or strategy.
A – Assist your colleagues as they implement this idea or strategy.
R – Report what you’ve done.
The application process has two main steps. First, there is a form you fill out that basically says “YES! I want to be a STAR!” We have a handy video that explains the program, a quiz that you can’t screw up, and then a place for you to make sure we have your contact info. How will we send you your welcome kit if you don’t give us that?!

To get to the application form, just log in to http://discoveryeducation.com
Look for the DEN tab on the left:











Read all of the stuff on that page and then click on the “Apply Now” button.

If you are at an in-person event, or if there is a STAR Discovery Educator at your school you can always ask for help with this part.
The next step is to host a DEN STAR Event. “What is that?” you ask. Well, that’s what this blog post is all about… well the rest of it at least. This is what you do after that DEN event you attended or that webinar you watched or after your teacher friend comes and knocks you over with, “You must become a STAR!!!!” This happens when you get back to your school or district and start talking about the cool stuff you learned.

Anytime you share the power of Discovery Education with a group of 3 or more colleagues that’s a STAR event. Maybe you found the model lessons in Discovery Education Streaming Plus or the Science Techbook. Maybe you learned how to assign a writing prompt to your students or you just wanted to brag about the cool thing your kids created using Board Builder. Maybe you presented a session on Progress Zone to your whole staff at a faculty meeting or talked about a Wordle of an historical speech you found in Discovery Education in a presentation at a conference. Whether a large event or just sharing at lunch with colleagues, those things count as a DEN STAR event. If you have initiated sharing with your colleagues, it counts.

Sometimes folks ask me about Tweeting or writing a blog post. While these are both really good examples of being active in the DEN, they aren’t events. NC DEN STAR Alison Schleede explained it really well to me this past weekend. She said that to her, an event requires the opportunity for give and take in the sharing. We know folks can reply to a Tweet and they can comment on a blog. That’s great for staying active in the DEN, but that first event you do to become a STAR  is you sharing with 3 or more of your colleagues about something you have learned. It’s about that relationship with them and learning together.
After you have done that, go back to Discovery Education and log in. Then click on that same DEN tab. You’ll see your event tracker. You’ll need to report one event within 60 days. Each year, you’ll need to report two events to maintain your STAR status.


  1. Kass Bates said:

    MC & I have 3 full hours tomorrow to share DE resources, tools, and amazing things with the district Media Resource Specialists tomorrow. She will have the elementary folks and I will have the secondary folks. We are so hoping we will convert all them into STARS!

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