Conni is a Media Specialist at Buncombe County Schools, North Carolina. She has been using Discovery Education since 2005 when it was United Streaming. She shared “Since that moment, I began using the resources available because of the depth and variety of ways to use the resources. I was instantly hooked. Being able to create student content in multiple ways and provide teachers with resources that can be manipulated in so many different ways is so valuable!”
How do you start your day?
My day is started the same way it ends. With music!
Why did you become a teacher?
My introduction to teaching came in the form of a summer camp counselor for the YMCA. I loved working with the children and enjoyed seeing them get excited about their accomplishments. So, I became a teacher to continue to see the joy and excitement in the eyes of the students that I work with as they learn, grow and see success in everything that that accomplish.
What is one of your favorite ways to use Discovery Education?
I love to be able to use the editable content that is available as backgrounds in green screen videos using my puppets. I use puppets in all grade levels to tell stories or have adventures in different lands and the resources available allow for the primary source content to back up the story being told. Whether through images or multimedia productions, having editable content is so very valuable.
I also like to be able to work with the Closed Captions and make them my own and use them for other videos as well. This is a great feature that is not used as much as it should be used to provide multiple viewpoints for the information.
What is a ritual you have in your classroom?
I don’t really have a classroom ritual since I have not had my own classroom in over 10 years. However, in my work area the first thing that I do each day is turn on my tunes. I have to have music on and anyone who know me, will definitely understand this. My motto: Dance like no one is watching. But if they are, invite to dance too!!
How are you involved in education aside from your role as educator?
I love to present at local and other state conferences. So when I can afford to attend, I will submit a proposal and try to attend as many conferences as I can.
What advice do you give to a teacher who is hesitant to use digital media in their classroom?
The first step is to find resources that work with what you are teaching. You will be surprised at how just showing a small clip to enhance what you are teaching will hook the students. Try using Discovery’s content at the beginning of your lesson to prompt a discussion prior to bringing in the verbal instruction. There just are so many ways to enhance teaching these days!
What advice do you have for first year teachers?
Breathe. It is ok to give students control over their learning, you don’t always have to be in front. By allowing students to teach others the content becomes more relevant to the students and will be remembered.
What sites do you visit to assist in your teaching practice?
I am always on Facebook learning from my DEN Family, DEN Maker Spaces, Puppet Makers Workshop and many others. From here, I follow the links to the resources that have been provided. I also subscribe to many email newsletters that come through my email so that I can read them later.
What other organizations/groups are you a part of?
DEN LC, DEN Guru, Fablevision Ambassador, Intel Master Trainer, NCTIES, ISTE, International Literacy Association, Asheville Puppetry Alliance, Puppeteers of America,
When you’re not working, where are we most likely to find you?
When I am not working, you are most likely to find me taking water aerobics classes, attending puppet shows, thinking about how to use puppets in the classroom and watching So You Think You Can Dance. I also like to hang out by the pool with my son.
What is your favorite kind of donut?
How can others connect with you?