Valuable Time

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 | , | 1 comments »

This post may sound like a huge plug for Discovery Education. It's not meant to be. It's meant to share with you some information I feel is going to enhance my teaching and hopefully enhance the learning of all of the students I work with.

This past weekend (yes, Saturday and Sunday), I participated in the Discovery Education Regional Conference. I thought it was a lot of fun, but most importantly, was a positive learning experience for me. I recently purchased DE Streaming for my school and am looking forward to not only using it myself to liven up lessons, but I really want my teachers to take advantage of what I think is a great resource. My principal will allow me to use some faculty meeting time next month to show our teachers what this is all about. I've ordered my training materials and am anxious to get things rolling.

As teachers, we often don't get opportunities to be wined and dined. This weekend, however, was a little different. Although I had to get to the conference, which was about a 90 minute drive, and a hotel, the rest of the conference was taken care of by Discovery Education. Breakfast and lunch both days of the 2 day conference were catered for us. In addition, dinner and beverages were also included Saturday night. This was a nice change to what I've previously experienced. Usually, it's up to me to take care of all costs associated with a conference, but not this time. Sure, I have a connection with Discovery Education because of my subscription to their service, but that wasn't a requirement of this. It was open to anyone who wanted to learn more about integrating technology into classroom instruction. We learned about Discovery products, but there were also plenty of non-Discovery products shown to us as well. One that I thought was pretty cool was Blabberize. While this web 2.0 tool is still not perfect, it certainly is fun and could have a place in the classroom. Also, if you haven't seen Spell with Flickr, check it out. There was quite a bit of discussion about Web 2.0 tools, including this information from Brad Fountain, one of the presenters.

The Discovery Education team who put on this event did a very nice job. One thing I didn't know about these guys until the weekend, was that they were teachers prior to joining Discovery. To me, that adds a lot of credibility to what they are saying. They bring an educational background to what they are talking about. I've been to other conference where companies have people trying to get you to use their products, but those people haven't been in the classroom. I don't know about you, but I think someone with a clue about what teachers do can relate to us much better than someone who has never stepped foot in a classroom. If you haven't checked out Discovery Education, I recommend you do, especially, the DEN (Discovery Educators Network) - it's a great online community of teachers who are willing to share great information about teaching and learning. Even if you're not interested in any of the products Discovery Education sells, there are a lot of free resources for teachers that I've used for years - long before my recent involvement. I've met a lot of great people and learned quite a bit through my short time with the DEN, I bet you would too.

1 comments

  1. Mrs.A // September 24, 2008 at 7:50 AM  

    It was great learning with you this weekend. The DEN brings together all of us and not only do we learn from the Discovery presenters, we share, learn and laugh with each other. F2F adds to the blog, twitter and plurk experiences of my PLN.

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