Digital Doors was created as a place for me to blog and share resources that I think would be helpful for teachers integrating technology in meaningful ways in their classroom. My goal would be to write a blog post a week, but with my busy schedule, that doesn't happen. I write when I can and rely on nifty tools to help me share what I am finding when I don't have time to write.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

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You Could Be a Star!

One of the most powerful professional development resources I have found in the last few years is the Discovery Educator Network. The Network consists of an inspiring group of educators dedicated to learning and enhancing their skills and knowledge as teachers. Although the sight is run by Discovery Education, it is not a big advertisement for their product. It is truly a place for teachers to go to improve their craft, get ideas and find answers. The online space consists of a series of blogs, forums and resources where teachers share new ideas with each other. The resources are great. You can find ready made lessons, graphic organizers and presentations created by other DEN members. You can take these tools and tweak them to fit you own needs. Many of these resources incorporate multimedia using clips from Discovery Streaming. In addition to these features, the DEN also offers a series of Webinars. The webinars range from tutorials about Discovery products, presentations by world renowned educators, and interactive presentations where students can share ideas and ask questions to scientists. You can even attend virtual events at the DEN in Second Life.

The DEN also sponsors Face to Face events. Last year I had the opportunity to attend a training on podcasting and a meet and greet with other DEN members at NCCE. I also had the opportunity to go to an incredible, Discovery Educator Network National Institute at Berkeley. I spent a week learning about movie making, podcasting, web 2.0 tools and networking with inspiring teachers from around the country.

Recently the DEN launched the Northwest Leadership Council. With the addition of the Leadership council, the DEN will now be able to sponsor more local events such as teachers day at the museum, premiers, geo-caching events and workshops on podcasting and movie making. This will be a great professional development opportunity for all involved.

You can be a member of the DEN just by going to and logging in using your Discovery Streaming password. (ask your librarian if you don’t have one) In order to participate in DEN events and qualify for special deals, you can apply to be a STAR Educator. This requires a small application in which you are asked how you share what you know and also asks you to contribute a lesson or resource to the resource section. Currently, there are only 4 STAR DEN members in Western Washington. It would be great for all of us if we could build this base. The more DEN members we have, the more opportunities will be available to us.
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