In my twenty years in education I have participated in numerous professional development experiences. One of the most beneficial in my career has been attending DENSI (Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute).
I was blessed to attend DENSI for a second time this summer.
Hosted by Discovery Education, the 2017 Institute was held in San Diego. DENSI is a 6-day residential professional development with more than 150 educators from around the globe. This year’s attendees were from the United States (28 states), Canada, UK, Dubai, China, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Haiti. The goal of the institute is to LEARN, SHARE & CONNECT with other educators.
As a first time attendee, last year in Chicago, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had been an avid user of Discovery Education Streaming since 2003. I had presented at Discovery Education’s DENapalooza - now Day of Discovery (a fantastic free day of learning for teachers) and had hosted two district-wide cohorts of the DEN Ambassadors Program but was not sure what to expect. I was encouraged to step out of my professional comfort zone and challenge myself to get more involved. During my first DENSI I presented a session on green screen video and even hosted an unconference hands-on green screen session. I met amazing educators and was thrilled to learn, share and connect.
Since my time in Chicago, last year, I have grown professionally, leading two more district-wide DEN Ambassador cohorts, attended Days of Discovery in North and South Carolina as well as presented, hosted a Twitter #DENchat, joined the Leadership Council and delivered an Ignite talk at an event with DE and GPB.
This year, I was overjoyed to return to continue learning, sharing and connecting. I was honored to be asked to serve as a small group leader. I had the opportunity to present a social media session “To Tweet or Not to Tweet? That is the Question … “ and lead an unconference session on Twitter 101. I am in no way a Twitter expert but was thrilled to share. Additionally, I was able to use my skills and experience to support the WDEN News (behind the scenes of course).
My involvement with the DEN Community provides rejuvenation, motivation and insight from a network of passionate educators.
I am so grateful for Discovery Education and their team’s efforts to honor educators and encourage the DEN Community. I have to thank Kelly Hines for her encouragement to get involved and lead in my district.
The power of the DEN Community can not be measured.
The DEN is more than a community, the connections and friendships I have formed have given me my DENtribe.
I am so appreciative to Aleigha Henderson-Rosser, Atlanta Public School’s Instructional Technology Executive Director and Warren Goetzel, Media Services Coordinator for encouraging me to learn and lead.
Jennifer Hall is an Educational Technology Specialist for Atlanta Public Schools.