Day of Discovery with Discovery Education

In my new position this year as an Instructional Technology Specialist, I have had a lot of opportunities to continue my professional development in different ways. Even though I might not be able to directly implement new tools or strategies with my own group of students, I want to make sure that I am a helpful resource for the teachers and staff members I work with so that they feel more comfortable trying something new.

Last week, I was able to attend a Day of Discovery put on  by Discovery Education at our local Region 10 Education Service Center. I heard that they come to do similar events every year, but unfortunately as a classroom teacher it was hard to secure and plan for a sub on a Friday in October. So I was happy to attend, take notes, and try out some of their new tools and ideas so that I could share them with other teachers who weren’t able to be there in person. I loved Discovery Education as a middle school science teacher, and my current district has subscriptions to the Science TechBook. Streaming was nice, but the TechBook includes virtual labs, interactive reading texts, and assessment pieces I was able to assign to my students.

Some of the highlights of my day included:

– Learning to better search and filter results in the Streaming section. I knew about their videos and high quality images, but I was surprised to see the library also included a lot of content-based songs that included printed lyrics for use in lessons.

– The new Board Builder tool which allows students and teachers to create multimedia digital posters (think Glogster-style), within the Discovery Education site with the ability to link streaming content and personal uploads. I sat in on one session where I had work-time to create my own Board, which I plan to use to help share information about DE features.

– Applying to become part of the DEN Star program – a network of educators that connect and help one another as they use Discovery Education.

The event was free and was a great opportunity to DISCOVER (haha – I crack myself up) better ways to use a piece of technology that my district already has. If your district uses Discovery Ed, I would recommend that you attend a similar event if you can.

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Free! Region 10 Digital Fluency Conference – May 6th : EDIT

EDIT: Unfortunately, registration for the conference has filled and closed. If you’d like to check out the online schedule, I know many presenters will be sharing links to their information after their presentations. You can find the schedule here: Region 10 Digital Fluency Conference Schedule

Also, make sure you follow @R10Tech on Twitter to get the latest news on what’s happening in the North Texas area. 

With STAAR testing prep, meetings, and my own daughter registering to enter Kindergarten next year, I have not been very active here on my blog. I am working to set up a schedule to help keep that from happening again, so you should be able to check back in here regularly to find some new resources, ideas, and events.

For anyone near to the Dallas area, I wanted to let you know about our Region 10 Educational Service Center’s annual Digital Fluency Conference coming up on Tuesday, May 6th. The conference is completely free, and it will be a great opportunity to hear from teachers, educational leaders, and students (yes!) about how technology is changing the way that learning takes place in our schools. I’m excited to attend sessions, but I will also actually be presenting for the first time on my own! I’ll be sharing my ideas and experiences with incorporating Genius Hour into my science classroom and how Google Apps for Education can help the process run smoothly.

I know I mentioned that the conference is FREE, and you can earn CPE credits by attending. There will be door prizes, networking opportunities, and some awesome local food trucks to enjoy. (like Jack’s Chowhound, Easy Slider, and Mo’Jo A Go-Go)

Click HERE to register. If you’d like to view the conference schedule or get more information, visit the conference webpage HERE.