I Learn, You Learn, We Learn

DEN National Institute - June 18-22, 2007Paul_Sr._Bike_small.jpg

This is where it was: Discovery Communications, One Discovery Place, Silver Spring MD. A really nice small city close to DC. You may be familiar with some of their programming: Animal Planet, Mythbusters, Deadliest Catch, Man vs. Wild, What Not to Wear, Little People - Big World, American Chopper, Miami Ink, Lance Armstrong's Tour de France, and many others.

What a week!

The following are excerpts from the South Carolina DEN blog. MaryAnn, you did a fantastic job keeping the world updated of the events and activities at the Institute. billgoodwinsmall.JPG

Day One

Scott, Lance, and Jannita welcomed the room of 50 educators to the Discovery Education Headquarters. Bill Goodwin, the President of Domestic Distribution and Enterprises stopped by to welcome us and thank us for all we do with the DEN. We were given our first assignment after seeing how much we know about Discovery with a CPS challenge game.

Our first group assignment was to create an enhanced podcast about how technology changes student learning. My group consists of STAR educators from Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. All of us are in some type of instructional technology role. We talked about things we have done with teachers and created in the classroom. It took us 2 hours to create a 5 minute enhanced podcast (podcast with images). You could really call what we created a digital story of sorts. You can hear the audio of the podcast below.

A big thanks to MaryAnn Sansonneti for putting the final touches on the BEST podcast of the institute!

First Project - Podcast Discussion on Technology Integrationworking_on_podcast_small.jpg

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Day 2

Today,Joe Brennen presented techniques and ideas for creating movies in the classroom. We learned about camera techniques, editing tricks and tips, as well as ideas to use film making in the classroom. Many of the examples he shared came from the I Can Film Festivalin San Fernando, CA. ICan is a short film festival for students created by the San Fernando Education Technology Team. The students create 3-5 minute movie "shorts" that could be movie trailers, public service announcements, or commercial type movies.
We were given a project to do called "The Door Scene." The assignment came from the AFI Education Film Guide. The scenario was 'filming' a 90 second video with out editing. We could only pause the video to change camera angles. This afternoon we had to redo the "Door Scene" but this time we did storyboarding and editing of the video. With film editing we were able to use a green screen and swim with dolphins. Of course we had technical difficulties but team 7 prevailed!

Tonight, all of the groups will be reviewing our movie shorts. I am sure the movies will tell us a lot about each group. The group events won't be ending until about 8:30 pm tonight and who knows what will happen to Silver Spring, MD after they let us go from 12 hours of creating movies. Is anyone else absolutely exhausted?

sharkmansmall.jpg Later that evening, we were taken to the Discovery Communications HD theatre to "watch sharkweek.jpgour movies" in high def. BUT the treat was a visit from the Executive Producer of Perfect Predator, John Grassie. He came by to show us a sneak peek of Perfect Predator for shark week on Discovery. What an amazing experience! Mr. Grassie talked about the amazing experiments conducted to find out more about the various shark species.

Day 3

Very cool! Steve Dembo joined us this morning to talk a little about the BIG subject of Web 2.0 tools.His presentation was two fold; 1. Discovery and Second Life and 2. the Top 10 Free Sites to use.

Steve took us on a virtual tour of Eduisland II and the Discovery Education Building in SL. It is really hard to get my mind around a virtual world that you can do anything in that you can do in the 'real' world. So why would you like to do it? Well, after the presentation I can see how it is a world that can bring greay collaboration. One of the neat locations Steve showed us was Genome Island. You can visit this location in SL and actually step inside cells and see how the cell works. Could you imagine the type of learning that can take place with this "virtual experience?" Of course there are non-educational areas in SL but I think if we as educators learn to grasp this virtual world we could bring so much more to learning.

During the second part of Steve's presentation we looked at great Web 2.0 sites. Of the sites we looked MaryAnn (and I) were really impressed with Picnik. Who needs Photoshop if you can do all of your editing online for FREE. I also have been using Scrapblog: a really cool scrapbooking online site. Here's an example: http://scraplog.com/viewer/viewer.aspx?sbId=44010 Whatever you create can be sent to friends and family.

After a long day of work, we were rewarded with a dinner on the roof top of the Discovery Communications building. The weather cooperated and it was beautiful; low humidy and sunny. After we toured the the monuments of DC. This is something that everyone should see.

It was a great night to get to know everyone a little better, especially Rita M. (and her mom and her husband and that guy in the hotel!)


Day 4 & 5

The institute is coming to an end... We are watching final projects this morning in the HD theatre. Its amazing how different everyone's movie is. Its been a fun week. Yesterday was dedicated to the actual creation of the movie and testing a new program Discovery has in the works called Discovery Contributor. I've met so many new people. This has been such a great experience and MaryAnn, Rita and Joe were a terrific group to work with. ( We were the best!) I wish you continued success in your districts and hope we get the chance to meet up again soon.


My truly outstanding and superior DEN TEAM 7:
Joe Konecki - Cardinal O'Hara High School , PA
MaryAnn Sansonetti - Richland One , Columbia, SC http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/southcarolina/
Rita Mortensen - Versona High School, WI
Me - Schenectady City Schools, NY

Until next time.......


Schenectady City Schools Article