I’ve been a member of the Discovery Educator Network for…well… it seems like forever, but in reality almost as long as there has been a DEN. I have always loved the DE Streaming product for schools and teachers. There is a wealth of information found there, as well as an overwhelming suite of tools created for teachers to use in order to help harness the power of technology in the classroom.
Since those early days when DE Streaming was still United Streaming, Discovery and the Discovery Educator Network have exploded with new tools and new members. Discovery Education branched out into STEM resources, became a leader in science education, launched new online TechBooks for Science and Social Studies (with Math to follow soon), integrated DE Assessment directly into Streaming, and a host of other resources far too many to name.
But, for me, it would be just another great teacher tool among so many other great teacher tools if it weren’t for the DEN. During my very first trip to Silver Spring, MD, for the first gathering at 1 Discovery Place I met, and bonded with, teachers who “spoke my language.” Teachers who wanted to launch into the deep and integrate technology into the curriculum before that was even a buzzword. I soaked up every thing during those frantic few days.
Since that time I have served on the DEN Leadership Council for TN. That has been a wonderful experience. I have traveled, largely on my own dime, to Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis, Georgia, North Carolina, and more to help with various events and provide training for teachers who want to know how to effectively use video and other technologies in the classroom. The Leadership Council is mostly a self-appointed position. You indicate that you want to serve, and you are pretty much given the opportunity to serve.
A few years back I was fortunate enough to be named one of five DEN Gurus in its inaugural year. With that comes both responsibility and perks. I’ve done presentations for the DEN, worked with Epson at ISTE to demonstrate their new BrightLink series of projectors, written blog posts, and conducted webinars. In return, Discovery pours back into me by helping me get to one national professional development event of my choosing. The Guru process required, at the time, a short video demonstrating mastery in one area of instruction. The decision was made by people that work at Discovery. So, when they felt I had something of Guru Quality in me, I was extremely honored. And I still am honored today after we’ve added a few more years of Gurus under our belts, every one of which is probably smarter (and definitely better looking) than me.
Yesterday, I opened my Feedly RSS feed to find that the new DENvisory Board members had been named. It was, without a doubt, quite a shock to see my name listed. While I do a lot of presentations for workshops, and I’ve made a few videos that have posted online, I’m mostly the quiet guy in the back. I try really hard not to be noticed sometimes! But to be elected by DEN members from around the country, elected by my peers, elected by people I love and respect and admire, and to be elected out of this pool of massive DEN talent, makes this a very special accolade, indeed.
To Mark Case, Connie Mulligan, Neene Sheilds, and Zulma Whiteford, I offer you a great big congratulations on your selection to the DENvisory Board!
And to everyone that voted, I send you a a very warm, heartfelt thank you.