Thursday, July 25, 2013

Got DEN? #DENSI2013

Since my return from the Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute, I have received numerous questions about the DEN (Discovery Educator Network) and the DENSI (Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute). What is it? How do I join? And how do I get to attend next year? Lets start at the top and work our way through.

The DEN is a community of educators using Discovery Education to promote students and learning within their reach. The first step to joining is to find out if your school has a subscription to Discovery Education. Some schools are still calling it United Streaming (personal soapbox of mine). Basically, can you go to and log in? Talk to the people in your school or district to find that out and get a login.  Once you know you are in, congratulate yourself. You have just joined hundreds of thousands of educators using amazing resources to transform learning. Now on to step two.

You have logged into DiscoveryEducation and started witnessing some of its goodness. Great! Now it's time to get more than your toes in the water.  Your next step is to become a DEN STAR. A DEN STAR is a passionate educator who is willing not only to use all this goodness but also to share its awesomeness. Its not a difficult process at all. More information is detailed here. Becoming a STAR gets you some extra benefits not available to every one else. Most importantly, it gives you the golden ticket to be able to apply to the DENSI.

And this is where personal euphoria begins. Around March, the announcement will be spread that applications are open for DENSI. Basically you share your passion about the great things you are doing for students using Discovery Education and make an uncut one minute video that is your sales pitch for why you should get to attend. That's it! You then wait for DEN royalty Porter Palmer (aka @DENprincess) to notify you whether or not you were accepted. If you aren't selected, reach out to your STAR family for help to make your application even better next year.  If you are selected, start preparing for an experience that cannot be adequately described. It must be lived. And it will change your life!

So what are you waiting for? Get busy reaching for the STARs!

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