We just finished the first three lessons in the Discovery Education DEN Ambassador Program. I have written about this before but it needs to be repeated – digital integration will never be successful unless there is really good embedded PD that comes along with it.
Discovery Education through their LEAD DEN Ambassador program has done an excellent job at giving educators the tools they need to really teach how Discovery can be used in the classroom. I have included my reflections about the program below:
Our first Ambassador training session was really interesting. While some of our teachers have used Discovery before no one had used SOS or had even seen the strategies. The focus on SOS got everyone’s attention immediately.
Going from the paper copies to what is available on-line was a smart strategy – the ideas come alive when you can see teachers who developed the strategy talking about how they used them in the classroom.
It was great to get to the first set of interactive lessons – My DE this was the group’s assignment after the first session.
We pushed session 2 and 3 together and this worked really well. The staff were amazing at working through the Discovery material. Everyone actually completed the first set of interactive lessons and printed out their own certificate!
This is a keen group! Some went on to the second set of lessons and now they are well on their way.
We went through all the video portions of lessons 2 and 3 and these were really helpful. A Day in the Life of a Discovery Educator is great – it shows lots of practical applications for how a whole variety of material can be used in the classroom. We finished off with the handing out of DEN Ambassador certificates which everyone really liked! I even showed them my DEN Star!
The wonderful thing about the Ambassador Lead material is that there is so much good instructional material to choose from. From videos to interactive activities to downloadable lessons and certificates, there is easily enough material to fashion lessons for staff that work well at any level.
The lessons are open ended enough that staff can plan what they want to learn next.
Digital Integration and the Student Experience are the two sets of lessons the teachers will work on next. Now they know enough about how to navigate around Discovery that they can set up their own timeline for completing these lessons.
Most importantly, each teacher will be given 1.5 days of PD time to be used within the school day to work on Discovery or other programs we have introduced this term.
The learning is now in their hands!