Archive for the ‘Instructional Tools’ Category

Happy New Year from the Young Scientist Challenge!

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is now accepting entries. Don’t delay – the first 50 students to enter will receive a Young Scientist Challenge Prize Pack!
Open to students in grades 5-8, the Young Scientist Challenge provides the opportunity for one lucky child to win $25,000, a trip to Costa Rica with Discovery Student Adventures, and the title “America’s Top Young Scientist.”
Want to learn more? Visit to find entry guidelines, prize details and FAQ’s. All video entries must be submitted online no later than April 23, 2013.

Free Video Editor

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Very soon after I had just sent a message out to my Digital Storytelling students alerting them to a good sale on editing software for PC’s, I sat down next to Steve Dembo to hear a keynote speaker at Iowa’s edtech conference. Within minutes Steve showed me a free, web-based alternative to the late (temporarily, I hope), great It’s called WeVideo and they have even added a YouTube component ( With just a minimal experiment of my own to speak from, I have to say that it’s an easy, more powerful alternative for those PC users of the two versions of Movie Maker. It doesn’t have the green screen capability of JayCut (as of this writing at least) and it does depend on your Internet connection, but the price and the creativity it gives you far outweigh those minor “inconveniences.” Sign up now and take advantage of the larger, free accounts that they are offering during this introductory period.

And don’t forget Discovery’s Virtual Conference tomorrow morning to get some great ideas for your new found video editing capability. Sessions begin on the hour from 9 AM to 3 PM EDT.

DEN Gurus

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

It’s not a religion or a cult (though it might feel like that when you are at a Discovery Educator Network event). The DEN is a “is a global community of educators passionate about teaching with digital media, sharing resources, collaborating, and networking.” And “the DEN Guru program honors educators who go above and beyond to share their passion for education with others and demonstrate an expertise in one or more academic topic areas.” They are also experts in helping their students and colleagues get the most from Discovery Education streaming. Wisconsin’s Chad Lehman recently posted about how much he enjoys having recently selected Guru, Jen Wagner, in his PLN and shared her pledge to make every Wednesday “DENsday” on her blog Thoughts from Jen about the DEN. From O.R.E.O. to Guess the Wordle, Jen is another rich source of ideas and inspiration. Definitely worth a weekly peek!
Upcoming on line events from Discovery Education:
October 11th: Clean up your Act! See a project based learning opportunity to clean up your students’ habitat and your class.
October 13th: Curiosity in the Classroom’s “Will Robots Take Over?
October 22nd: Tech or Treat DEN Fall VirtCon 2011 An online conference you can attend from the comfort of your own home.

Curiosity in the Classroom

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Hopefully, that’s a common occurrence. And to help keep that spark alive “Discovery Education and Intel have teamed up to create Curiosity in the Classroom, a website designed to bring teachers, students and families on a journey through life’s biggest questions.” There are lesson plans and multimedia for teachers, activities for parents and their children, and explorations, resources and polls for students to investigate. To get things going there is a sweepstakes with a family exploration vacation as grand prize and three webinars for teachers. The first is this Thursday at 7 p.m. EDT followed by one on Oct. 13th and another one on Nov. 3rd, both at 1:00.

Stay curious, my friends!

The Remembrance Continues

Monday, September 12th, 2011

After an emotional day yesterday, we might think that the opportunities to help our students who may not have been as aware of events ten years ago have passed. Discovery Education still has two more webinars from high schools that were close to crash sites with people who were directly affected. Use the links below to join and also tap into Lance Rougeux’s “Eleven Things.”

Monday, September 12, 1:45 – 2:45 PM Wakefield High School · Arlington, VA
Tuesday, September 13, 12:30 – 1:30 PM American History High School · Newark, NJ  – Moderator, Danny Forster
These webinars are intended for high school students and older due to the sensitivities involved. You can register for any or all of the programs at
Eleven Things to Explore for Teaching about September 11.”

New Teacher Survival

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Did you know that Discovery Education has a whole site dedicated to helping new teachers survive? And it’s actually not a bad resource for us old pros too. From technology to homeroom to recycling glue sticks, there is a wealth of information and resources to help you have a productive year. And there is a sweepstakes where the grand prize winner gets a trip to Costa Rica (among a few other things) and the referring teacher wins a trip to a professional development conference of their choosing. Take a look at the site and recommend it to a new teacher or any of your colleagues.

The 9/11 anniversary webinars from schools near the crash sites continue tomorrow and through next week:

Friday, September 9, 12:45 – 2:15 PM NYC iSchool · New York, NY – Moderator, Paula Zahn
Monday, September 12, 1:45 – 2:45 PM Wakefield High School · Arlington, VA
Tuesday, September 13, 12:30 – 1:30 PM American History High School · Newark, NJ  – Moderator, Danny Forster

DE Webinars for the 9/11 Anniversary

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Just saw a Tweet from fellow Wilkes instructor Lance Rougeux about a live Discovery Education webinar that he’s preparing to moderate on Wednesday, September 7th. It’s the first of four live broadcasts featuring members of communities who were personally affected by the September 11th attacks. Here’s the schedule:
Wednesday, September 7, 1:30 – 2:30 PM Shanksville Stonycreek High School · Shanksville, PA
Friday, September 9, 12:45 – 2:15 PM NYC iSchool · New York, NY – Moderator, Paula Zahn
Monday, September 12, 1:45 – 2:45 PM Wakefield High School · Arlington, VA
Tuesday, September 13, 12:30 – 1:30 PM American History High School · Newark, NJ  – Moderator, Danny Forster
These webinars are intended for high school students and older due to the sensitivities involved. You can register for any or all of the programs at
Lance’s Tweet actually originally lead me to his “teacher duck” web page where he shares “Eleven Things to Explore for Teaching about September 11.”


Sunday, August 28th, 2011

For those of us old enough to remember that day ten years ago, those three digits carry with them a flurry of memories and emotion. It’s hard to believe that most of our students may not share any of that with us. This fall’s high school seniors were just starting second grade in 2001. When I read Porter Palmer’s post on the DEN Global blog a few days ago about the two part Discovery special, “Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero,” I must admit I began bracing myself for what I know will be a host of reminders over the next two weeks. Even though I was born almost nine years after the Pearl Harbor attack, December 7th was a date I knew as well as any family member’s birthday from as early as I can remember. I am pretty sure that September 11th now holds that place for generations to come.
I have two thoughts and a couple of resources to share before I leave you to your own reminiscing about that date and perhaps how your school will memorialize it.
Believe it or not, my thoughts are pretty positive. Soon after the details began to come out about the suicide pilots and the conspiracy, a Muslim high school student of mine in full burqa really felt like a spotlight had been turned on her. I mentioned that this might be a great opportunity for her to be an example of her faith and spirituality to our school community while she had their attention. (Not that she needed any coaxing from me, she was already a positive role model in so many areas of our school.) Last fall I found out she is now a Muslim chaplain at a major university. In my own family, we will be celebrating the first birthday of our youngest granddaughter. The date has taken on a life of it’s own, but life goes on.
As for resourcesDiscovery Education streaming (which all Wilkes EDIM students have full access to) has over 150 items returned after a search on “9/11.” The WTC Tribute Center, which is “based on the concept of Person-to-Person History,” offers a free DVD as part of its outreach.

Help for Busy Teachers

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

After a quick summer off, Kathy Schrock’s S.O.S: Sites of the School Days is back with timely and helpful websites to help educators get the most out of Internet resources. This week’s tip is a compilation of “Icebreakers, Energizers, and Back to School Ideas…links from the Schrockguide to help you get ready to start the new school year.” And quite a list it is with fun and practical ideas to help you get up and running for another year.

Speaking of new things, do you have an opinion about BYOD (bring your own device)? “Tech & Learning” magazine has a quick poll gauging educators’ eagerness to see tablet devices in the hands of all their students. Add your thought and check the numbers at their survey page.

From the DENBlog

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

But before we get to celebrating The Dot, there are a few other items of note over on Discovery Education’s Educator Network Blog:

Planning Ahead to Dot Day

Are you a fan of Peter H. Reynolds? If you aren’t sure who he is or about the great things that he and FableVision do for kids and learning, stop reading this right now and go visit his webpage. Seriously. Go!
If you are back, or just still here, then you know that Peter H. Reynolds and Fable Vision are responsible for some amazing kids’ literature that focuses on finding their own creativity, their own stars. He is also an advocate for educators and offers us wonderful resources, like his free, downloadable posters. One of my favorite books of Reynolds’ is The Dot, which has become so beloved around the world that it has become its own day!
Help your students find their own mark by celebrating International Dot Day on September 15, 2011. Read The Dot together as a class and find ways to have students make their own marks. Need some ideas for inspiration and activities? Check out Reynolds’ page for The Dot at his website. Start planning now! Be prepared to share your mark with other educators in September!
(Kelly Hines, NC Leadership Council)