*VirtCon Special Edition*

Welcome to this month's SPECIAL EDITION newsletter!

The DEN Spring VirtCon is scheduled for Saturday, April 25th. In celebration of this event, we are dedicating this newsletter to all things VIRTCON!

What is the VirtCon?

Combining the Best of Virtual and Face-to-Face Events

The DEN Spring Virtual Conference is a free professional development event for educators to learn about the most effective ways to integrate digital media into their instructional practices. It is unique because of its blended environment. The sessions will be broadcast online, but you can attend either from your own home or at one of the many face-to- face (F2F) events around the world. By attending an event in your area, you get that buzz that can only be experienced by being face to face with others.

Are there any face-to-face events in the Palmetto State?


There are currently FOUR live events happening around SC. Visit the Face 2 Face Events page to find an event near you. Check out locations and descriptions to find the best fit, and then register to attend. Remember, the most convenient location just might be in your own living room. If you cannot find an event to attend in your area, then considering HOSTING ONE!

Karen Ogen... SC's very own DEN (super) STAR

Greetings from the Low Country! It's Jessica, one of your friendly Leadership Council members, and I'm hijacking this portion of the newsletter.

We don't get too personal in our DEN newsletters, but this is a "special edition," right? As a member of the SC Leadership Council, I personally wanted to take a minute to highlight one of our most active members of the SCLC: Karen Ogen. I had the privilege of interviewing Karen recently (much to her dismay). We are very fortunate in SC to have one of our own being featured as a keynote session for VirtCon- way to represent the Palmetto State, Karen!

What is your current role in the DEN at the state and national level?

I am currently involved in the DEN as a Guru and as a member of the DEN Leadership Council on the Events Team. As part of the Leadership Council I am interested in supporting teachers that use Discovery Education resources and encouraging them to join the DEN (Discovery Educator Network) as STAR Educators. In the past 4 years of serving on the Leadership Council I have offered and supported a multitude of professional development opportunities for SC DEN STARS that have included curricular integration through iPad Walks, Geocaching Days, and hosting Virtual Conferences. Along with Jessica Donaldson, I also started the SC DEN News to keep our local members updated with information and events.

Tell us about your VirtCon session, which is scheduled for 3 PM during VirtCon.

My keynote session is called "Igniting a Passion To Learn." It is about giving our students an opportunity to use creative thinking and problem solving across the curriculum and getting our students excited about learning by tapping into their personal interests. I will talk about Genius Hour, the Maker Movement, Project Based Learning, and Gamification as ways to bring the skills of collaboration, communication, and critical thinking into the classroom.

Why should educators become DEN STARs?

I encourage all educators to become DEN STARs because they will become part of the most amazing, active, and knowledgeable group of educators in the world. DEN STARs are always sharing, collaborating, and assisting others through a variety of ways including the DEN Blogs, DENAdvice and DiscoveryEd on Facebook, @DiscoveryEd and #DENChat on Twitter, and all of the in-person and virtual events offered by the DEN including the VirtCon, DENapalooza, Summer Institute, and webinars. You can learn more about the DEN community here.

How has being an active member of the DEN encouraged you to grow professionally?

Being an active member of the DEN has helped me grow professionally because they help me keep up with the constant changes in educational technology and classroom pedagogy. Discovery Education and DEN STARs are constantly sharing and creating resources for the community- and if I need to know something specific, I just ask and someone will answer! Having this amazing network of educators to call upon is a huge benefit of being part of the DEN.

What app or online tool do you seem to use the most with DE Streaming tools?

Discovery Education Streaming resources are great to use with apps and websites. Some of my favorite apps to use with DE resources include PicCollage, Educreations, StoryMe, Tellagami, Chatterpix, Write About This, and Greenscreen by DoInk. Some great web-based sites that I use with DE content include Discovery's Board Builder, Popplet, Edmodo, and Google Earth. Our students today are digital learners and it is important that we allow them to be creators and curators of digital content.


We want to connect with you! Send us an email or visit the SC blog to get involved.

Andrea Baker, Events Team,

Suzanne Brooks, Events Team,

Amy Dent, Events Team,

Jessica Donaldson, Partner Ambassador Team and Blog/Social Media,

Dawn Gardner, Events Team,

Karen Ogen, Events Team,

Robert Pettis, Events Team,

Norma Rockwell, DEN Connects,

Andrea Rollison, Events Team,

Kathy Seibert, Blog/Social Media,

Nancy Swanson, Events Team,

Jennifer Thornsberry, Blog/Social Media,