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The Discovery Educator Network (DEN)


Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2014 American Business Awards

Company: Discovery Education
Company Description: Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind.
Nomination Category: New Product & Service Categories - Education
Nomination Sub Category: New Product or Service of the Year - Education - Professional Learning Solution for Education

Nomination Title: The Discovery Educator Network (DEN)

Tell the story about this nominated product or service (up to 650 words). Describe its function, features, benefits, and performance to date:

Discovery Education, a division of Discovery Communications, supports educators through the Discovery Educator Network (DEN), the largest and most active community of tech-savvy educators passionate about teaching with digital media, sharing resources, collaborating and networking. The DEN gives educators unprecedented access to a wide range of technology training resources, an expansive library of teacher-generated projects and tools, and in-person and online activities. A global community of education professionals that are passionate about transforming the learning experience with digital media, the DEN connects members across town and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events – fostering valuable networking, idea-sharing, and inspiration. Some of the DEN’s major events include:

• VirtCon: DEN Virtual Conferences are a unique form of free professional development events that combine the best of both online and in-person learning. Attendees have the option of participating individually from home, or face-to-face at one of the dozens of events hosted by STAR Discovery Educators around the world.

• DEN Summer Institute (DENSI): The Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute is a week-long residential style professional development opportunity for STAR Discovery Educators focused on professional development and networking.

• DENapalooza is a series of Professional Development events that share the power of making connections through the Discovery Educator Network. Each of the stops on the nationwide tour is a full day event featuring formal presentations on topics like Digital Storytelling, Project-Based Learning, and Building Your PLN with the DEN in the morning. The afternoon is spent ‘unconference’ style, with attendees choosing the topics and leading the conversations.

As one of the largest professional education learning communities with more than 200,000 members worldwide, the DEN has hosted over 42,000 professional development events and impacted more than one million educators worldwide since its founding in 2005.

Voted the best professional development website in 2007 by the Association of Education Publishers, the DEN is a place to connect to other educators across the globe.

Researchers from the Harvard Graduate School of Education reviewed the DEN to determine how it has impacted educators’ professional development and their use of technology in their work. Their research demonstrates that connecting educators to their most valuable resource – each other – has a true impact on the quality and efficacy of their teaching.

• 90% of respondents in the study indicate that participation in the DEN has tremendously or very much supported their professional growth
• 97% of respondents indicated that the DEN improved and increased their use of technology
• Over half of respondents reported that the DEN helped them overcome challenges related to technology use at work

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief features and benefits of the nominated product or service:

-Connects educators with their most valuable resource - each other
-Provides educators with the tools needed to inform instruction, support the unique needs of each student and guide institutional success
-Hosts free, in-person events that focus on professional development and networking
-Presents free, virtual conferences with global participants
-Offers exclusive promotions such as prizes and premium access to partner websites
-Celebrates member innovation and achievement at the annual DENny awards
-Members are encouraged to share pedagogical expertise with the DEN community
-Empowers educators to grow their practice and provides a powerful network base of friendships and memories for years to come