FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 03.04.10
Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
Sandy Fash, C. Blohm & Associates
Discovery Education Announces 2010 Discovery Educator Network Gurus
–Five educators recognized through competitive process as thought leaders in professional learning community –
Silver Spring, MD. (March 4, 2010) –Highlighting educators who have a passion for sharing best practices with their peers, Discovery Education announces the 2010 Discovery Educator Network (DEN) Gurus. Five educators were chosen through a competitive application process as the first-ever DEN Gurus, and are recognized as thought leaders for one of the nation’s largest professional learning communities.
Since its inception in 2005, the DEN has grown to more than 125,000 members. DEN members can access a wide range of technology training resources, use a library of teacher-generated projects and tools, and gather periodically for in-person and online activities. Those DEN members seeking additional engagement with the learning community and access to even more DEN resources and benefits can apply to be STAR Discovery Educators. STARs who are interested in further shaping the direction of the community can apply to become part of their regional DEN Leadership Councils. In 2009, Discovery Education offered another level of membership for the DEN, providing STARs the opportunity to apply to the DEN Guru program.
The five educators chosen to be DEN Gurus are STARs who have demonstrated their expertise in one or more pedagogical topic areas through a variety of professional experiences, and have been acknowledged as advocates for the meaningful integration of educational technologies and digital content into curriculum.
The 2010 DEN Gurus are:
Traci Blazosky, Clarion Area School District, Pa., for Creative Construction with Multimedia
Traci Blazosky is a first grade teacher at Clarion Area Elementary School in Clarion, Pa. Recognized in 2007 as a state level Keystone Technology Integrator, Blazosky has facilitated the Keystones State Summit for the past two years. She also serves on the Pennsylvania DEN Leadership Council. In 2009, the Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communications and Technology recognized Blazosky as “Outstanding Teacher of the Year,” and she represented Pennsylvania at NECC 2009 as the state’s nominee for the ISTE “Teacher of the Year” Award. In addition, she works with Clarion University’s Center for Teacher Excellence, running a series of paraprofessional workshops on technology. Blazosky is working toward a Master’s degree in Instructional Media at Wilkes University.
Tim Childers, Bradley County Schools, Tenn., for Project-Based Learning
Tim Childers is a middle school teacher in southeast Tennessee. Serving his school as both a classroom teacher and a technology trainer for students and teachers, he works primarily with eighth grade students, helping them prepare for high school and beyond. His students are challenged to create real-world content related to careers of interest to them. Childers has been a DEN member from its inception, and serves on the Tennessee DEN Leadership Council as the blogging coordinator and is passionate about helping educators integrate technology into their classrooms in authentic ways. Childers’ use of Discovery Education streaming and other Web 2.0 applications is geared toward conducting project-based learning in the classroom, and his goal is to help other educators do the same.
Patricia Duncan, Wallenpaupack Area School District, Pa., for Science
Patti Duncan is an educator, scientist, technology consultant, and professional development trainer. After working for 10 years as a food chemist, Duncan began her second career in education in 1997. She has taught middle school and high school science for 12 years, most recently for the Wallenpaupack Area School District in Hawley, Pa. She has presented on a variety of subjects at conferences for the New Jersey Science Teachers Association, New Jersey Teachers Association, National Science Teachers Association, Chem-Ed, BCCE, and PETE&C, as well as at workshops for both Wilkes University and Rutgers University. Sharing what she knows about science and technology education has become a passion, as well as a career. Duncan serves as event chair of the Pennsylvania DEN Leadership Council and is the lead blogger for the Siemens STEM Academy.
Lee Kolbert, The School District of Palm Beach County, Fla., for Personal Learning Networks
Lee Kolbert has been an educator in Palm Beach County, Fla., for 25 years. She spent 20 years as an elementary school teacher and five as a district technology program specialist. Her primary focus as an administrator was to engage teachers in new conversations to help them take the next step toward technology integration. During the last year, she chose to return to teaching and is now once again a classroom teacher. Kolbert has been a STAR since 2005, and serves as chair of the Florida DEN Leadership Council. Also, a blogger and “hockeymom,” she loves everything about bringing the benefits of social networking to the classroom. She co-hosts a local cable television show, PalmBreeze CAFÉ, which focuses on online tools useful for educators and the community. She has presented at various local and national conferences, and has recently started consulting.
Nancy Sharoff, Ellenville Central Schools, N.Y., for Visual Literacy
Nancy Sharoff began her journey as a life-long learner in the Department of Defense Schools in Europe. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree, she worked as an academic advisor for the University of Maryland, European Division. Sharoff is an educator with more than 18 years of experience at the elementary and middle school levels. She has developed and taught graduate level courses and workshops in the areas of visual literacy, educational technology and children’s literature. In addition, she has presented on these topics at regional, state, national, and virtual levels. A STAR Discovery Educator since 2006, Sharoff serves on both the New York and Second Life DEN Leadership Councils.
As thought leaders in the educational community, DEN Gurus will share their expertise with other educators across the country in a variety of ways. In addition to being featured as regular contributors to the National DEN Blog, DEN Gurus also will produce and present a series of Webinars and represent the DEN and Discovery Education at major educational conferences throughout the year.
“The DEN boasts an overabundance of talent,” said Lance Rougeux, director of the Discovery Educator Network. “Every STAR has his or her specialties, and our first ever DEN Gurus have demonstrated a true mastery in the field for which they were chosen. We are proud to highlight these five educators as experts and leaders in education, and look forward to working with them this year.”
For more information about the Discovery Educator Network, or any other products and services from Discovery Education, please visit www.discoveryeducation.com or call 800-323-9084.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education. Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.