April Ballard and Sasha Tiwari, teachers from Dixon Intermediate School and West Navarre Primary School, recently joined more than 100 fellow educators from around the world for the 2017 DEN Summer Institute, an immersive, week-long professional development experience.

A global community of education professionals supported by Discovery Education, the Discovery Educator Network connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing, and inspiration. The six-day professional learning experience took place July 16-22 at the University of California, San Diego, in San Diego, Calif.

DENSI 2017 featured a number of interactive seminars and hands-on workshops designed to support educators as they combine the latest technologies and digital content to create authentic digital learning environments that engage students and improve achievement. In addition, DENSI provided an opportunity for participants to connect, collaborate, and share resources, ideas and strategies for integrating the latest technologies and digital content into classroom instruction.

Participation in the DEN Summer Institute is open to educators recognized by Discovery Education, which provides digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms.

“April and Sasha’s selection for DENSI demonstrates their outstanding leadership and commitment to using the latest technologies and innovative teaching strategies and techniques to improve student achievement,” said Lance Rougeux, vice president of learning communities and innovation for Discovery Education. “Their participation in DENSI 2017 will help increase student engagement across Santa Rosa County District Schools, and support their effort to prepare all learners with the critical skills they need to succeed beyond the classroom.”

In addition to hearing from education experts, Ballard and Tiwari participated in a series of interactive workshops led by the Discovery Education professional development team and other DEN members about creating digital content and integrating mobile and web-based tools into instruction. They also collaborated with fellow educators on a variety of educational technology projects, and shared ideas and best practices with her peers.