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Whitlow educators attend digital content summit
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Forsyth County News

Two heads of a local elementary school recently participated in an exclusive professional development event in the nation’s Capital.

Melinda Castleberry, principal at Whitlow Elementary School, and Jennifer Vanderbunt, an assistant principal at Whitlow, joined 48 fellow principals from across the U.S. and Canada for the 2015 DEN Summer Institute Principal Summit. The immersive, four-day event provided networking experiences and workshops on technology and digital content.

American University in Washington, D.C. hosted the event July 9-12.

The Discovery Educator Network (DEN) 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.”

Both local educators learned new ways to “energize their own leadership and empower their teachers from nationally recognized speakers, Discovery Education experts and their peers.”

Attendees participated in a number of interactive workshops led by the Discovery Education professional development team and other DEN members, engaging in dialogue on topics such as supporting teachers through the digital transition, digital literacy across curriculums, building their school’s brand and how to showcase their school’s success to the community.

Discovery Education is a global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, serving three million educators and more than 30 million students by placing its services in half of U.S. classrooms.

“During this experience we learned from and connected with other innovative principals across North America who share a passion for using the latest technologies and digital content to support the success of each learner in their school,” Castleberry said. “We are excited to share the new, creative strategies and techniques for using technology to enhance the learning experience with our colleagues at Forsyth County Schools, so even more students can benefit from this great professional learning opportunity.”

Castleberry and Vanderbunt were selected to attend the summit through a competitive application process that involved written and video explanations of how they are helping transform teaching, learning and culture at their school and how they will share with others what they learn during the event.

“These educators’ selection for the DENSI Principal Summit demonstrates their outstanding leadership and commitment to using the latest innovations in teaching and learning to enhance students’ learning and classroom experiences,” said Lance Rougeux, vice president of learning communities and innovation for Discovery Education. “The skills and knowledge they have gained from this learning experience will help them improve teaching and learning at their schools, and better prepare students for success beyond the classroom.”