Two VASD Educators Chosen for Exclusive Technology Education Opportunity

Two VASD Educators Chosen for Exclusive Technology Education Opportunity
Posted on 07/21/2016
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Two of Verona Area School District’s educational technology coordinators, Karie Huttner and Rita Mortenson, recently joined over 100 fellow educators from around the world for the 2016 DEN Summer Institute (DENSI), an immersive, week-long professional development experience. A global community of education professionals supported by Discovery Education, 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. The six-day professional learning experience was held July 17-22 at Loyola University in Chicago, IL.

DENSI 2016 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.

“We are very proud of the educators from our district selected to participate in DENSI 2016, and our community is inspired by their commitment to using the latest technologies and digital content to help all students reach their highest potential,” said Dean Gorrell, Superintendent. “The students of Verona Area School District will benefit tremendously from the new approaches to using educational technologies Karie and Rita have taken away from this great professional learning opportunity.”

Participation in the DEN Summer Institute is open to educators recognized by Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, as STAR Discovery Educators. STAR Discovery Educators are active members of the DEN and proven leaders in transforming teaching and learning. The DEN is the largest and most active professional learning network of its kind.

“Karie and Rita’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 2016 will help increase student engagement across Verona Area School District, and support their district’s effort to prepare all learners with the critical skills they need to succeed beyond the classroom.”

In addition to hearing from education experts, Huttner and Mortenson 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. Huttner and Mortenson also collaborated with fellow educators on a variety of educational technology projects, and shared ideas and best practices with their peers.

After participating in the DEN Summer Institute, Huttner and Mortenson will return to Verona Area School District equipped to help their peers transform teaching and learning with new strategies and techniques for integrating digital resources into curriculum and instruction.

For more information about the DEN Summer Institute, visit

To learn more about the DEN and Discovery Education’s other services and initiatives, visit

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at
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