Denise M. Whiteman

.....My name is Denise Whiteman. The original focus of this WikiSpace was to house my digital portfolio for my last Instructional Media class. I love the projects that we have did in many of the classes. I never would have thought there were so many practical things to learn about using technology in the classroom. I am very pleased!
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Denise and "Hamster"

.....I have been the elementary librarian for rural Otto-Eldred School District since 1985 and I LOVE my job. Otto-Eldred is a very small, very rural district nestled in the foothills of the Allegany Mountains along the PA-NY border about two hours east of Erie, PA. With the recent closing of the original Ethan Allen plant, our district got hit hard. Our elementary enrollment is down to about 350 so I am grateful to still be full-time. It isn't perfect, but I love working with the kids and my colleagues. My schedule is packed more than I prefer, which makes it difficult to put much time into creative new materials, but I am realistic enough to know that this is not an unusual thing these days. I see a lot of different kinds of successes and that makes me feel really good about what I do.

.....I grew up in southeastern Pennsylvania and graduated from rural Kutztown University. I have a BS in Education with a specialization in Library Science. Instructional Media was my first master's degree. This degree program has opened many new talents for my district to draw upon, especially considering we are "technologically disadvantaged", to go along with being economically disadvantaged. Our district is just accepting wiki pages as a viable instructional tool, so blogs, podcasts, and such are still on the horizon for us. I have several "extra-curricular" involvements which I feel greatly enhance my instruction. They include tap and jazz dance, geocaching, foster care, and volunteering at the Erie Zoo. I love animal handling at the zoo the most (especially the baby alligators and other reptiles!), and that has provided extensive enrichment to my class content.
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Denise and Petri


.....In my personal life I have several diverse distractions/ stress relievers (though, I guess in all reality some of them are stressors). I have been doing foster care for about 15 years; we have had over 35 kids so far. I have been volunteering at the Erie Zoo for about 8 years. Though the zoo is 2 hours away I still manage to have some of the highest numbers of hours every year (always over 200, but over 400 one year)! My favorite thing to do for them is animal handling. I do this for ZooBoo also ("Trick or Treating" with the animals at the zoo); this year I got to use their new tarantula named Hamster quite a bit. My all time favorites are the baby alligators - nothing is more cool than holding and talking about the babies! I often get to paint with the animals, including Maddie, "the Mad Boa" (6 foot Madagscar tree boa). One year I had the coolest experience. When I went down to the reptile room for the scorpion I had to walk over the chute used for the cats (leopards & jaguars) to go from their dens to the exhibits. Guess what?! One of the leopards was right there - I was within a foot of him! Do I have some cool opportunities or what! Though my favorites are the reptiles (snakes, bearded dragons, skinks) , I also get to handle fuzzies like chinchillas, ferrets, rabbits, chickens and doves, and an assortment of rodents. My family and I also enjoy geocaching. We are working on the Allegany GeoTrail and loving it! I have been doing tap dancing for 13 years - I take the teenagers class and 2 adult classes. This is also my second year of jazz. On show years (like this year) I tutor the adults several hours on weekends, too. I have even taken belly dancing! I have been married for 18 years, have one 16 year old biological daughter, one 18 year old adopted daughter (she came as a foster kid), 1 dog, 2 cats, and a degu (a very cool rodent that looks like a mix between a gerbil and a squirrel). I live in the "boondocks" and love it!

.....If you need to contact me, you can email me at school at dwhiteman@ottoeldred.org.

.....This video introduction was done toward the beginning of my Instructional Media work - in Fall 2008...and 115 pounds ago!