FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 09.09.10
Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
Sandy Fash, C. Blohm & Associates
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Increasing Integration of Digital Content into Curriculum through Expanded Partnership with Discovery Education
--Mix of professional development and curriculum alignment services grows traction of digital content as core instructional tool--
Silver Spring, Md. (Sept. 9, 2010) – Building on their successful implementation of digital content services and growing the role of digital resources as a core instructional tool, administrators and educators in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula Borough School District are continuing their efforts to integrate digital media into curriculum with professional development and curriculum alignment services from Discovery Education .
In August 2009, district administrators rolled out Discovery Education streaming Plus , as well as Discovery Education Science and Discovery Education Health to educators across the 44 school system as part of an ongoing effort to engage 21 st Century students in learning. This digital content, locally hosted on a Discovery Media Server within the district firewall, immediately became an integral resource used by both teachers and students district-wide. In addition to dynamic digital resources, the district also purchased a subscription to Discovery Education’s MediaShare in an effort to facilitate teacher collaboration.
A central component of the initial roll-out of Discovery Education’s digital content included 15 days of professional development. These immersive trainings, designed in consultation with Kenai administrators and led by Discovery Education’s professional development staff, provided participating educators the basics of using digital media with existing educational technologies and quickly built the skills necessary to integrate digital content into classroom activities.
“Our school system’s mission is to provide stimulating, integrated learning opportunities that develop creative, productive learners who demonstrate the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to meet life’s challenges,” said Dr. Steve Atwater, superintendent of schools. “Our initial implementation of Discovery Education’s digital services was so successful in helping us meet that goal that we wanted to continue to improve our proficiency in using this resource and integrate it even further into instruction.”
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District recently renewed their partnership with Discovery Education, ensuring teachers and students district-wide continued access to Discovery Education streaming Plus, Discovery Education Science and Discovery Education Health. In addition, the district has increased its commitment to professional development, purchasing more than 130 additional professional development days over the next three years. These professional development days are designed to help educators leverage educational technologies and digital content to support several district initiatives including teaching elementary science with an emphasis on literacy, integrating STEM into middle school curriculum, and integrating English language arts lessons into current middle and high school social studies lessons.
“Our classrooms are dynamic environments that seek to engage every student, no matter their learning modality,” said Sean Dusek, assistant superintendent of instruction. “Our district is committed to empowering educators not only with flexible digital content that engages all types of students, but with the latest strategies and techniques to help us meet the goals of our science and literacy programs.”
In addition to professional development services, Discovery Education’s curriculum alignment team also will analyze district curriculum documents related to key learning initiatives to determine the best digital assets, including video chapters, images, articles, audio, writing prompts, games, and interactives for each district standard. Once the content has been matched to the appropriate standard, those assets will be embedded directly into the district’s curricular documents. By aligning digital assets from Discovery Education to Kenai’s curriculum at a granular level, district educators are further empowered to engage students with different learning styles and interests through many types of digital media.
“Discovery Education and the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District share a joint mission to help every student live up to their fullest academic potential,” said Betsy Drennan, director, Discovery Education. “Their talented corps of educators and administrators is dedicated to improving student engagement through the integration of the latest educational technologies and digital content into instruction, and we look forward to supporting them in this endeavor.”
In addition to providing digital content, professional development and curriculum alignment services, Discovery Education will continue to build capacity and to support educators in Kenai through one of the nation’s largest professional learning communities, the Discovery Educator Network (DEN). Through the DEN, educators have access to a wide range of technology training as well as a resource library of teacher-generated projects and tools.
For more information about Discovery Education, visit www.discoveryeducation.com .
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 .