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Build Your Instructional Strength with Discovery Education Academies

Discovery Education is proud to partner with educators to offer the following Academies, at no cost, to provide best practices in using digital content to implement standards, digital resources for immediate classroom integration, practical implementation strategies, leadership applications and more.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose a Discovery Education Academy?

There are many professional development options to support your understanding of today?s current initiatives and educational practices. However, most options provide a cursory review or a focus only on one area or aspect of these changes. A Discovery Education Academy offers a unique combination of strong instructional practices with the effective use of digital media and technology. Each Academy has the goal to support best practices that can be immediately implemented in the classroom. We give educators time to practice and use what they have been taught with the ability to fine tune and dive deeper.

We are proud to partner with educators to offer our Academies at no cost to provide effective professional learning focused on the skills and resources necessary to support all students as 21st century learners.

Who should attend a Discovery Education Academy?

We offer Academies to support various stakeholders on different topics that are current and necessary for ensuring that all students are successful as 21st century learners. Academies are developed for the ELA, Math and content area teachers as well as for district and school leaders.

What are some examples of integrating digital media and technology into

Not only will participants receive a free trial to Discovery Education Streaming Plus, a multimedia offering that engages students while providing educators with practical instructional strategies and model lesson support, the Academies will also help participants identify numerous web 2.0 tools and apps that support the effective implementation of standards, STEM, leadership strategies and Common Core. While there are many free digital tools and resources, the Discovery Education Academies will support participants in finding the best resources to fit both their needs and the needs of their students.

Who is the leader/developer of the Discovery Education Academies?

Discovery Education’s team of Academy developers includes:
Karen Beerer, Ed.D., has 28 years of experience in public education as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, principal, and supervisor of curriculum and professional development. She spent the last eight years of her career in public education as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment in Boyertown, PA. She received her Ed.D. from Lehigh University where she studied Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Beerer has a passion for professional development, specifically, helping educators utilize research-based practices in instruction to help all students achieve.  She has published several articles and provided professional development to teachers and administrators across the United States.

Johnna Weller, Ed.D., has over 20 years of experience in education as a classroom teacher, special education teacher, reading specialist, literacy coach, and supervisor of curriculum and instruction. Most recently, Dr. Weller served as the Assistant to the Superintendent for Teaching and Learning in a Pennsylvania school district. She also teaches graduate courses and has been a consultant in several school systems. Additionally, she participates on various state and national committees related to the Common Core State Standards. Dr. Weller enthusiastically believes in empowering educators to impact learning for all students.

Cindy Moss, Ed.D., is the Director of Global STEM Initiatives for Discovery Education.  Dr. Moss was director of STEM for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. She also taught biology and chemistry. Among her many achievements, she won a National Educator Award from the Milken Family Foundation. In 2011, Dr. Moss was selected by STEM Connector as one of the 100 Women Leaders in STEM.

What research is used to develop the instructional models used in this professional development?

Discovery Education Academies use key industry research on effective professional development to develop the instructional models used.

Over the last decade, a large body of research has accumulated that examines the effectiveness of professional development experiences. Work done for the National Partnership for Excellence and Accountability in Teaching (NPEAT) identified general principles from these studies.

Effective professional development:
> Focuses on what students are to learn and on how to address the different problems students may have in learning the material.
> Involves teachers in the identification of what they need to learn and in the development of the learning experiences in which they will be involved.
> Is organized around collaborative problem solving.
> Is continuous and ongoing, involving follow-up and support for further learning.
> Provides opportunities to gain an understanding of the theory underlying the knowledge and skills being learned. [Cooper, 2004]

Similarly, effective professional development provides teachers with many opportunities to interact with ideas and procedures or practice new skills (NSDC, 2009a). Every Discovery Education Academy is highly interactive and requires every attendee to apply what he/she has learned by working on plans for his/her own District.

Moreover, effective professional development is coherent because it is connected to clear goals such as a school improvement plan or state learning standards (King and Newmann, 2004). Our Academies use academic standards as the backbone of the professional development experience, preparing teachers with specific and clear strategies to implement standards in their Districts.

In addition, there are four critical components to help teachers learn new strategies and skills: (1) presentation of theory, (2) demonstration of the strategy or skill, (3) initial practice in the workshop, and (4) prompt feedback about their teaching. [Cooper, 2004]

The Discovery Education Academies incorporate these four components in the design and execution of our sessions, with an emphasis on digital media and technology integration.

What are others that have attended saying about Discovery Education Common Core Academies?

"I highly recommend the Discovery Education Common Core Academy! Our presenter was engaging, knowledgeable, and so informative. I left the Academy today with a greater understanding of the Common Core State Standards and a toolbox of resources I feel confident in using in order to implement the expectations of the CCSS."
Mary Lipic
Brentwood Public Schools
St Louis, MO

"Best seminar I've ever attended! Johnna was an excellent, knowledgeable presenter and really helped me understand what I need to do to implement."
Valerie Minder
Miramonte School
American Canyon, CA

"The Discovery Education Common Core Academy is a great resource and training opportunity for any educator. It provides a wealth of resources and a forum for discussing and breaking down the standards. It is also a great place to bounce ideas off of other educators from other districts/schools."
Benjamin Sung
Natick Public Schools
Natick, MA

"Anyone who has questions about the CCSS will get them answered at this Academy. I love the resources provided to use in my classroom."
Philomena Burke
Rockwood School District
St Louis, MO

"The materials, the content covered, and the instructor were all first class! This is among the most informational professional development I have ever been a part of."
Kelly Bradbury
Randolph Township Schools
Center Valley, PA

"This was the best, most relevant, and effective PD for Common Core I have experienced ? and I've been to many."
Cindy Neu
Brentwood Public Schools
St Louis, MO

"This is a 'no brainer'! Every professional educator needs this training!"
Bill Smith
Tennessee Department of Children's Services Provider School
Greenville, TN

What do I need to bring to an Academy?

Please bring a fully-charged laptop or other device. Many of the materials will be accessed online during the Academy.

Is there any pre-Academy work that must be done to attend?

No prior work must be completed to attend.

Can I earn CEUs from attending a Discovery Education Academy?

Currently, our Academies do not offer CEUs. However, we provide you with a certificate of completion that you can share with your district for professional development hours.

Who can I contact with questions?

name: Dr. Karen Beerer
phone: 240-893-5162