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Discovery Education Invites Educators to Attend Spring Virtual Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
240-662-2893
stephen_wakefield@discovery.com

Emily Embury, C. Blohm & Associates
608-839-9800
emily@cblohm.com

–Free professional development event on April 24th to focus on integrating educational technologies into classroom instruction –

Silver Spring, Md. (March 22, 2010) – Educators worldwide are invited to join online and in-person on Saturday, April 24, 2010, for the Discovery Educator Network Virtual Conference. Sponsored by Discovery Education, this Spring’s Virtual Conference theme is Connect the Thoughts. The high-quality, free professional development seminars scheduled for this event will focus on providing attendees the skills and techniques they need to connect digital content and educational technology in a fashion that maximizes each resource and improves student engagement.

The Spring Virtual Conference is presented by the Discovery Educator Network (DEN), a global community of more than 125,000 educators supported by Discovery Education. One of the nation’s largest professional learning communities, the DEN enables educators to collaborate and share resources with peers around the world. DEN members are passionate about integrating technology into classroom curriculum and working together to improve student achievement.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn from education experts from across the U.S. and Canada. Christina Asquith, author of “Sisters in War: A Story of Love, Family and Survival in the New Iraq,” keynotes this event and will share how life has changed for Iraqi women since the U.S. invasion in 2003. She spent five years living and reporting in the Middle East. Asquith will discuss how local traditions are being challenged by the arrival of cell phones, Internet and Oprah.

Lee Kolbert, DEN Guru and teacher from The School District of Palm Beach County, will lead a session on personal learning networks, and Dean Shareski, digital learning consultant from Prairie South School Division in Saskatchewan, will make the case for networked learners. In addition, Carol Anne McGuire, STAR Discovery Educator and founder of Rock Our World, will present on connecting students through global collaboration.

Finally, nationally known Discovery Education speakers, Matt Monjan, Lindsay Hopkins and Lance Rougeux, will offer sessions on topics including engaging students with digital media, connecting language learners to curriculum through digital media, and learning more about the benefits of being a Discovery Educator Network member.

These informative sessions will be delivered via webcast to conference attendees worldwide. In addition to attending the Virtual Conference online, participants have the opportunity to attend in-person regional events hosted by the DEN Leadership Councils. Those attending in-person gatherings will participate in the online presentations, as well as breakout sessions presented by local STAR Discovery Educators.

For more information about the Discovery Educator Network Virtual Conference or any of the in-person regional events complementing the conference, including schedules and registration information, visit http://links.discoveryeducation.com/infoDENVirtCon.

For more information about Discovery Education and the Discovery Educator Network, 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.

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Exclusive Screening of New Documentary LIFE Kicks-Off High School Phase of Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Lauren Espin, for Siemens Foundation
732-590-2182
lauren.espin@siemens.com

Juliet Farrell, for Discovery Communications
240-662-1707
juliet_farrell@discovery.com

Kate Meyer, for NSTA
703-312-9211
kmeyer@nsta.org

–Nation’s Premier Sustainability Challenge Expands to Encourage High School Students to Become Green ‘Agents of Change’ in Their Communities and Beyond–

(PHILADELPHIA) – The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) are partnering again this year to educate, empower and engage students and teachers nationwide to become “Agents of Change” in improving their communities through the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge . This year, the Challenge, which in 2009 attracted thousands of participants across the country, expands again, inviting high school students in ninth through twelfth grades to join the effort to meet the environmental challenges of our age.

This new phase of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge kicks off today at an exclusive screening for science teachers of Discovery Channel’s new documentary LIFE at Philadelphia’s renowned Franklin Institute in conjunction with the NSTA National Conference. From the makers of PLANET EARTH, LIFE is the definitive exploration of our planet’s living things and their spectacular, bizarre and fascinating behaviors, bringing to the forefront the necessity of environmental awareness and sustainability.

In keeping with the Challenge’s overall mission to build a more sustainable world, high school participants are encouraged to form teams of up to four students, research an energy-related issue using scientific investigation, and create a replicable solution using web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education.

“The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge is a unique environmental challenge that aims to inspire our nations students from elementary school through high school to become stewards of our planet through scientific exploration,” said Siemens Foundation President Jeniffer Harper-Taylor. “Our goal is to motivate our next generation of scientists, engineers and environmentalists to make an impact in the world around them.”

“EPA is proud to be a part of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge for high school students. The thousands of students who already have participated in the Challenge have demonstrated that everyone can make a difference in supporting the health of the environment,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “The EPA is working with the Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, and the National Science Teachers Association to harness the extraordinary creativity and talent of our nation’s young people. We’re preparing the innovators of tomorrow by giving them an opportunity to solve the problems of today.”

Teachers, students and mentors can log on to www.wecanchange.com now to register for the 2011 Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge , which officially opened for entries on March 15, 2010. Student and teacher/mentor prizes include scholarships, grants, TV appearances and much more. Fostering learning, teamwork and problem solving around sustainability, the website offers robust resource guides of standards-based lesson plans and teacher materials to accompany each stage of the Challenge. These materials are created by Discovery Education, the division of Discovery Communications providing scientifically proven, standards-based digital content and resources to classrooms nationwide, and the NSTA, the largest science teacher organization in the world dedicated to improving science education and increasing student learning by engaging all teachers of science.

The deadline for entries for the 2011 Challenge is March 15, 2011 (finalists and winners announced in April 2011 and national winners announced in May 2011).

The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge first launched in 2008 with a national middle-school challenge focused on local community change. The grand prize winning team, Team Dead Weight from West Branch, Iowa, raised awareness of the environmental hazards of lead wheel weights in tires. As a result of their efforts and participation in the Challenge, they were invited to present their project at the United Nations International Youth Day and to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Senior Administrator Lisa Jackson as well as meet Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. In 2009, the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge expanded to include an elementary school phase with students focusing projects on their classroom and school environments.

About the Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation provides more than $7 million annually in support of educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the United States. Its signature programs include the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, and The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, which encourages K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues. In February 2010 the Siemens Foundation launched its newest initiative, The Siemens STEM Academy, a national STEM education program for teachers designed to support educators in their efforts to foster student achievement in these fields. By supporting outstanding students today, and recognizing the teachers and schools that inspire their excellence, the Foundation helps nurture tomorrow’s scientists and engineers. The Foundation’s mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens’ U.S. companies and its parent company, Siemens AG. For further information, visit www.siemens-foundation.org .

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 .

About the National Science Teachers Association
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA`s current membership includes more than 60,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education. For more information, please visit www.nsta.org .

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Discovery Education and Wilkes University Announce First Graduates in Master’s Degree Program in Instructional Media

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:
Vicki Mayk, Wilkes University
(570) 408-4779
vicki.mayk@wilkes.edu

Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
240-662-2893
stephen_wakefield@discovery.com

–Graduates prepared to incorporate digital media and technology effectively into instruction –

Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (March 8, 2010) – Wilkes University and Discovery Education congratulate ten educators and instructional media designers from the United States and Canada for having recently graduated from the innovative online master’s degree program in instructional media offered collaboratively by the two organizations.

Launched in June 2008, the 30-credit instructional media program prepares educators to engage today’s students in learning through digital content. Graduates from the program are prepared to effectively blend academic rigor with the latest technology, from videos to Web 2.0 tools to virtual field trips.

The program’s first graduates are:

  • Argentina Amores, Hialeah, Fla.
  • Laura Cawley, Fort Mill, S.C., graphic design artist, McBride & Bride, LLC
  • Kristine Dreaver-Charles, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Credenda Virtual High School
  • Colleen Duffy, Dallas, Pa.
  • Pamela Ellsesser, Harrisburg, Pa., owner, Komputer Kids, an educational technology consulting company
  • Tracie Hightower, Southfield, Mich., owner, Kemet Creative Media, LLC
  • Robin Hoffman, Salisbury Md., instructional designer, Salisbury University
  • Jeremy May, Clayton, N.C, science teacher, Riverwood Middle School, Johnston County School District
  • Tara Lee O’Toole, Limerick, Pa., math teacher, Spring-Ford High School
  • Katrina Johnston Schultz, Edinboro, Pa., chemistry teacher, Girard School District
  • “This master’s in instructional media combines best practices in 21st century teaching with the outstanding expertise and media services from Discovery Education,” said Michael Speziale, dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. “We know our new graduates will have an immediate transformative affect on student understanding and achievement leveraging digital media that engages, inspires and ultimately helps each student live up to their fullest potential.”

    “Districts nationwide are investing in digital media and educational technology, significantly increasing the demand for skilled educators who can effectively implement new tools and technologies across the curriculum,” said Scott Kinney, vice president of global outreach and learning initiatives, Discovery Education. “We are very proud of the program’s first graduates and encourage educators nationwide to consider participating in the program to learn new and different ways of incorporating technology in the classroom.”

    The instructional media degree program focuses on employing the latest technology and Web resources in the classroom. Courses include digital storytelling, differentiation supported by technology and digital media in the classroom. Course designers include nationally-known education technology leaders, including Kathy Schrock, Joe Brennan, Lance Rougeux, and Steve Dembo.

    Discovery Education and Wilkes University have worked together since 2005 to help educators integrate educational technology into classroom curriculum to ultimately improve student academic achievement. For more information about the program and upcoming classes, visit www.discoveryeducation.com/masters.

    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.

    About Wilkes University
    Wilkes University is a premier, nonsectarian liberal arts university located in northeastern Pennsylvania. One of the largest private providers of graduate education for teachers in Pennsylvania, Wilkes offers master’s degree programs in education, a doctor of education degree in educational leadership, and four letter of endorsement programs. Learn more at www.wilkes.edu.

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    Discovery Education Announces 2010 Discovery Educator Network Gurus

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contacts:
    Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
    240-662-2893
    stephen_wakefield@discovery.com

    Sandy Fash, C. Blohm & Associates
    608-839-9800
    sandy@cblohm.com

    –Five educators recognized through competitive process as thought leaders in professional learning community –

    Silver Spring, MD. (March 4, 2010) –Highlighting educators who have a passion for sharing best practices with their peers, Discovery Education announces the 2010 Discovery Educator Network (DEN) Gurus. Five educators were chosen through a competitive application process as the first-ever DEN Gurus, and are recognized as thought leaders for one of the nation’s largest professional learning communities.

    Since its inception in 2005, the DEN has grown to more than 125,000 members. DEN members can access a wide range of technology training resources, use a library of teacher-generated projects and tools, and gather periodically for in-person and online activities. Those DEN members seeking additional engagement with the learning community and access to even more DEN resources and benefits can apply to be STAR Discovery Educators. STARs who are interested in further shaping the direction of the community can apply to become part of their regional DEN Leadership Councils. In 2009, Discovery Education offered another level of membership for the DEN, providing STARs the opportunity to apply to the DEN Guru program.

    The five educators chosen to be DEN Gurus are STARs who have demonstrated their expertise in one or more pedagogical topic areas through a variety of professional experiences, and have been acknowledged as advocates for the meaningful integration of educational technologies and digital content into curriculum.

    The 2010 DEN Gurus are:

    Traci Blazosky, Clarion Area School District, Pa., for Creative Construction with Multimedia
    Traci Blazosky is a first grade teacher at Clarion Area Elementary School in Clarion, Pa. Recognized in 2007 as a state level Keystone Technology Integrator, Blazosky has facilitated the Keystones State Summit for the past two years. She also serves on the Pennsylvania DEN Leadership Council. In 2009, the Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communications and Technology recognized Blazosky as “Outstanding Teacher of the Year,” and she represented Pennsylvania at NECC 2009 as the state’s nominee for the ISTE “Teacher of the Year” Award. In addition, she works with Clarion University’s Center for Teacher Excellence, running a series of paraprofessional workshops on technology. Blazosky is working toward a Master’s degree in Instructional Media at Wilkes University.

    Tim Childers, Bradley County Schools, Tenn., for Project-Based Learning
    Tim Childers is a middle school teacher in southeast Tennessee. Serving his school as both a classroom teacher and a technology trainer for students and teachers, he works primarily with eighth grade students, helping them prepare for high school and beyond. His students are challenged to create real-world content related to careers of interest to them. Childers has been a DEN member from its inception, and serves on the Tennessee DEN Leadership Council as the blogging coordinator and is passionate about helping educators integrate technology into their classrooms in authentic ways. Childers’ use of Discovery Education streaming and other Web 2.0 applications is geared toward conducting project-based learning in the classroom, and his goal is to help other educators do the same.

    Patricia Duncan, Wallenpaupack Area School District, Pa., for Science
    Patti Duncan is an educator, scientist, technology consultant, and professional development trainer. After working for 10 years as a food chemist, Duncan began her second career in education in 1997. She has taught middle school and high school science for 12 years, most recently for the Wallenpaupack Area School District in Hawley, Pa. She has presented on a variety of subjects at conferences for the New Jersey Science Teachers Association, New Jersey Teachers Association, National Science Teachers Association, Chem-Ed, BCCE, and PETE&C, as well as at workshops for both Wilkes University and Rutgers University. Sharing what she knows about science and technology education has become a passion, as well as a career. Duncan serves as event chair of the Pennsylvania DEN Leadership Council and is the lead blogger for the Siemens STEM Academy.

    Lee Kolbert, The School District of Palm Beach County, Fla., for Personal Learning Networks
    Lee Kolbert has been an educator in Palm Beach County, Fla., for 25 years. She spent 20 years as an elementary school teacher and five as a district technology program specialist. Her primary focus as an administrator was to engage teachers in new conversations to help them take the next step toward technology integration. During the last year, she chose to return to teaching and is now once again a classroom teacher. Kolbert has been a STAR since 2005, and serves as chair of the Florida DEN Leadership Council. Also, a blogger and “hockeymom,” she loves everything about bringing the benefits of social networking to the classroom. She co-hosts a local cable television show, PalmBreeze CAFÉ, which focuses on online tools useful for educators and the community. She has presented at various local and national conferences, and has recently started consulting.

    Nancy Sharoff, Ellenville Central Schools, N.Y., for Visual Literacy
    Nancy Sharoff began her journey as a life-long learner in the Department of Defense Schools in Europe. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree, she worked as an academic advisor for the University of Maryland, European Division. Sharoff is an educator with more than 18 years of experience at the elementary and middle school levels. She has developed and taught graduate level courses and workshops in the areas of visual literacy, educational technology and children’s literature. In addition, she has presented on these topics at regional, state, national, and virtual levels. A STAR Discovery Educator since 2006, Sharoff serves on both the New York and Second Life DEN Leadership Councils.

    As thought leaders in the educational community, DEN Gurus will share their expertise with other educators across the country in a variety of ways. In addition to being featured as regular contributors to the National DEN Blog, DEN Gurus also will produce and present a series of Webinars and represent the DEN and Discovery Education at major educational conferences throughout the year.

    “The DEN boasts an overabundance of talent,” said Lance Rougeux, director of the Discovery Educator Network. “Every STAR has his or her specialties, and our first ever DEN Gurus have demonstrated a true mastery in the field for which they were chosen. We are proud to highlight these five educators as experts and leaders in education, and look forward to working with them this year.”

    For more information about the Discovery Educator Network, or any other products and services from Discovery Education, please visit www.discoveryeducation.com or call 800-323-9084.

    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.

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    Discovery Education Boosts Support for STEM/Public Policy and Marketing Teams

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contacts:
    Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
    240-662-2893
    stephen_wakefield@discovery.com

    Emily Embury, C. Blohm & Associates
    608-839-9806
    emily@cblohm.com

    –Additional staff supports Discovery Education’s efforts to improve student academic achievement –

    Silver Spring, MD. (March 1, 2010) –Discovery Education announces the addition of two new leaders to its STEM/public policy and marketing teams, further enhancing programs and resources empowering educators to improve student academic achievement.

    As the Director of STEM Programs and Strategic Initiatives, Kelly Denson serves as the primary contact for Discovery Education’s numerous STEM projects and public policy endeavors. Denson has nearly 20 years experience in the development and oversight of programs for wide-ranging populations as evidenced by her recent positions with the Educational Testing Service (ETS). With a focus on public affairs and public policy activities, she provided intelligence to business units on issues involving K-12 and higher education, STEM, the U.S. Department of Education, workforce readiness, and other education-related topics.

    Prior to ETS, Denson served as an educational consultant for The Vanguard Group, held positions at various institutions of higher and K-12 education, including Boston University and SUNY Empire State College in N.Y and taught science at the Dalton School in New York City. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master in Education degree from Harvard University. Denson will report to Discovery Education Vice President of Global Outreach and Learning Initiatives Scott Kinney, and will work closely with Discovery Communications’ corporate Government Relations team.

    “Decision makers in Washington, D.C. and state capitols across the country are turning their attention to improving student achievement in the STEM disciplines,” said Kinney. “Kelly’s outstanding ability to manage and explain complicated educational issues and regulation and nurture long-lasting relationships will help create an environment in which digital content and educational technologies can be leveraged to improve student academic achievement in this field so critical to our nation’s future.”

    Also joining Discovery Education’s senior leadership team, Clint Perez has been named Vice President of Marketing for Discovery Education. Perez has broad-based experience in designing and implementing marketing and brand management programs for world-class brands, including Best Buy, Insignia and Apple Computer. In his new role, Perez provides comprehensive strategic oversight across a broad portfolio of Discovery Education marketing programs designed to support school districts in replicating digital curriculum success stories, student achievement and teacher effectiveness in the K-12 and higher education marketplace. In addition, Perez is charged with building strategies to leverage the Discovery brand in support of driving student engagement.

    Prior to Discovery Education, Perez formulated marketing and brand strategy for Best Buy’s private label business as well as the company’s premium home theatre, computers, brand marketing and customer innovation divisions. In addition, he also held senior-level marketing, consulting and accounting positions with Apple Computer, Inc., KPMG Consulting and Discovery Communications, Inc. Perez has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan. In this new role, Perez will report directly to Discovery Education Chief Marketing Officer Lori McFarling.

    “Marketing is all about understanding, anticipating and ultimately exceeding customer needs,” said McFarling. “School districts across the nation are replacing traditional textbooks with digital content as the primary instructional tool to engage students in learning. Discovery Education looks to Clint to support this transition and educators in their mission of helping each student meet their fullest academic potential.”

    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 .

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