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POPULAR DISCOVERY EDUCATION WEBINAR SERIES RETURNS TO EXPLORE TEACHER LEADERSHIP, LITERACY, THE DIGITAL TRANSITION AND MORE 

Christina Scripps, Discovery Education
240-662-6502
christina_scripps@discovery.com

Silver Spring, Md. (October 20, 2014)Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms nationwide, announced today the return of its popular Leadership@Now webinar series.  Providing an opportunity to interact with a range of leaders focused on critical topics in education and offered to educators at no cost, the next installment of this series kicks off today, October 20 at 7 p.m. ET with a conversation on leadership in the age of connectedness. During this webinar, Tom Whitby and Steven Anderson, authors of The Relevant Educator: How Connectedness Empowers Learning, will discuss their own paths to connectedness, why it is necessary for school leaders to connect, and some of the most effective ways to build meaningful connections.

Topics and dates for future webinars in this series include:

  • Redefining Literacy for Today’s Learner, featuring Dr. Karen Beerer, Discovery Education’s vice president of professional development and a former Pennsylvania teacher and administrator with more than 25 years of experience in education. In this webinar coming December 9 at 7 p.m. ET, Beerer will discuss new literacies – including visual literacy, digital literacy, 21st century literacy, and media literacy – and practical leadership strategies to help transform literacy instruction for today’s learners.
  • Pathways to the Digital Transition, featuring Dr. Johnna Weller, director of professional development at Discovery Education. Weller 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 in Pennsylvania. On January 13 at 7 p.m. ET, Weller will connect technology integration to instructional practice using the Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR) framework.
  • Thinking Outside the Bubble: Upgrading Student Assessments, featuring Kelly Pauling, director of professional development at Discovery Education and former Director of Curriculum Services at Pennsylvania’s Colonial Intermediate Unit 20. On February 10 at 7 p.m. ET, Pauling will discuss how to empower students to take ownership of their own learning through relevant performance tasks.
  • Indicators of Success – A Digital Administrators Walkthrough, featuring Dr. Carol Wetzel, Discovery Education’s senior director of urban partnerships and a former educator and data coach.  On March 17 at 7 p.m. ET, Wetzel will look at what effective integration of technology to engage students in reaching learning targets looks like, feels like, and sounds like. She will also discuss how to lead educators towards the promise of the digital transition.
  • What’s Your Story – Sharing Your Site’s Success, featuring Steve Dembo, Discovery Education’s director of social media strategy and online community, and a former kindergarten teacher and school director of technology in Chicago. On April 14 at 7 p.m. ET, Dembo will explore ways to leverage student evangelists as a powerful marketing force for your institution. 
  • Building Teacher Leadership – Lessons Learned, scheduled for May 13 at 7 p.m. ET. This webinar will gather educational leaders from around the nation who have embarked on the digital journey and explore what they did, what they wish they had known, and what they’ll be repeating.

“The Leadership@Now webinar series offers participants a unique opportunity to hear from some of the most thought provoking voices in education,” said Delsia Malone, principal at W.E. Striplin Elementary School in Alabama’s Gadsden City Schools. “I’m looking forward to exploring the new topics in this valuable professional development opportunity and applying what I learn during these webinars to improve the learning experience for students at my school.”

To more deeply engage educators in these critical topics, the Leadership@Now series invites webinar participants to use the Twitter hashtag #DENchat to further connect with presenters, and also with fellow participants interested in exploring these issues further.  More information and registration information for the Leadership@Now webinar series, as well as the archives of previous Leadership@Now webinars, can be found at https://www.discoveryeducation.com/leadershipnow.  

“Discovery Education is pleased to offer this latest installment of the Leadership@Now webinar series to educators around the world,” said Scott Kinney, senior vice president at Discovery Education. “We look forward to not only continuing the dialogue on these important issues, but also surfacing new tactics and strategies for improving student outcomes that educators can immediately put into practice.”

For more information about Discovery Education’s Leadership@Now webinar series or other resources and services from Discovery Education, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.

 

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind.  Available in over half of all U.S. schools and primary schools in England, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate 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 www.discoveryeducation.com

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DISCOVERY EDUCATION AND 3M ANNOUNCE 2014 SCIENCE COMPETITION WINNER

Julia Covelli, Hunter Public Relations for 3M
212-679-6600 ext. 317, jcovelli@hunterpr.com

Christina Scripps, Discovery Education
240-662-6502, christina_scripps@discovery.com   

— Sahil Doshi Awarded $25,000 and Named America’s Top Young Scientist for his Innovative, Eco-Friendly Battery Design —

— MythBusters’ Kari Byron and 2013 Winner Peyton Robertson Served as Guest Judges —

(St. Paul, Minn.) Discovery Education and 3M have named 14-year-old Sahil Doshi from Pittsburgh, Penn. the winner of the 2014 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for his innovative, eco-friendly battery design. Inspired by the 1.2 billion people worldwide who lack access to electricity and the rising levels of toxic air pollution, Doshi was determined to create an energy storage device that could help lower harmful greenhouse gases while generating electricity for those in need. His prototype – the PolluCell – converts carbon dioxide into electricity, ingeniously helping to reduce our carbon footprint while offering power for household uses and developing nations.  

Doshi, a ninth grader from Upper St. Clair School District’s Upper St. Clair High School, competed alongside nine other finalists yesterday during a live competition at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn., and was awarded the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist,” $25,000 and a student adventure trip to a destination such as Costa Rica.

To download hi-res images and b-roll footage of the science competition, go to www.youngscientistchallengemedia.com.

Over the past three months, Doshi and the other finalists had the exclusive opportunity to work directly with a 3M Scientist as they created their personal innovations as part of a summer mentorship program. Students met virtually with their 3M Scientist Mentors, who provided guidance to the finalists as they developed their ideas from a theoretical concept into an actual prototype that would help solve a problem in everyday life.

During the final competition yesterday, the finalists shared their completed innovations with a panel of distinguished judges. In addition to presenting their prototypes, the ten finalists competed in two additional challenges where they were asked to: 1) combine multiple 3M technologies to yield new solutions; and 2) build a simple machine using science and engineering principles. Kari Byron, host of Discovery Channel’s MythBusters, served as a guest judge, as well as a special guest at the awards banquet. Also serving as a guest judge was Peyton Robertson, a seventh grader at Stanford University’s middle school program, who was named last year’s Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge winner for his innovative sandbag design.

“The Young Scientist Challenge at its core celebrates the wonder of science and students who embrace innovation and creativity,” said Bill Goodwyn, President and CEO, Discovery Education. “Discovery Education is deeply committed to supporting students with unique learning opportunities that encourage them to think critically about the world around them. We are honored to stand alongside 3M in congratulating Sahil and the rest of this year’s finalists for their dedication and innovative thinking. I am certain that they will make a meaningful impact on society in the years to come.”

“At 3M, scientific exploration is a way of life. It has been a remarkable experience to watch these young scientists embrace the passion and innovative spirit of our science community through the summer mentorship program to create amazing solutions to everyday problems,” added Jesse Singh, Senior Vice President, 3M. “Our partnership with Discovery Education underscores our shared values and vision to not only support the next generation of scientific thinkers but also nurture their dedication and curiosity as they work to transform the world. We congratulate them all!”

The remaining nine finalists also received a variety of prizes from Discovery Education and 3M. The second, third and fourth place winners each received a $1,000 prize and a student adventure trip to a destination such as Costa Rica. These extraordinary students are:

  • Katherine Wu from North Potomac, Md., a ninth grader at Montgomery County Public School’s Montgomery Blair High School, received second place for her innovation that proactively prevents dangerous drowsy driving.
  • Jai Kumar from South Riding, Va., a seventh grader at Loudoun County Public School’s J. Michael Lunsford Middle School, received third place for his innovative, window-mounted air purification system that prevents harmful pollutants from entering the home.
  • Christopher Isozaki from Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., a ninth grader at Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District’s Palos Verdes High School, received fourth place for his innovative computer cooling system.

The fifth through tenth place winners each received a $1,000 prize and a $500 gift card from Discovery Experiences, which offers first-hand, memorable adventures they see and learn about on Discovery's networks. These finalists include:

  • Mythri Ambatipudi from San Jose, Calif., a ninth grader at Saint Francis High School
  • David Cohen from Dallas, Tex., a ninth grader at SR Academy of Dallas  
  • Ana Humphrey from Alexandria, Va., an eighth grader at Alexandria City Public School’s George Washington Middle School
  • Tony Kim from Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., a seventh grader at Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District’s Ridgecrest Intermediate School
  • Andrew Masek from North Attleborough, Mass., an eighth grader at North Attleborough Public School’s North Attleborough Middle School
  • Nikita Rafikov from Evans, Ga., a seventh grader at Columbia County School’s Riverside Middle School

Since its inception, the Young Scientist Challenge has awarded more than $500,000 in student scholarships and prizes, paired students with working scientists to give them real-world insights and delivered much-needed science resources to millions of students, teachers and families across the country. Winners have gone on to speak in front of members of Congress, meet the President of the United States, work with the nation's top scientists and pursue academic careers in science.

For more information on the 2014 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and to learn more about this year’s finalists, go to www.YoungScientistChallenge.com.

 

About 3M

3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of ingenious products. Our culture of creative collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies that make life better. 3M is the innovation company that never stops inventing. With $31 billion in sales, 3M employs 89,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.3M.com or follow @3MNews on Twitter.

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind.  Available in over half of all U.S. schools and primary schools in England, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate 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 www.discoveryeducation.com

 

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ALABAMA’S MOBILE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND DISCOVERY EDUCATION PARTNER ON NEW INITIATIVE EMPOWERING EDUCATORS AS THEY IMPLEMENT DIGITAL RESOURCES AND GROW INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICE

Christina Scripps, Discovery Education
240-662-6502
christina_scripps@discovery.com

– Digital Literacy Media Project Helps Teacher Leaders and Media Specialists More Effectively Integrate Digital Content into Classroom Instruction –

Silver Spring, Md. (October 8, 2014) Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS), the largest school system in Alabama, today announced an expansion of its partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms nationwide. In the latest phase of their 10-year relationship, the district has launched the “Digital Literacy Media Project,” a comprehensive professional development program that builds a network of teacher leaders and media specialists to design, implement and share successful and innovative teaching strategies that accelerate the transition to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environments and prepare students for success in the global economy.

Since 2002, MCPSS and Discovery Education have partnered to provide district teachers dynamic digital resources that enhance curriculum and inspire students. Students district-wide currently have access to Discovery Education Streaming Plus, a comprehensive digital library of over 150,000 learning objects aligned to state and national standards. In this new phase of the collaboration, 16 schools throughout the district have joined the Digital Literacy Media Project. Each school has teams composed of one administrator, media specialist and three teachers who are engaged in the initiative. The project will span a five-year period, with additional schools throughout MCPSS joining each year.

“At Mobile County Public Schools, we are committed to helping educators grow their classroom practice through meaningful professional development,” said Michele White, instructional technology coordinator at Mobile County Public School System. “We are pleased to continue our partnership with Discovery Education, as it supports that commitment and helps create a school system where library media specialists, teachers and administrators work side by side in a collaborative, shared-leadership model to maximize the learning experience for each student.”

The Digital Literacy Media Project is based on Discovery Education’s Digital Leader Corps, a system for professional learning and leadership which has been embraced by districts nationwide.  Featuring a unique combination of professional learning, pedagogy and tools, the Digital Literacy Media Project offers participating educators proven strategies for integrating educational technologies and digital media into classroom instruction. Through educator created, student-centered Learning Labs, media specialists and teachers bring to life new teaching strategies, and practice and adapt their skills in a classroom setting before sharing their successes broadly with their colleagues.

“We are excited to continue to support MCPSS in their digital transition by building the capacity of their teachers and library media specialists to advance student achievement,” said Andy Schaefer, vice president at Discovery Education. “The Digital Literacy Media Project prepares MCPSS’ teachers and media specialists to not only enrich instruction with engaging digital resources, but to also play a critical role in affecting change within their school system.”

In addition, the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) will continue to support MCPSS educators in their efforts to transform students’ learning experiences with digital media. A global community of education professionals, the 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.

For more information on Discovery Education Professional Development, Discovery Education Streaming Plus, and other Discovery Education services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.

 

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind.  Available in over half of all U.S. schools and primary schools in England, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate 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 www.discoveryeducation.com.

 

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BELK, DISCOVERY EDUCATION AND ISTE INSPIRE MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS TO DRIVE CHANGE IN THEIR LOCAL COMMUNITIES WITH THE BELK SERVICE LEARNING CHALLENGE

Christina Scripps, Discovery Education
240-662-6502
Christina_scripps@discovery.com

Jessica Graham, Belk
704-426-8333
jessica_graham@belk.com

Jodie Pozo-Olano, ISTE
804-986-6911
jpozoolano@iste.org

— In Its Third Year, Service-Based Competition Invites Students to Submit Videos Showcasing Action Plans to Solve Community Issues, Offers Supporting Curriculum and Awards Up to $30,000 in Scholarships — 

Silver Spring, Md. (October 1, 2014) – Belk, Discovery Education and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) announced today the back-to-school launch of the Belk Service Learning Challenge, a comprehensive standards-aligned program encouraging middle school students to facilitate positive changes in their communities by applying critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity skills to a service-learning project of their choice.

Now in its third year, the Belk Service Learning Challenge invites students in grades 6-8 who reside in one of the 16 states where Belk has a presence – including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia – to work in teams of up to four students with the support and guidance of a teacher/mentor to identify an issue in their local community and design an action plan to implement a solution.

To enter the Challenge, teams will submit a 1-2 minute video describing the community issue, a summary of the team’s research including who or what led to the problem and what has been done to address it, and an action plan to implement a solution and scale the project to a broader audience.  The deadline to submit video entries is February 27, 2015.

“For our project, my team organized a book drive to make libraries for girls who didn’t have books,” said previous winner Colson Dennis, student at The 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue, City Schools of Decatur, GA. “I will continue to give back to my community because I see the hope and joy I bring to others, and the difference I can make.”

Previous Challenge winners include students from Neuse Christian Academy in Raleigh, NC, who worked with Burmese refugees in their community to help them find jobs and improve their English speaking and reading abilities. Students from Hinds County School District’s Main Street Restart Center in Mississippi created a plan to fight obesity in their state and community for all ages, which included a new community walking track. Students from Richland County School District One’s St. Andrews Middle School in South Carolina performed random acts of kindness to spread cheer including a clothing drive, spa day for young girls in a battered women’s shelter and an Easter egg hunt at a local day care facility.

“Being involved in our communities has been a part of Belk’s DNA since our founding more than 125 years ago, and it remains a core value today,” said Jessica Graham, Belk’s Vice President of Communications and Community Relations. “Through the Belk Service Learning Challenge, we have the opportunity to teach students about the importance of service and giving back. Not only do the students learn about service learning, but they make a difference through their projects.”

Created solely to support these students through every step of the Challenge, the dynamic online destination BelkServiceLearningChallenge.com equips 6th- 8th grade educators with free, standards-based service-learning curriculum, including lesson plans and multimedia tools that reinforce the importance of social responsibility and volunteerism to societies and economies.

“We are pleased to continue our work with Belk and Discovery Education on this powerful, service-learning initiative. By giving students options to become more engaged in their learning, they have the ability to impact the world around them,” said Craig Thibaudeau, Chief External Relations Officer of ISTE. "Programs like this put students back in the center of learning and help us create a more connected world by linking technology, social responsibility and volunteerism, and 21st century learning."

A panel of judges will review submitted videos based on the following criteria: Community problem identified based on research (30%), action plan (30%), creativity (20%) and overall presentation (20%). Three teams with the highest scores will win a grand prize of up to $10,000.

“We are proud to partner with Belk and ISTE to provide students and their teachers with an opportunity to connect classroom lessons to real-world issues, and make a positive impact in their communities,” said Mary Rollins, senior vice president of Discovery Education. “Through participation in the Challenge, students learn the value of completing a project from start to finish, and feel a sense of pride and accomplishment from giving back to their communities.”

For more information on the Belk Service Learning Challenge or to view the free classroom resources, please visit www.BelkServiceLearningChallenge.com.

 

About Belk, Inc.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. (www.belk.com) is the nation's largest family owned and operated department store company with 299 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states and a growing digital presence.  Its belk.com website offers a wide assortment of national brands and private label fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home. Founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., the company is in the third generation of Belk family leadership and has been committed to community involvement since its inception. In the fiscal year ended Feb. 1, 2014, the company and its associates, customers and vendors donated more than $20.9 million to communities within Belk market areas.

Belk offers many ways to connect via digital and social media, including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus and Belk Blog, and provides exclusive offers, fashion updates, sales notifications and coupons via email or mobile phone text messages. Customers can also download the latest Belk mobile apps for the iPad, iPhone or Android.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind.  Available in over half of all U.S. schools and primary schools in England, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate 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 www.discoveryeducation.com.

About ISTE
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) is the premier nonprofit organization serving educators and education leaders committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world. ISTE serves more than 100,000 education stakeholders throughout the world.

ISTE's innovative offerings include the ISTE Conference & Expo — one of the biggest, most comprehensive ed tech events — as well as the widely adopted ISTE Standards for learning, teaching and leading in the digital age and a robust suite of professional learning resources, including webinars, online courses, consulting services for schools and districts, books, and peer-reviewed journals and publications. For more information, visit iste.org. Connect with ISTE via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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