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CONNECTICUT’S MERIDEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS CONTINUES TRANSITION TO STUDENT-LED EDUCATION THROUGH EXPANDED PARTNERSHIP WITH DISCOVERY EDUCATION

Shawnee Cohn, Discovery Education
240-662-2661
shawnee_cohn@discovery.com

-Dynamic Digital Textbooks Help District Educators Provide Students Personalized Learning Experiences-

Silver Spring, Md. (August 31, 2015) – Connecticut’s Meriden Public Schools today announced an expansion of its 11-year partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. In the latest phase of this relationship, Meriden Public Schools (MPS) is empowering middle and high school educators to increase student engagement with Discovery Education’s Math, Science and Social Studies Techbooks.  An award-winning digital textbook series, Discovery Education’s Techbooks are transforming teaching and learning for more than one million students across 50 states and provinces in the U.S. and Canada.

In 2013, MPS embarked on an ambitious plan to transition from teacher-led instruction to student-led education and create more blended learning opportunities for students. This effort is being shaped by the school system’s comprehensive educational technology plan for 2015-2020, which guides the implementation of technologies building meaningful learning experiences for students, encouraging student collaboration, and promoting flexible learning paths. Key components of the district’s technology strategy include further integration of educational technology into all curriculum areas; more systematic technology-focused professional development opportunities for faculty and staff; and the exploration and implementation of additional cost-effective technology solutions.

To support this strategy, MPS has adopted BYOD guidelines district-wide and has implemented 1:1 digital environments in its high schools.  In addition, beginning this school year, high school educators and students will receive access to Discovery Education’s Math, Social Studies and Science Techbooks and middle school science teachers will begin integrating the Science Techbook into classroom instruction. Discovery Education’s Techbooks are breakthrough digital textbooks that are aligned to rigorous standards, support a comprehensive curriculum, and are updated regularly at no cost.  The series encourages all learners through interactive features that change the reading level of text and enable text to be read aloud. The Techbook series also includes professional development and saves teachers’ time with a comprehensive design that places model lessons, student activities and assessments at their fingertips. Techbooks are platform neutral and can be used in 1:1 or 1-to-many configurations and in any instructional environment.

Discovery Education’s Math Techbook uses a Discover, Practice, Apply inquiry-based cycle that is built on the three pillars of rigor: conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and application.  Technology enhanced items and formative assessments are woven throughout the entire instructional cycle and teachers have a data dashboard to monitor student progress instantaneously. The Social Studies Techbook series uses an inquiry-based instructional approach that emphasizes informational text literacy, analytical writing and problem solving skills that students will apply in academics and as citizens. Each subject area includes primary source documents and activities, digital investigations, a multimedia reference library, interactive maps and informational texts.  Utilizing an inquiry-based format built on the 5E model, the Science Techbook, through hands-on labs, digital explorations, an interactive glossary, and data analysis activities, helps teach students to read, write, and think like scientists.

“We are pleased to continue our long-term partnership with Discovery Education, as it has been at the core of our effort to build the student-centered learning environments that lead to student success in college, careers, and civic life,” said Susan Moore, Supervisor of Blended Learning at Meriden Public Schools. “The addition of Discovery Education’s digital textbooks and robust professional development will help our educators increase engagement, promote collaboration, and provide our students with opportunities for anytime, anywhere learning.”

Meriden Public Schools’ effort to advance student-centered learning is being aided, in part, by a grant from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.  Dedicated to ensuring that 80% of New England students are college and career ready by 2030, Nellie Mae’s highly competitive grants have only been awarded to five school systems across New England.

To ensure each MPS teacher is fully supported in their transition to the Math, Social Studies and Science Techbooks, Discovery Education experts will provide faculty high-quality professional development supporting the integration of the digital textbook into classroom practice. In addition, the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) will continue supporting Meriden Public Schools educators in their efforts to transform students’ learning experience 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. 

“Discovery Education is honored to be a part of Meriden Public Schools’ efforts to redesign their classrooms into dynamic blended learning environments,” said Donovan Goode, director of partnerships at Discovery Education. “We look forward to continuing to support the talented Meriden team as they engage in a digital transformation that supports student-centered learning and achievement.”

For more information on the Discovery Education Techbook Series or other Discovery Education services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, over 40 percent of all primary schools the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase 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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CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG SCHOOLS REINVENTS MATH INSTRUCTION AND FUELS DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION THROUGH BROADENED PARTNERSHIP WITH DISCOVERY EDUCATION 

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

-District Fully Digitizes Math and Science Curriculum by Integrating Dynamic Digital ‘Techbooks’ into Classroom Instruction-

Silver Spring, Md. (August 24, 2015) – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), the second-largest school district in North Carolina, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today announced an expansion of their seven-year partnership. In the latest phase of this collaboration, CMS will begin integrating Discovery Education’s Math Techbooks™ into classroom instruction districtwide. Math Techbook, the latest addition to Discovery Education’s award-winning line of digital textbooks, transforms the way students and teachers experience math through engaging instructional strategies and real-world problems that motivate and excite students with diverse learning styles.

This expanded partnership supports CMS’ Strategic Plan 2018: For a Better Tomorrow. Developed last year with input from a variety of key stakeholders, Strategic Plan 2018: For a Better Tomorrow is the district’s blueprint for building modern learning environments needed to prepare CMS’ students to compete successfully in the workforce of tomorrow. Among the strategic goals outlined by the plan are the creation of personalized, modern learning environments; the recruitment and development of a premier workforce; collaborative partnerships with families, business and community organizations; and the cultivation of an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit in students.

CMS first launched its partnership with Discovery Education in 2008 in an effort to reinvent its K-8 science curriculum with the support of Discovery Education Science. The result after one year was a significant increase in science scores. In the 2012-13 school year, CMS integrated Discovery Education’s Science and Social Studies Techbooks into all of its middle schools as the first large scale pilot of digital resources. In the latest phase of this collaboration, CMS is now empowering teachers at all of its middle schools to transform math curriculum with the Discovery Education Math Techbook, and expanding access to Science Techbook to elementary educators and students in grades 3-5. In addition, educators districtwide will continue to enrich teaching and learning across all K-12 curricular areas with content from Discovery Education Streaming Plus, a comprehensive digital service that supplements instruction.

“Every student in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools today will enter a workforce that will require 21st-century skills to compete successfully in the workforce of tomorrow. These skills include higher-level thinking, digital and technological competency, literacy and content mastery, creativity, innovation, communications and entrepreneurship,” said CMS Superintendent Ann Clark. “Our partnership with Discovery Education provides the digital instructional resources and professional development that empower our educators to ensure that every student in every school leaves CMS with those skills and competencies.”

Developed by Discovery Education’s team of expert math educators with the input of teachers and administrators from across the country, Math Techbook uses a Discover, Practice, Apply inquiry-based cycle that is built on the three pillars of rigor: conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and application. Technology enhanced items and formative assessments are woven throughout the entire instructional cycle and teachers have a data dashboard to monitor student progress instantaneously. Courses include Grades 6, 7, and 8 Math; Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II; and Integrated Math: Math I, Math II, and Math III. Math Techbook engages students with real- world problems worth solving while supporting any device, anywhere, anytime in any secondary instructional setting.

In addition to dynamic, standards-aligned content, interactives, videos, digital tools, and game-like activities that increase students’ motivation to learn math, Math Techbook includes useful student tools such as a graphing calculator, a geometry tool, a whiteboard tool, and a matrix solver. A Student Dashboard embedded within the Math Techbook helps students track their individual progress and take responsibility for their learning.

To ensure each CMS teacher is fully supported in their transition to the Science and Math Techbooks, Discovery Education experts will provide faculty with high-quality professional development supporting the integration of the digital textbook into classroom practice. In addition, the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) will continue supporting CMS educators in their efforts to transform students’ learning experience 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. 

“Discovery Education is proud to be a long-term partner in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ innovative efforts to prepare every child, every day, for a better tomorrow,” said Coni Rechner, senior vice president, Discovery Education. “Together, we are providing educators the exciting, cutting-edge resources they need to unlock every student’s full potential and prepare them to compete successfully in the workforce of tomorrow.”

For more information about the Math Techbook, Science Techbook or other Discovery Education services, please visit www.discoveryeducation.com.

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, over 40 percent of all primary schools the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase 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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SOUTH CAROLINA’S GREENVILLE COUNTY SCHOOLS BROADENS PARTNERSHIP WITH DISCOVERY EDUCATION TO ENHANCE STUDENT LEARNING EXPERIENCES

Shawnee Cohn, Discovery Education
240-662-2661
shawnee_cohn@discovery.com

 -Addition of Discovery Education Streaming Plus Supports Educators in Creating Learner?Centered Instructional Environments that Improve Academic Achievement-

SILVER SPRING, Md. (August 18, 2015) – Greenville County Schools (GCS), South Carolina’s largest school system, today announced a new phase in its 13-year collaboration with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. Through this expanded partnership, the district is empowering educators to create learner-centered instructional environments in all 102 of its schools with dynamic digital content from Discovery Education Streaming Plus. A comprehensive digital service supplementing instruction across all K-12 curricular areas, Streaming Plus helps GCS educators create technology?rich, relevant learning experiences for students districtwide.

The addition of Discovery Education Streaming Plus supports the Greenville County Schools’ Technology Plan, which is shaping district efforts to increase student achievement through the effective integration of technology into the core curriculum. Specifically, the plan articulates the district’s strategies for developing sustained professional development programs for teachers, helping all students acquire technological literacy, and creating learner-centered instructional environments.  Additional elements of the plan outline the district’s approaches to enhancing student achievement and teacher technology proficiency through community partnerships, and improving the school system’s technology assets and infrastructure.

Discovery Education Streaming Plus’ digital resources are aligned to state standards and are searchable, and include videos, images, primary source documents, podcasts, oral interviews, audio books, articles and more. Teacher resources in Streaming Plus include lesson plans, instructional strategies and content collections organized around themes, as well as including instructional videos, skill builders, writing prompts, multimedia activities and articles. Through its popular Board Builder feature, students can create virtual project boards using multimedia and text to synthesize their thinking and provide evidence of their understanding of a concept or problem.

Since 2002, GCS and Discovery Education have collaborated to empower teachers, enhance curriculum, and inspire students through a unique combination of digital resources and professional development. In 2012, educators in the district’s Berea Middle School, Lakeview Middle School, Tanglewood Middle School and Early College School began integrating Discovery Education’s digital science textbook, or Techbook, into instruction. Educators at 10 GCS schools are also currently engaged in Discovery Education’s Digital Leader Corps.  A comprehensive professional development system, Digital Leader Corps builds and nurtures a network of teacher-leaders to design and implement successful and innovative teaching strategies that can be shared district-wide.

The Discovery Educator Network (DEN) will continue supporting Greenville County Schools’ 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.

“Discovery Education is proud to continue supporting Greenville County Schools’ efforts to provide equitable educational opportunities that help all students reach their highest potential,” said Rob Warren, director of educational partnerships at Discovery Education. “We applaud Superintendent Royster and the entire GCS team for their progressive approach to effectively integrating technology into the learning process.”  

For more information about Discovery Education Streaming Plus, or other services and resources from Discovery Education, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, over 40 percent of all primary schools the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase 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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NEW SERVICES FROM DISCOVERY EDUCATION HELP SCHOOL SYSTEMS NATIONWIDE BUILD CAPACITY FOR STEM EDUCATION

Elizabeth Hillman, Discovery Education
240-461-3053
elizabeth_hillman@discovery.com  

– Professional Development, Coaching, and Curriculum Development Combined in New Services Support School Systems or Single Schools –

SILVER SPRING, Md. (August 4, 2015)Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today announced the availability of three new services designed to help school systems nationwide grow capacity for STEM teaching and learning.  Produced and delivered by Discovery Education’s team of nationally recognized STEM and professional development experts, these new resources support school systems in building and sustaining a culture of STEM education through a unique combination of immersive professional development initiatives, job-embedded instructional coaching, rich digital content, and extensive community engagement.

The new services now available are:

  • STEM Foundations. Designed to grow educators’ and administrators’ core expertise in STEM instruction and leadership, STEM Foundations empowers participating school systems to build a custom combination of full-day professional development opportunities, job-embedded coaching, support in building community engagement and awareness, and more to create a unique STEM capacity building initiative.
     
  • STEMformation.  A comprehensive, three year-system for building a culture of STEM at individual school sites, STEMformation guides educators as they master STEM instructional strategies.  With a focus on developing high quality STEM lessons, creating transdisciplinary lessons and units, and vertically aligning STEM education school wide, STEMformation provides the robust professional development, job embedded coaching, and administrative leadership to create a center of STEM excellence.
     
  • STEM Leader Corps. A four-year system for scaling STEM education district wide, STEM Leader Corp is a sustainable capacity building model that develops and nurtures teachers and administrators as they build a culture of STEM teaching and learning in their school system.  Through a shared leadership model, robust professional development, ongoing coaching, and administrative leadership support, participating districts will develop a transdisciplinary curriculum that prepares students for success beyond the classroom.

The launch of these new capacity building services is part of Discovery Education’s continued commitment to supporting STEM education. For over a decade, Discovery Education has provided school systems worldwide the professional development, digital services, project-based learning opportunities, and other initiatives needed to build the engaging STEM learning environments that encourage students to solve real-world problems while improving academic achievement.

“To truly transform teaching and learning, we must invest in building the capacity of our educators and administrators,” said Tim Wyrosdick, Superintendent of Florida’s Santa Rosa County School District. “Discovery Education’s STEM professional development and resources will help Santa Rosa County School District build the innovative learning environments our teachers and students need, and support our educators in delivering world-class STEM instruction for every student, every day.”

Discovery Education’s Science and Math Techbooks also support educators as they transform STEM teaching and learning by utilizing an inquiry-based model of instruction which guides students in supporting claims through evidence, fact-backed reasoning and arguments. Additional resources available from Discovery Education to support STEM include Discovery Education STEM Camp, a dynamic series of standards-aligned STEM curricula available at no cost to schools, districts, non-profit organizations and parents; the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, the nation’s premier science competition for grades 5-8; and Support our Science (S.O.S.), a multi-year effort launched in partnership with Science Channel to empower educators with the resources necessary to create digital learning environments that spark and grow students’ curiosity in STEM.

“As the need to advance student achievement in STEM grows, so does the need for effective STEM educators who are empowered with the knowledge, tools, and strategies they need to bolster their students’ STEM skills,” said Dr. Cindy Moss, Discovery Education’s Director of Global STEM initiatives. “We are looking forward to partnering with school districts across the country to empower their educators to integrate STEM concepts into instruction and promote the growth of the critical STEM skills their students need for college, careers and citizenship.”

For more information on Discovery Education’s STEM services and initiatives, visit www.discoveryeducation.com/STEM.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, over 40 percent of all primary schools the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase 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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