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Kansas City Public Schools Selects Discovery Education Science Techbook for Use in All K-5 Classrooms

Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
240-662-5563, stephen_Wakefield@discovery.com

-New Digital Textbook Empowers Educators to Create Immersive Learning Experiences to Engage Students in Science-

Silver Spring, Md. (Jun. 29, 2017) –Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) announced today that it has chosen Discovery Education’s Science Techbook™ for use in all K-5 classrooms across the school system. The selection of this award-winning digital textbook, created by the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, launches a new partnership empowering system educators to create immersive, digital learning experiences that engage students in science education and boost academic achievement.

This partnership with Discovery Education aligns directly with the new KCPS Strategic Plan. The collaboration will support the school system's educators as they create dynamic digital learning environments that not only provide all students challenging and engaging instructional experiences, but also produces scholars who are high-achieving, critical thinkers prepared to succeed in our constantly changing world.

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 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 one-to-one or one-to-many configurations and in any instructional environment.

Discovery Education’s Science Techbook series empowers educators to transform science instruction. Utilizing an inquiry-based format built on the Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate (5E) model, each Science Techbook includes rich, standards-aligned content such as video, audio, text, interactives with hands-on activities, and virtual labs that help educators differentiate instruction and provide a rich and engaging learning experience for students. Additional student features include bilingual text-to-speech and leveled reading tools, and note-taking and highlighting capabilities.

The Science Techbooks series also includes valuable STEM resources as well. STEM Project Starters encourage students to connect math, technology, and engineering to their understanding of science concepts to produce creative solutions to real world problems. In addition, the STEM In Action resources help students connect their work to STEM careers, which promotes a clearer understanding of how skills used in school can be applied to jobs “in the real world.”  Embedded formative assessment opportunities that help educators monitor student progress are embedded into each Techbook, and like all Discovery Education digital textbooks, the Science Techbooks work on any device and can be implemented in any instructional setting. 

“Our team is committed to helping all children, regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances, develop the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue higher education,” KCPS Superintendent Mark Bedell said. “Discovery Education is aligned to that mission, and our new partnership with will play a critical role in creating the engaging and rewarding learning experiences all students need for future success.”

In addition to receiving Discovery Education’s Science Techbook, KCPS’s educators will also have the opportunity to participate in sustained, job-embedded professional development from Discovery Education’s expert faculty that will help district educators evolve their teaching practice and effectively use their new digital resources. Also, the Discovery Education Community will support the district’s educators’ efforts to transform students’ learning experiences with dynamic digital media. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community 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 looks forward to helping the teachers and administrators at Kansas City Public Schools make their digital transition and create modern, engaging learning environments,” said Kelly Hoce, Educational Partnerships Director at Discovery Education. “We are proud to collaborate with the district in their mission to provide quality education to all students to prepare them for college, their careers and life”.

For more information about the Discovery Education Science Techbook, the complete Techbook Series and other resources from Discovery Education, visit, www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.

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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 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in 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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Discovery Education Streaming Services Enter New Era with Enhanced Content Creation Features and Resources to Deepen Classroom Engagement and Develop Students’ Critical Thinking, Collaboration, and Reasoning Skills

Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
240-662-5563, stephen_Wakefield@discovery.com

– Latest Enhancements Also Provide Educators Even More Examples of How to Integrate Digital Content into Classroom Instruction-

Silver Spring, Md. (June 26, 2017) – Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today announced a number of new features will be added to its award-winning Discovery Education Streaming services in the coming weeks.  With these planned enhancements, which are scheduled to go live in August 2017, Discovery Education Streaming is positioned to serve a new generation of teachers and students with resources they can immediately use to deepen students’ engagement in learning and develop pupils’ critical thinking, collaboration, and reasoning skills.

Launched in 2001, Discovery Education’s Streaming feature tens of thousands of standards-aligned and searchable videos, images, primary source documents, podcasts, audio books, articles and more, making it the leading cross-curricular K-12 digital content resource for educators around the globe.

In 2012, Discovery Education launched Streaming’s popular Board Builder feature. A safe environment in which students can create their own content, Board Builder helps users create virtual project boards that use multimedia and text to synthesize their thinking and provide evidence of their understanding of a concept or problem.

This latest iteration of Streaming will feature an updated, more modern look and feel that is optimized to work on small and large devices and in the classroom and on-the-go.  In addition, the content creation tools within the services’ new Studio feature will be greatly expanded to allow teachers and students to safely and easily collaborate in real-time on virtual projects. These features can be controlled by the teacher to monitor interactions, provide instant grading feedback, review progress, and assign small classroom work groups to differentiate classroom activities.

Also, included in the new Studio function will be content creation features that provide students the ability to create online, multiple-page student portfolios, as well as preloaded templates that will help students jumpstart new projects.  Finally, Discovery Education Streaming’s new creation tools will enable students to use content found within Discovery Education’s services or effortlessly import their own self-produced media into projects with the appropriate citations.

While teacher resources including lesson plans, content collections organized around themes, as well as instructional videos, skill builders, and writing prompts, have always been available through Discovery Education Streaming, the latest improvements to this service will include even more support for teachers. To save busy teachers time, customizable streams are set to be added to the services’ homepage so that educators can more easily access new and relevant content.  Topical and timely content will be found in the Trending Now Stream, while an Activity Stream will quickly help educators find content they recently viewed, searched for, or liked.

This latest update to Discovery Education Streaming will also include valuable new content that supports educators as they evolve their classroom practice and transform the way they teach.  Among the new resources set to be added are:

  • Spotlight on Strategies—The creative, research-based instructional strategies introduced in these short videos are presented by teachers for teachers to help them incorporate digital media into classroom activities in new, effective, and practical ways.
  • DE in Action—A new series of immersive 360 experiences that model how members of the Discovery Education Community and their students are using digital content and educational technologies in authentic classroom settings, these experiences model successful integration strategies.
  • A collection of powerful and engaging STEM resources—Designed to fuel a cultural shift in STEM teaching and learning, these new resources include STEM Career Challenges, which provides opportunities for students to learn more about exciting STEM careers, and STEM Strategies that Work, which help STEM educators build a STEM culture in meaningful and practical ways.
  • Student Exploration Resources—Featuring new resources that help students explore their interests, conduct their own research, organize evidence, and communicate their ideas, this new content empowers educators to deepen pupils’ critical thinking, collaboration, communication and reasoning skills.

Together, the new enhancements coming to Discovery Education’s Streaming services provide even more support to educators teaching their students to think critically about the content they use, see, and experience in their daily lives.

“As a long time Discovery Education Streaming user, I’ve seen this service evolve tremendously over the years to meet the changing needs of teachers and students,” said Shelby Bailey, a 5th Grade Math teacher in Missouri’s Warren County R-III School District.  “However, the coming iteration of Streaming includes so many new features, it is almost a new service.  These latest enhancements, together with the Discovery Educator Network Online Community features rolled out in March, make Streaming a simple and elegant resource for all teachers working to prepare their students for success beyond the classroom.”

The Discovery Education Community will continue supporting all Discovery Education Streaming users’ efforts to transform students’ learning experiences with dynamic digital media. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community 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 than 15 years, Discovery Education’s Streaming services have set the standard for cross-curricular K-12 digital content resources,” said Robert Onsi, Senior Vice President of Product Development at Discovery Education. “While a generation of students have grown up consuming streaming content, we know that when students make the shift to content creation, they are inspired to dive even more deeply into a topic.  So, in this latest iteration of Streaming, Discovery Education is adding a host of new enhancements to help teachers both deepen students’ classroom engagement and develop their pupils’ critical thinking, collaboration, and reasoning skills. In addition to meeting the evolving needs of today’s teachers and students, these new enhancements demonstrate Discovery Education’s continued commitment to meeting the ever-changing needs of teachers and students everywhere.”

For more information about the Discovery Education’s Streaming services or other services and resources from Discovery Education, visit: www.discoveryeducation.com.

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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 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in 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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Discovery Education and Georgia Public Broadcasting Renew Longterm Partnership Providing Educators and Students Statewide Award-Winning Dynamic Digital Content

Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
240-662-5563, stephen_Wakefield@discovery.com

–Continuation of 17-Year Collaboration Ensures Students and Educators Access to Comprehensive K-12 Digital Resources–

SILVER SPRING, Md. (June 22, 2017) – Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today announced a renewal of its 17-year partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB). This collaboration, which provides all educators across Georgia access to dynamic digital content has, since its inception, delivered almost 43 million digital learning objects from the award-winning Discovery Education Streaming service to teachers and students across the state.

GPB Education encourages lifelong learning through high quality, reliable content and their ability to connect educators, students, and families at all levels. GPB remains at the forefront of the digital learning movement by creating, curating, and distributing quality educational programs and services through a state-of-the-art production facility, cutting edge digital media division, and a variety of innovative partnerships.  Building on their reputation as a trusted content source, GPB Education supports educators across the state by producing resources that are specifically designed to meet individual needs of teachers and students throughout all of Georgia.

Discovery Education Streaming Plus is a comprehensive digital service supplementing instruction across all K-12 curricular areas. 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 available through Discovery Education Streaming Plus include lesson plans, instructional strategies and content collections organized around themes, as well as 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.

“GPB’s continued partnership with Discovery Education helps us meet our core mission of providing informative and enriching programming and educational resources to citizens across Georgia,” says GPB President and CEO Teya Ryan. “We are pleased to continue this collaboration, which brings educators statewide the engaging digital resources they need to create the dynamic digital learning environments that will prepare today’s students for success beyond graduation.”

In addition to providing the state’s educators continued access to Discovery Education Streaming Plus, this continued partnership ensures the Discovery Education Community will continue to support educators served by GPB in their efforts to create modern digital classrooms. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community 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 join GPB in our shared mission to help educators meet the ever-evolving needs of today’s students,” said Andy Schaefer, Vice President of Education Partnerships at Discovery Education. “By providing educators statewide access to the dynamic high-quality digital content found in Discovery Education Streaming Plus, GPB is helping students from Kingsland to Fort Oglethorpe learn and work in our increasingly digital world, and we are grateful to the GPB team for their work in this area. We look forward to continuing this important long-term collaboration, as it truly is helping educators across Georgia support the success of all learners.”

For more information on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s education division, visit http://www.gpb.org/education.

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

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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 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in 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.

About GPB
As one of the largest PBS stations in the nation, Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB Media), has been creating content worth sharing for over 50 years. With nine television stations, 18 radio stations and a multi-faceted digital presence, GPB strives to educate, entertain and enrich the lives of our viewers and listeners with programming that includes statewide radio news, current affairs, high school sports, educational resources for teachers and students and enlightening programs like Georgia Outdoors, On Second Thought, Two-Way Street and Political Rewind.

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DISCOVERY EDUCATION AND 3M CELEBRATE 10th ANNIVERSARY OF YOUNG SCIENTIST CHALLENGE WITH ANNOUNCEMENT OF NATIONAL FINALISTS 

Cara M. Brungnoli, Discovery Education
212-548-5365, Cara_Brugnoli@discovery.com 

Katie Alper, 3M
646-935-4325, Katie.Alper@ketchum.com 

— Ten Young Inventors Compete for $25,000 and the Title of ‘America’s Top Young Scientist’ in Nation’s Premier Science Competition –

Silver Spring, Md. and St. Paul, Minn. (June 20, 2017) – From alternative energy to sustainable agriculture to medical advancements, today’s scientific young minds work hard to solve today’s biggest challenges — making materials safer, solutions more efficient, and innovations more accessible. Today, Discovery Education (@DiscoveryEd) and 3M (@3M) announced 10 finalists from across America as part of its Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, which is celebrating its landmark 10th anniversary (#YoungScientist). The annual premier competition recognizes scientific thinking and imagination in students grades 5-8 who dream up a solution to an everyday problem that ultimately could reshape and improve the way we live our lives.

These young thinkers submitted short videos that communicate the science behind a possible solution to an everyday problem. Ten rose to the top of the competition and were selected over hundreds of others.  These young ladies and gentlemen were selected based on their science acumen, innovative thinking and exceptional communication skills as demonstrated in their entry videos. The finalists   ?  six girls and four boys, ranging in age from 11-14  ?  include those from public schools all across the nation.

The 10 Finalists
(in alphabetical order)*:

  • Laalitya Acharya, Mason, Ohio, Mason Middle School, Mason City School District
  • Anika Bhagavatula, Wilton, Conn., Middlebrook Middle School, Wilton Public School District
  • Austin Crouchley, Garden City, N.Y., Garden City Middle School, Garden City School District
  • Rithvik Ganesh, Plano, Texas, C.M. Rice Middle School, Plano Independent School District
  • Simone Jacobs, Seattle, Wash., Washington Middle School, Seattle School District 1
  • Kathryn Lampo, Broomfield, Colo., STEM Magnet Lab School, Adams 12 Five Star Schools
  • Gitanjali Rao, Highlands Ranch, Colo., STEM School Highlands Ranch
  • Samu Shrestha, Highlands Ranch, Colo., Cresthill Middle School, Douglas County School District Re-1
  • Allie Weber, Sioux Falls, S.D., Edison Middle School, Sioux Falls School District 49-5
  • Devin Willis, Boca Raton, Fla., A.D. Henderson University School, Florida Atlantic University Schools

Each finalist will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a 3M scientist during a summer mentorship program that will challenge their curious minds to develop an innovative idea that positively impacts them, their family, their community or the global population. Students meet virtually with their mentors, who provide guidance from the student’s concept to actual prototype. 3M is a company rooted in scientific exploration, and the belief that every problem has a solution. These practices set the stage for students’ complete experience of the scientific process in which the original idea may evolve. Throughout the program, each student will have access to resources and support provided by 3M and Discovery Education.

All 10 finalists receive $1,000 and a trip to 3M Headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., to participate in the final competition at the 3M Innovation Center on Oct. 16 and 17. There, they will be evaluated on a series of challenges, including a presentation of their completed innovation. Each challenge will be scored independently by a panel of judges. The winner will receive $25,000, a trip to watch the taping of a Discovery Network show, and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”

“At 3M, we have thrived for 115 years not just by adapting to the future, but by shaping it,” said Jon Lindekugel, Senior Vice President, Business Development and Marketing-Sales, 3M. “These young scientists – with their thirst for discovery and their determination to make the world a better place – are that future, and it’s our privilege to support them on their way.”

“Each year, Discovery Education proudly joins with 3M to support their commitment to fostering the next generation of passionate innovators,” said Lori McFarling, SVP of Discovery Education. “The Young Scientist Challenge brings science to life for young people and helps develop the communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills today's students need for success beyond the classroom.”

Over the past ten years, the Young Scientist Challenge has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in student scholarships and prizes, paired students with world-renowned scientists to give them real-world insights and delivered much-needed science resources to millions of students, teachers and families across the country. It targets students in the years when research indicates their interest in science begins to wane and encourages them to explore scientific concepts and creatively communicate their findings. Winners have gone on to be featured in Forbes magazine’s annual “30 Under 30” list, speak in front of members of Congress and attendees at the United Nations, meet the President of the United States, and demonstrate inventions on national news programs such as ABC World News Tonight, Fox & Friends, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

For more information on the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, including photos and bios of the 10 finalists and a list of the 35 state merit winners, please visit www.youngscientistlab.com/challenge.  On Twitter, follow @3M and @DiscoveryEd and join the conversation using #YoungScientist.

About 3M
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $30 billion in sales, our 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at www.3M.com or on Twitter @3M or @3MNewsroom.

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. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 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 Dakota’s Oglala Lakota County School District Broadens Partnership with Discovery Education to Support District’s Efforts to Prepare Students for College and Career Success and Strengthen Oglala Lakota Identity

Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
240-662-5563, Stephen_Wakefield@discovery.com

– Adoption of Science and Social Studies Digital Textbooks Empowers Educators to Transform Instruction and Create Innovative Learning Environments –

Silver Spring, Md. (Jun. 14, 2017) – South Dakota’s Oglala Lakota County School District (OLCSD) announced today an expansion of their ongoing partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. In this new stage of the collaboration, Discovery Education will support the school district’s twin goals of better preparing all students for success beyond graduation and strengthening the Oglala Lakota identity among students. To achieve these important goals, the district will introduce the  Discovery Education Science Techbook™ into all K-8 classrooms and the Social Studies Techbook™ into grade 5-8 classrooms.

OLCSD’s partnership with Discovery Education commenced in 2016 when the district’s Red Shirt School, a Pre-K-8 campus, adopted Discovery Education’s Social Studies and Science Techbooks for classroom use. The success Red Shirt educators experienced as they integrated the Techbooks into classroom instruction encouraged OLCSD administrators to expand their partnership with Discovery Education. 

In this new phase of collaboration, district social studies and science teachers will be empowered to create captivating digital learning experiences with Discovery Education’s award-winning Science and Social Studies Techbooks. With these resources, educators can more readily connect what students are learning in the classroom to the world around them, which builds student engagement and ultimately improves academic achievement.  In addition, Discovery Education Techbooks will support educator’s efforts to teach students about the rich culture, heritage, and language of the Oglala Lakota.

Discovery Education’s award-winning 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 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 one-to-one or one-to-many configurations and in any instructional environment.

Utilizing an inquiry-based format built on the 5E model, Discovery Education’s 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. 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 the classroom and beyond. Each subject area includes primary source documents and activities, digital investigations, multimedia reference library, interactive maps, and more.

“At Oglala Lakota County School District, we are committed to providing our educators the tools and resources they need to help each student live up to their fullest potential,” said Shawn Callanan, OLCSD’s Director of Curriculum. “Our collaboration with Discovery Education provides our teachers robust digital resources they can use to create the immersive science and social studies learning experiences we know help grow academic achievement.”

To ensure each OLCSD educator is fully supported in their transition to using this new digital content, district educators will be given the opportunity to participate in robust professional development that will help them maximize their new resources to improve students’ academic achievement. Also, the Discovery Education Community will support the districts’ educators’ efforts to transform students’ learning experiences with dynamic digital media. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community 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.

“We are deeply honored that the Oglala Lakota Community School District has deepened its partnership with Discovery Education,” said James Reile, National Partnership Associate, Discovery Education. “We look forward to continuing to work with the entire OLCSD team on our joint effort to prepare all students for future success.”

For more information about the Discovery Education Techbook series, Professional Development Initiatives, or other services and resources from Discovery Education, visit: www.discoveryeducation.com.

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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 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in 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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Chicago high school students win USC Shoah Foundation’s 2017 IWitness Video Challenge

Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
240-662-5563, Stephen_Wakefield@discovery.com

Josh Grossberg, USC Shoah Foundation 
213-740-6065, Josh.Grossberg@usc.edu 

Los Angeles, CA. (June 13, 2017) – A group of students from Chicago who inspired their fellow students to embrace each other’s unique identity has won the 2017 IWitness Video Challenge sponsored by USC Shoah Foundation.

As the first-place winners of this year’s short-video contest – which invites students to make a positive contribution to their communities – Alana Chandler, Yu Jing Chen, and Natalia Wang of Walter Payton College Preparatory High School in the Chicago Public School District will split the $5,000 in scholarship money for their project, Who are You?: Embracing Identity in Our Community.

Initiated by USC Shoah Foundation – which collects and uses testimonies of genocide survivors and witnesses for education and research – the IWitness Video Challenge asks students to submit short videos to show how they were inspired by testimony to make positive choices and create value in their community. The contest is open to middle and high school students across the United States and Canada (except Quebec). 

Using the testimony of Armenian Genocide survivor Haig Baronian, who was forced to shed his own Armenian identity as a child, the winners had their fellow students illustrate their own identity.

The drawings didn’t focus on any one thing; they featured collages of flags, maps, musical instruments, yoga mats, trees, and even paw prints – things that illustrated that the students saw themselves as complex people with various ways to define themselves.

"We want the audience to learn more about themselves, to reflect on who they are and their identities, after watching our video,” Yu Jing said. “We want them to realize that they are not alone and that they should always fight for an accepting environment.”

This year’s contest – the fourth annual – offers prizes for scholarships and additional money for educators and schools. In all, $10,000 in prizes was awarded courtesy of the Institute’s partner Ford Motor Co., which is sponsoring the event as part of its commitment to innovative educational outreach.

Also helping to make this year’s challenge the most successful to date was the Institute’s partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, which administered the challenge and helped maximize reach and impact through its deep partnerships with school systems, administrators and educators worldwide.

In addition to splitting a $5,000 college scholarship, the winning students have secured a $2,500 grant for their school to be used for the betterment of the community. Their teacher, Matt Silvia, will receive a $1,000 grant awarded in the form of a check, to be used to promote tolerance and empathy at the school.

A $1,000 scholarship went to second-place winner Acadia Grantham of the School of Biotechnology, Health and Public Administration at Olympic High in Charlotte, N.C., whose project, Silence, tackled the topic of bullying and the consequences of not speaking up. And a $500 scholarship went to Shayna Kantor of the Berkshire Country Day School in Stockbridge, Mass., for her project, Are You Listening?, which dealt with efforts to connect with the deaf community after watching testimony from a deaf Holocaust survivor.

The contest is based on one of the more than 150 activities found in IWitness, USC Shoah Foundation’s free educational website (iwitness.usc.edu), which brings the human stories from the Institute’s Visual History Archive – the world’s largest repository of testimony from survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides – to teachers and their students via engaging multimedia-learning activities.

The IWitness Video Challenge first presents students with selected testimonies from survivors who demonstrate what is possible when we make the courageous choice to act. Then, the Challenge takes students through the steps necessary to identify a problem, determine how to contribute to solving that problem, and how to create a video that captures their efforts and impact on helping to solve a problem in their community. Students will then be instructed on how to use the built-in video editor in IWitness to construct, edit and submit their one- to four-minute video project. No prior video editing knowledge is needed to participate.

About USC Shoah Foundation
USC Shoah Foundation — The Institute for Visual History and Education is dedicated to making audio- visual interviews with survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides, a compelling voice for education and action. The Institute’s current collection of more than 54,000 eyewitness testimonies contained within its Visual History Archive® preserves history as told by the people who lived it, and lived through it. Housed at the University of Southern California, within the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Institute works with partners around the world to advance scholarship and research, to provide resources and online tools for educators, and to disseminate the testimonies for educational purposes.

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 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in 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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Case Study: Behind the Scenes of Virginia Beach Schools’ 5-Year Tech Plan

In 2014, Virginia Beach City Public Schools embarked on a radical digital transformation of its schools. This journey was timed to the arrival of its new superintendent, Dr. Aaron Spence, a native of the area who graduated from a Virginia Beach high school, returned to Virginia to help improve the lives of its students.

The diverse district is part of a community with strong military ties, and it has become known for being at the leading edge of sustainable education practices, entrepreneurship education, and career and workforce development. Despite these successes, Spence saw something holding the district back.

Spence is no stranger to digital transformation. He worked under former superintendent Mark Edwards as a principal during Henrico County Schools’ own digital transition, and in Moore County Public Schools, North Carolina, Spence launched a districtwide digital learning initiative. As a result, many of the first conversations Spence had with faculty members about their aspirations kept coming back to technology. Their desires for a technology plan that could provide more opportunities to students had been implanted before his arrival.

“We’re a forward-thinking organization in a forward-thinking community that really wants the best for its kids,” said Spence.

Dr. Aaron Spence, superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools.

At the time, the district’s technology plan focused on network infrastructure and supporting existing goals, instead of what Spence was hearing from his faculty — using technology to transform the learning environment for students.

Another impetus for the district’s digital transformation came in 2014, around the same time Spence was getting his bearings as its new superintendent. A new strategic plan for the district set a high bar for academic expectations. Built into that goal was a mandate to create more personalized learning experiences.

Through Spence’s conversations with other educators, it quickly became apparent that a new vision for integrating technology in the classroom was starting to take root, aided by the aspirations of faculty across the district, and led by Spence and his administration.

“It all pointed to a very clear direction of what we needed to do,” said Spence. “We wanted more engaging learning environments for our kids.”

Spence said one area the district had not shined was in offering equitable education opportunities.

“Virginia Beach is considered to be a great district, but when you started to turn over stones, it seems it was excellent for some, and historically hasn’t always served others well, particularly as the demographic divisions have shifted,” said Spence.

“So we identified the need to focus intensely on the need of every student having rigorous learning experiences daily — not just some, or most of our students.”

Lessons like these proved to Amy Cashwell, the district’s Chief Academic Officer, that the timing for Spence’s arrival was serendipitous. Virginia Beach City Public Schools seemed primed for change. In scrutinizing their vision, they recognized that with their current infrastructure, they had unintentionally built roadblocks for themselves without realizing it.

“We knew we weren’t seeing transformation in the classroom,” she said. “It was really a great time to have a fresh set of eyes and reexamine how we were operationalizing our instructional technology plan.”

LAYING OUT A 5-YEAR TECHNOLOGY PLAN

In 2014, Spence and his team introduced a five-year strategic plan for Virginia Beach City Public Schools, which included a call to transform it from a primarily BYOD district to a true digital learning environment capable of empowering students to become 21st-century learners.

Reinforcing solid instruction has been the engine that drives the transformation at Virginia Beach City Public Schools, said Spence. The devices and technology are the medium through which the transformation happens, but it begins with sound pedagogy.

“I think technology has the potential to be a game-changer with what happens in the classroom,” he said. “But you’ve got to have great Tier 1 instruction that’s thoughtfully planned out by teachers and aligned with a rigorous curriculum.”

To create the foundation for future schools, Spence tasked Cashwell with phasing technology in more significant ways, so they could understand what digital learning could become in the district. This coalesced into what Spence calls anchor schools, effectively the field sites for testing digital learning initiatives. The district currently has 13 of these anchor schools, now in their second year of operation, all in 1:1 learning environments, armed with technical support, professional learning and a cadre of Instructional Technology Specialists (ITS). These specialists work alongside educators to help model the appropriate use of technology in a classroom setting.

Throughout this process, the district has been deliberate about selecting teaching resources for their curriculum that can be taught in a non-1:1 or a 1:1 environment. This safeguard is due to the current imbalance of technology throughout the district.

Science-fiction author William Gibson once said, “The future is here already, it’s just not equally distributed.” And while Gibson was speaking about the evolution of technology in general, the message rings true for the district’s non-anchor schools, where devices are used inconsistently, even with an abundance of them in a classroom.

Cashwell said the overall district ratio of devices to students is about 1.3:1. However, they aren’t equally distributed.

The modeling happening at the anchor schools is meant to ultimately help course correct the non-anchor schools, she said. They have encouraged the exploration of personalized learning and the integration of technology in more meaningful ways in non-anchor classrooms, but they have not pushed the agenda of 1:1 as a classroom environment like they have in the anchor schools.

“The idea has been that through an intense focus in our anchor schools, we can shape some of those lessons about technology usage. We can empower the non-anchor schools to move forward in the right direction alongside them, and not wait around,” said Cashwell.

CHANGES BEGIN TO PERCOLATE

Now two years into the new strategic plan, district leaders have seen some substantive changes in their anchor schools.

“I think we’re seeing a rich integration of digital tools into a daily practice of engaging students,” said Cashwell.

Discovery Education’s Techbook, a series of digital textbooks, was among the new tools brought in to help educators reshape their approach to digital curriculum. The district launched Techbook in the spring for select schools and is currently in its first full year of implementation.

Cashwell said Techbook has helped reinforce solid Tier 1 instruction, which was at the heart of the districtwide pivot being made with its strategic plan.

“You need to have the right resources in play — resources that allow teachers to put into action what we’re asking of them with personalized learning, that allow there to be choice for students, that employ different learning styles. Tools like Science Techbook do all of that and help educators operationalize that kind of teaching and learning,” she said.

To support the Techbook launch and generate a public forum for teacher usage of the new tool, district leaders took to Twitter, creating the hashtag #VBDigitext. Educators who had great experiences with Techbook would share a picture and a story of their journey with others using the hashtag. It resulted in hundreds of posts, dozens of conversations, scheduled Twitter chats among educators, and in general, created the enthusiasm district leaders were seeking.

“By the time we formally launched training over the summer, many educators already had some excitement about Techbook,” said Cashwell.

REACHING OUT TO PEERS FOR HELP

When embarking on a digital transition of the scope of Virginia Beach City Public Schools’, it’s important to realize that district leaders can learn a lot not only from each other’s successes but also their failures. Superintendents across the country have been creating professional learning communities to guide them through their own transitions. Some of these networks are developed through organizations like AASA, The School Superintendents Association, which offers leadership development courses, a national certification program, and meetings with some of the nation’s most influential superintendents.

Spence is a member of the leadership team for the Consortium of Large Countywide and Suburban School Districts, which works in partnership with AASA to provide a forum for member school divisions to collaborate on issues of practice, benchmark key data points against other districts, and collectively focus on federal advocacy.

Participation in groups like these has broadened Spence and his colleagues’ vision for their district.

“Not only do these opportunities expand my professional learning and challenge me to share my own expertise with others, but I also really appreciate the opportunity to expand my network of colleagues across the country and develop thought partners who understand the difficult nature of the work and the challenges we face in the superintendency,” said Spence. “I’ve found the networking and collaborative practice model of this consortium to be invaluable.”

AASA’s Digital Consortium, hosted this year by Discovery Education and the Horace Mann Educators Corporation, provided select superintendents with a series of informative conferences and district visits across the country.

The consortium provides district leaders with the opportunity to work together and gain insights into emerging, successful models for using digital materials to support engaged, effective learning experiences.

No educator — regardless of their role in the hierarchy of a district — needs to operate in isolation, said Lance Rougeux, Vice President of Discovery Education’s Learning Communities Innovation. To succeed in today’s high-stakes climates, educators need a place where they can explore new ideas for their schools in a safe atmosphere with their peers, free from judgment or consequence.

“By participating in professional learning communities, district leaders are making new connections with each other, whether it’s in person or virtually,” said Rougeux. “They’re creating valuable, new relationships that can help them overcome any number of challenges they may face.”

Rougeux helps lead The Discovery Education Community, a professional learning network that helps connect school leaders with their peers around the world to share their wealth of knowledge. Since it launched in 2005, thousands of educators have joined the Discovery Educator Network (DEN), a passionate group of leaders who share their stories of teaching with digital media, share resources, and network at nationwide conferences.

“What I love about these experiences, including membership in the AASA Digital Consortium, is the exposure not just to what has worked but the opportunity to reflect on lessons learned from those who have been in the vanguard of this work. I also appreciate that the learning doesn’t stop with what has worked, but that these conversations also focus on emerging theory and practice,” said Spence.


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Case Study: DC Everest’s Lessons from a Districtwide 1:1 Conversion

Many districts face the same challenges after choosing to embark on a 1:1 digital transition. They need to choose the right devices, the right curriculum supports, and they need to ensure their school board, every school employee, and parents, are on board with the leap. All parties involved must understand why digital is necessary to prepare students for the world they’ll face after they graduate.

D.C. Everest has lifted itself to sit alongside some of the best school districts in Wisconsin, thanks in part to its ambitious technology plan and implementation of quality professional development. But the road wasn’t easy. District leaders had to navigate their unique set of challenges in order to make their digital transition a success.

The common thread for the D.C. Everest region is the school district, which serves 11 municipalities, none with historic downtown areas. Established in 1953, D.C.Everest is one of Wisconsin’s newest school districts. That youth carries with it a scrappy demeanor that leans toward new methods of teaching and doing whatever it takes to provide the best opportunities for students. Its district leaders and teachers have proven to be innovative, taking risks to ensure students have what they needed to be successful.

Superintendent Kristine Gilmore, Ed.D., who has served as D.C. Everest’s superintendent for 14 years, helped guide the district through its digital transition over the past two years. And who better to lead the district into the future than a local girl with a long history in the region? Gilmore happens to be a graduate of D.C. Everest schools.

“It’s the ‘local girl comes home’ story,” she said. “Growing up, I had never dreamed of it, but it’s been a great place to give back to the community and raise my three kids with my husband.”

Another facet of the district that sets it apart from others in the region — the district has a large number of English Language Learners, comprising 12 percent of the school district. This is due in part to the region being home to a growing Hmong American population, who located there over the last three decades.

“We’ve become a much more diverse school district over the years, which I really think has made this community richer,” said Gilmore.

WHY GO DIGITAL?

Devices have been a part of D.C. Everest classrooms for years, but in 2014, they went 1:1 with iPads and Discovery Education Techbook, a digital textbook series. Of course, devices and powerful curriculum supports weren’t enough to transform the district. They needed a plan that would allow every student to succeed.

But before making its digital leap, D.C. Everest had to ensure that every level of the district’s faculty understood why they were making such a fundamental change. A key component of that change was keeping the promise of equal access to success for their students, said Gilmore.

“Technology for us was about providing every kid with the best opportunity to be successful,” she said. “The 1:1 initiative has provided both teachers and students with more choice and voice. Students now have 24/7/365 access to educational tools and resources that allow them to explore their individual interests, learn in a manner best-suited to them, and share what they’ve learned in a format they’re most comfortable with.”

D.C. Everest is not alone. Educators across the country are using Techbook to transform their classrooms into interactive learning environments, where lessons aren’t always one-sided lectures. Students can explore concepts with hands-on labs, getting a better understanding of real-world problems. Teachers can customize their lessons to meet the needs of their students by altering the Lexile levels, or language options.

District leaders also selected iPads paired with Techbook because that combination enabled students to learn offline. If Wi-Fi access wasn’t available at a student’s home, they could download chapters of material at school and take that back home to study videos and instruction. The solution helped ensure that technology barriers wouldn’t leave students without Internet access at home behind.

“For kids, learning in digital environments isn’t a new, exciting, scary thing — this is just their life,” she said. “We need to be sure that education is where our kids’ lives are at, not where our lives as educators were at.”

In a departure from many school districts across the country, D.C. Everest students are allowed to bring their iPads home over the summer. Gilmore said it’s a way of combating the so-called “summer slide,” effect in which knowledge melts from students’ minds over the summer months. To help retain some of their learned skills, the summer brought students educational programs such as STEM camps, summer school, and current resources on their iPads.

GOING 1:1

For Gilmore, there was a spark that marked the beginning of her digital journey. She had attended a Suburban School Superintendents Conference in San Francisco, where former Mooresville superintendent Mark Edwards had spoken. His message about digital transition, helping students learn to be great learners, was influential for Gilmore.

“As he told the story of his district, I thought, ‘Why not D.C. Everest?’” said Gilmore. “Our kids deserved these resources, and it was time to roll up our sleeves and make it happen.”
The district had been discussing going 1:1 for a few years. It previously had around 5,000 devices unequally distributed across its approximately 6,000 students. But Gilmore’s experience at the conference resulted in a decisive push for D.C. Everest’s transition to 1:1.

“You don’t have full access to the benefits of a digital curriculum until you go 1:1. That really allowed us to push content to all of our kids. We don’t have to guess at what our kids have. This initiative was about providing equity for our children and countless opportunities for the future.”

Initially, her team was concerned about budgetary constraints, but Gilmore assured them that they could overcome those challenges. No one has an unlimited budget, she said, but we can prioritize. By 2014, the district had rolled out 6,000 iPads to all of its students in under two weeks.

Through its 1:1 plan, school board officials wanted to provide students with rich, innovative classroom experiences. But funding new devices alone would not pave the way to the board’s goals for innovation. To support its technology plan, the district invested $4 million in infrastructure improvements, such as routers, bandwidth, mobile device management solutions, and Wi-Fi, and began investing in solid professional development (PD) to help educators adapt to the new shift in teaching.

“More than anything you need for teachers to shift their pedagogy around the higher levels of thinking for kids, creativity, innovation, personalization,” she said.

“All of this comes down to how we can change the classroom pedagogy to meet the needs of our students. The device is a resource — never a substitute for a great teacher.”

To leverage this new priority, D.C. Everest restructured its teacher compensation around quality PD. Teachers are compensated for pursuing individually-chosen opportunities that improve their teaching and learning strategies and are empowered to use those strategies within their classrooms in creative, new ways.

The incentive strategy paid off. By the end of the 2015-2016 school year, the district’s just over 400 teachers accrued more than 25,000 hours of PD outside of the school day.
The PD consisted of teachers teaching teachers best practices in the classroom, mini-courses on specific subjects, and three-day institutes focused on teaching and learning. During these sessions, Discovery Education’s Digital Leader Corps played a crucial role, said Gilmore, bringing speakers such as Toni Robinson to guide educators through their transition.

“Our professional development was not just two hours of training, or reading a book. It’s about changing the way that we teach every day. And even with newer teachers, that’s often not something they’re taught in school. Doing this well requires time and hands-on training, and an environment where risk-taking with support is safe,” said Gilmore.

BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES OF 1:1

Technology being placed in the hands of every student has helped to open the door for them to express and share their learning in creative ways. One way this was exemplified was how a fourth-grade class at Riverside Elementary School chose to take their study of the Iditarod Race and run with it.

The students’ enthusiasm for the race evolved into a podcast series where they recorded their thoughts on the progress of the race. Their creativity paid off. The podcast drew the attention a few actual Iditarod mushers, who had been following the kids’ show. The mushers reached out to the class to congratulate them on their creation and encouraged them to keep at it.

The encounter was an affirmation for the students’ experimentation with what’s possible through a digital education.

“That kind of experience changes how kids perceive themselves as participants in their own education, as readers, writers, and authors, they have an authentic audience,” said Gilmore.

By the start of the 2016-2017 school year, the district had two years of experience in a 1:1 learning environment. They also had become well-versed with all three of Discovery Education’s Techbooks — Science Techbook, Math Techbook and Social Studies Techbook — which supplement their existing curriculum.

Gilmore said the district selected Techbook because it allowed students to experience their education in a multi-faceted way. Traditional textbook offer students textual ways to experience new places or concepts, and in Techbook, if they don’t quite understand, they can watch the video, it can be read aloud, they can change the Lexile level, and in math they can see a problem solved in multiple ways.

“Adopting Techbook was really about engaging students and giving them opportunities to grow in different ways than a flat textbook might do,” said
Gilmore. “It’s one thing to read about the desert if you’ve never been there, and another to watch a video and see it.”

Social Studies students immediately took to the benefits of Techbook. Being able to witness world-changing events in video form, and study history through multiple lenses has afforded students a more well-rounded education. But implementing Math Techbook has been more complicated, said Gilmore, because it has involved a mindset shift around how to teach it.

Math can be a touchy subject for districts. Unlike Social Studies, it is generally taught in a very concrete fashion, and there are very distinct milestones to hit for state standards. Since rolling out Math Techbook, Gilmore said she noticed a reticence of certain teachers to adapt to the changing learning styles around Math.

“We all want to provide kids with more meaningful experiences, but that often involves setting up the classroom differently, learning differently — and change is difficult,” she said.
This reluctance to change represents one of the challenges that have reared themselves since the district went 1:1, and D.C. Everest is not an island unto itself. Many districts nationwide experience resistance from educators fearful of altering the trajectory of teaching and learning, particularly when that change involves abandoning the traditional, stand-and-deliver method of teaching. Instead, modern teachers are often moving from the center of the classroom to the periphery as a support for student-driven learning, aided by the device.

To address teacher concerns, professional development courses and Discovery Education’s Digital Leader Corps offered educators intensive training in the new methodologies around teaching, helping them acclimate to the change in their comfort levels with technology in the classroom. Every school in the district also has learning labs, where teachers are encouraged to try new methods of teaching. Educators also bring their peers to these sessions to help solidify best practices across the district which has proven to be more effective than a supervisory model.

The same skepticism toward technology in the classroom was voiced by some parents in the community after the district announced its plans to go 1:1. To help navigate these troubled waters, D.C. Everest hosted informational panels where parents could ask questions about their children’s education. It also helped that when students brought their devices home, parents could witness what their children were learning.

“A parent told me that before, they felt clueless about what happened at school, but the devices have helped them connect with their kids’ lives in ways they just couldn’t before,” Gilmore said.

TAPPING THE POWER OF YOUR PEERS

No educator — regardless of their role in the hierarchy of a district — needs to operate in isolation, said Lance Rougeux, Vice President of Discovery Education’s Learning Communities Innovation. To succeed in today’s high-stakes climates, educators need a place where they can explore new ideas for their schools in a safe atmosphere with their peers, free from judgment or consequence.

Rougeux helps lead The Discovery Education Community, a professional learning network that helps connect school leaders with their peers around the world to share their wealth of knowledge.

“By participating in professional learning communities, district leaders are making new connections with each other, whether it’s in person or virtually,” said Rougeux. “They’re creating valuable, new relationships that can help them overcome any number of challenges they may face.”

Gilmore is one of 40 members of AASA’s Digital Consortium, which has allowed her access to a series of conferences and district visits across the country. The consortium provides district leaders with the opportunity to work together and gain insights into emerging, successful models for using digital materials to support engaged, effective learning experiences.
Among the most valuable lessons from these sessions for Gilmore was the ability to learn and share resources with her peers. Together, they supported one another through their own digital transitions, and learned from the successes and mistakes of others.

“These relationships are imperative in the work as we support each other, share resources, and learn together. While at the Digital Consortium meetings we visited schools who are living the work,” she said. Gilmore advises superintendents in need of guidance to seek help from peers and associations like AASA.

“Ask a lot of questions, take teams to visit, and learn, learn, and learn. I would also suggest finding great business partners who want to help your students succeed,” she said.

“Providing students with engaging, relevant, innovative, and personalized learning experiences is our mission — it takes some courage, but isn’t that what leadership is all about?”

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Arizona’s Deer Valley Unified School District Launches New Collaboration with Discovery Education to Increase Student Engagement in Science Instruction

Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
240-662-5563, Stephen_Wakefield@discovery.com

– New Science Digital Textbook and Professional Development Initiative Empowers Educators to Create Authentic Science Learning Environments Aligned with Arizona State Standards –

Silver Spring, Md. (June 1, 2017) – Arizona’s Deer Valley Unified School District (DVUSD) today announced a new collaboration with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. Through this new partnership, district educators in Middle School and High School will be empowered with Discovery Education’s award-winning Science Techbooks™ and robust professional development to create authentic and engaging science learning environments that are aligned the Arizona State Standards.

DVUSD’s new partnership with Discovery Education supports the district’s commitment to rigorously implementing Arizona’s Academic Content Standards of Science. Arizona’s schools have made sustaining student curiosity in the sciences a high priority.  In addition, Arizona educators understand that the application of scientific thinking enables students to strengthen skills that people use every day: solving problems creatively, thinking critically, working cooperatively in teams, using technology effectively, and valuing lifelong learning.

By integrating Discovery Education’s Science Techbooks into classroom instruction, DVUSD’s educators will be empowered to support these important goals through the delivery of standard-aligned instruction that meets each students’ unique needs while promoting higher-level thinking and questioning.

Discovery Education’s award-winning 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 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 one-to-one or one-to-many configurations and in any instructional environment.

Discovery Education’s Science Techbook series empowers educators to transform science instruction. Utilizing an inquiry-based format built on the Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate (5E) model, each Science Techbook includes rich, standards-aligned content such as video, audio, text, interactives with hands-on activities, and virtual labs that help educators differentiate instruction and provide a rich and engaging learning experience for students. Additional student features include bilingual text-to-speech and leveled reading tools, and note-taking and highlighting capabilities.

The Science Techbooks series also includes valuable STEM resources as well. STEM Project Starters encourage students to connect math, technology, and engineering to their understanding of science concepts to produce creative solutions to real world problems. In addition, the STEM In Action resources help students connect their work to STEM careers, which promotes a clearer understanding of how skills used in school can be applied to jobs “in the real world.”  Embedded formative assessment opportunities that help educators monitor student progress are embedded into each Techbook, and like all Discovery Education digital textbooks, the Science Techbooks work on any device and can be implemented in any instructional setting. 

“The Deer Valley Unified School District is fully committed to providing every student extraordinary educational opportunities that help them become lifelong learners who will successfully compete, lead and positively impact the world,” said Dr. James Veitenheimer, Superintendent at DVUSD. “We are excited to launch this new partnership with Discovery Education, as together, we will create dynamic, standard-aligned digital classrooms that will engage all learners.”

DVUSD’s educators will also receive sustained, job-embedded professional development from Discovery Education’s expert faculty.  This professional development will help district educators evolve their teaching practice and effectively use their new digital resources. Also, the Discovery Education Community will support DVUSD’s educators’ efforts to transform students’ learning experiences with dynamic digital media. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community 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 part of Deer Valley Unified School District’s efforts to help each student not only understand the world around them, but also develop the important critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills needed for success beyond the classroom,” said Andrew Bradigan, Discovery Education Regional Vice President. “We look forward to working with the talented DVUSD team on this new initiative.”  

For more information about the Discovery Education Techbook series, Professional Development Initiatives, or other services and resources from Discovery Education, visit: www.discoveryeducation.com.

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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 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in 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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