Skip to content

BioTECH at Richmond Heights – Miami, FL

When BioTECH opened its doors in 2014 as Florida’s exclusive zoology and botany magnet high school, it took a nontraditional approach to science education.

Students at BioTECH experience science by venturing beyond the walls of their classrooms. They get their hands dirty studying and experimenting with the diverse flora of their environment, and they take their learnings back into the classroom to dive deeper into the subject. Their instructional materials needed to be able to keep up with BioTECH’s unique science curriculum.

Principal Daniel Mateo said they selected Discovery Education Science Techbook after taking a hard look at the competition and the school’s needs for the future.

“We were looking for tools that would revolutionize the way kids interact with their instructional materials,” said Mateo. “And none that I’ve seen come even close to what Techbook can do.”

Techbook grounds each science lesson with real-world phenomena and interactive features that focus student activities around problem-based learning. Techbook gives educators the flexibility to customize learning material to meet each student’s needs, whether it’s adjusting the reading level or changing the language from English to Spanish.

As Techbook use caught on among BioTECH’s educators, Mateo noticed that learning was becoming more streamlined. Teachers spent less time digging through online resources for class lessons, instead using vetted resources right at their fingertips. Students have constant access to information they can rely on. It’s been just two years since BioTECH began immersing students in science, and it’s already being recognized nationally for its efforts. The school was given a national award of merit in 2016 by Magnet Schools of America.

“Digital textbooks will never replace a classroom teacher,” said Mateo. “Techbook is there to help that teacher as a classroom resource, and for that, it’s a one of a kind product that I’ve not come across anywhere else. What Techbook has done is concentrate relevant course content in a particular place that students can access with ease. That is worth its weight in gold.”

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, NC

Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s leadership recognized the need to make the district’s science and math instruction more interactive and engaging. In addition, they wanted to build the confidence of their teachers.

The district leaders at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) were facing two challenges: They needed a bold, new approach to math education to prepare students for 21st-century teaching and learning, and they wanted to help make their educators masters of digital content as they transitioned to Common Core State Standards. Overcoming these hurdles would prove crucial to raising the bar for instruction in classrooms and improving student outcomes.

Already familiar with Discovery Education’s Science Techbook suite, CMS selected Math Techbook to help them achieve their goals, along with implementing a 1:1 device program in its schools. After piloting Math Techbook for less than a year, district leaders found a perfect fit for their classrooms. Techbook helps educators be more agile in the classroom, armed with fresh, up-to-date materials. Students love Techbook’s grounded approach to math, and they seize upon the chance to take an active role in their education. CMS has since rolled out the service to all of its middle schools.

Discovery Education’s relationship with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools continues to grow. With more Techbook innovations on the horizon, they’ll work together to enhance the district’s curriculum in new, meaningful ways, helping Charlotte students become lifelong learners.

ResultsDouble-Digit Gains in Student Proficiency

Evidence shows that when educators within Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools used Discovery Education Techbook with students, it led to increased student performance on end-of-course exams.

After using Science Techbook to hone their skills, 5th and 8th grade students are much better prepared for the future.

  • 12 percentage-point increase in college and career readiness for 5th- and 8th-grade science students (2013-2016)
  • Six percentage-point increase in proficiency for 5th-grade science students (2015-2016)
  • 10.5 percentage-point leap over state proficiency scores for Math 1 students (2015-2016)

Oak Ridge Schools, TN

Students at Oak Ridge Schools in Tennessee have significantly increased their state testing scores using a combination of Discovery Education Science Techbook and Streaming Plus. A recent analysis by Discovery Education shows that Oak Ridge 4th graders taught with these resources had higher science, reading, and math scores on the 2015 Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) than their peers not taught with Discovery Education resources.

Through a six-year partnership, Discovery Education is supporting Superintendent Dr. Bruce Borchers plan to transform Oak Ridge Schools into the premier preK-12 STEM school district in the nation by implementing a 1:1 learning initiative that supports the district’s STEM goals and culture.

Challenge

The district’s goal is to become a leader in STEM education through continuation and expansion of Oak Ridge’s already well-regarded educational opportunities for students along with additional enhancements to technology infrastructure, professional development and access to devices, which will place dynamic digital content in the hands of each student.

Solution

As part of this partnership, all K-12 classrooms have access to Discovery Education Streaming Plus. Streaming Plus features more than 155,000 dynamic digital learning objects that support all subject areas and learning styles, including videos, skill builders, games, audio files, images, writing prompts and encyclopedia articles. It also includes hundreds of model lessons and instructional exemplars.

In addition, Oak Ridge students in grades K-8 are using the Discovery Education Science Techbook and middle school students will utilize Discovery Education Social Studies Techbook. Discovery Education Techbook creates a learning environment that promote collaboration, creativity and participatory learning. The series delivers individualized resources and engages students in learning concepts through rich digital assets, including virtual labs, video clips, an interactive glossary, and more.

Oak Ridge Schools is also providing its educators robust, customized professional development from Discovery Education experts who will guide them through the process of integrating Streaming Plus and Techbooks into classroom instruction. 50 teachers will join a STEM cohort that will receive 10 days of customized professional development and coaching from Discovery Education each year.

Creating a Culture of STEM Teaching and Learning: Not Just in the Science Classroom

Watch this video to see how one teacher from Oak Ridge Schools keeps his passion for teaching alive, and how Techbook is helping to ensure his students leave social studies class with the collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication skills needed to succeed in life.