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Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education



-Discovery Education releases three virtual reality experiences that invite students to step into the boots of soldiers to learn about American Civil War history-

Silver Spring, Md. (Dec. 8, 2016) – Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, announced today the addition of three new virtual reality experiences and more than 350 other digital assets to its award winning Discovery Education Streaming Plus and Techbook™ services.  This new content further empowers educators to create dynamic digital learning environments that support the success of all learners.

The new virtual reality experiences recently added to Discovery Education’s Social Studies Techbook help students explore three Civil War-themed issues through the eyes of a soldier.  The three topics explored are:

  • Desertion  —  During the Civil War, the Union and Confederate armies instituted a draft, forcing young men to join the fight. However, conditions in the army were often so terrible that soldiers deserted before they even reached battle. With this module, students will learn about the causes of desertion and the repercussions of leaving the military by virtually joining a soldier making a life or death decision.


  • Bridges — How did geography determine the course of the Civil War? The Rappahannock River in Virginia created a natural barrier for the Union Army, and new weapons made crossing rivers deadlier than ever before. Students will virtually step into the boots of a soldier to learn how armies adapted to these challenges through this module.


  • Urban Warfare — Although most battles were fought in rural settings, during the Battle of Fredericksburg, Union and Confederate armies engaged in battle not in open fields or forests, but in an urban center. This virtual reality experience illustrates the impact that battle locations had on the outcome of the war.

These new virtual reality experiences are affiliated with the six-part American Heroes Channel series, Blood and Fury: America’s Civil War, which premieres on Wednesday, December 14 at 10/9c.  Chronicling some of the most extraordinary chapters in American history, this series will captivate viewers with the full scope of events that occurred at key battles in the Civil War, and examine their historical impact.

“Virtual reality content offers students an unparalleled opportunity to engage with a topic and immerse themselves in learning,” said Ann Clermont, Grade 6 Literacy and Social Studies Teacher at the Green Bay Area Public School District’s Red Smith School in Wisconsin. “When integrated thoughtfully into instruction, these resources enrich lessons by adding perspective to the geography, politics, and psychology of the Civil War.”

Additional cross-curricular content now available through Discovery Education’s award-winning digital services, including:

  • 117 new titles from Scholastic: Two series based on classic children’s and Young Adult books are now available to Discovery Education Streaming Plus users. Goosebumps brings spine-tingling tales to middle school students, and Astroblast! encourages elementary students to use critical thinking and STEM concepts within an outer space environment.
  • More than 80 new titles from Discovery Networks: New episodes of Science Channel favorites Outrageous Acts of Science, How to Build Everything, Incredible Engineering Blunders, and Made by Destruction are now accessible within Discovery Education Streaming Plus and the Science Techbook. Social Studies Techbook users will learn about ancient Roman culture in the Lost World of Pompeii and debunk common misconceptions in American history in America: Facts vs. Fiction.  
  • Daily news stories from Reuters: Available in all Discovery Education services, breaking daily news clips help students digest important current events in politics, science, sports and international news.
  • 10 new health titles from Mazzarella Media: Lessons to help educators navigate discussions of health and safety issues, including stranger safety, addiction, and drugs and alcohol use, are now available via Discovery Education Streaming Plus.

Containing thousands of standards-aligned resources, Discovery Education Streaming and Streaming Plus helps build students’ mastery in interpreting, understanding, and evaluating information across all subject areas. Teacher resources include lesson plans, instructional strategies, and content collections organized around themes.  Students can access images, primary source documents, podcasts, oral interviews, books on tape, articles, and videos, and more. 

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 1:1 or 1-to-many configurations and in any instructional environment.

“High quality digital content, like that offered in Discovery Education’s digital services, make students want to read a passage, analyze data, solve a problem, or discuss a topic to learn more,” said Kelli Campbell, senior vice president and digital learning officer at Discovery Education.  “We are pleased to add these new resources to our Streaming and Techbook services, as standards-aligned, high quality digital content vetted and organized by experts that has been specifically developed for today’s diverse student audiences like these are a powerful catalyst for transforming teaching and learning.”

To learn more about digital services for education offered by Discovery Education, visit

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

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