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Shawnee Cohn, Discovery Education

–Dynamic Digital Textbooks and Customized Professional Development will Enrich Science Instruction and Support District’s New EXCEL Initiative–

Silver Spring, Md. (April 8, 2015) –  Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, and South Carolina’s Spartanburg School District 2 announced today an expansion of their 10-year partnership which will bring Discovery Education’s award-winning Science Techbook™ series to elementary and middle school classrooms district-wide. Through this expansion, Discovery Education will support the district’s new personalized digital learning initiative with engaging digital content and sustained, customized professional development.

At the beginning of this school year, Spartanburg School District 2 launched EXCEL (Engage, eXplore, Collaborate, Empower, Launch), a new initiative engaging all students in authentic, relevant, and personalized digital learning experiences that enable deeper learning across all disciplines. Through EXCEL, District 2 students collaboratively use dynamic digital technologies to create products, conduct research, develop multimedia projects and communicate.

To support this initiative, District 2 is now providing students in grades K-8 access to Discovery Education’s Science Techbook, a fully interactive digital textbook with state-of-the-art lesson plans that can be used on any computer, laptop, or tablet. Additionally, district educators will receive extensive professional development from Discovery Education experts that will support them as they integrate the Science Techbook series into classroom instruction and help them use digital content to differentiate and personalize learning. Since 2005, educators and students across the district have had access to dynamic digital resources through Discovery Education Streaming, a comprehensive digital library of over 100,000 learning objects aligned to state and national standards.

“We are pleased to expand our partnership with Discovery Education and provide all of our students with cutting-edge, high quality digital resources that will promote deeper learning and prepare them for both college and careers,” said Angela Hinton, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction at Spartanburg School District 2. “Not only will Discovery Education’s digital science textbooks help our educators meet their student’s individual needs, but they will also ensure our students always have access to current, relevant resources that challenge them to read, write and think like scientists.”

A cloud-based application that works on any platform and classroom configuration, the Science Techbook series features compelling video; model lessons; digital simulations and explorations; virtual and hands-on labs; an interactive glossary with animations, audio and video; and core interactive text with text-to-speech, leveled reading, English-to-Spanish and note-taking and highlighting capabilities. The instructional approach in Science Techbook supports a truly inquiry-based model in which students are challenged to respond to questions, develop scientific claims, and support those claims with evidence and reasoning using a rich variety of digital resources as well as hands-on investigations. 

A recent study conducted by independent research firm Merola Research, LLC found that usage of Science Techbook is associated with higher science achievement scores in elementary school students. After one year of implementation in South Carolina’s Rock Hill Schools, fourth grade students whose teachers used Discovery Education Science Techbook scored higher on average on the 2013 Science Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) than students whose teachers did not use Science Techbook. Techbooks are also a substantially less expensive option per student at nearly half the cost of a traditional textbook, with additional savings derived from a lack of textbook replacement or inventory costs.

In addition, the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) will continue to support District 2 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 be a part of Spartanburg School District 2’s efforts to further personalize the learning experience, promote deeper learning, and unlock the full potential of every student,” said Rob Warren, director of partnerships at Discovery Education. “We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Superintendent Mercer and the entire Spartanburg team on their efforts to increase academic rigor and student engagement while preparing students for tomorrow’s world.”

For more information about the Discovery Education Science Techbook series or other services and resources from Discovery Education, visit

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind.  Available in over half of all U.S. schools and primary schools in England, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at