FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
Sandy Fash, C. Blohm & Associates
–District working to replace traditional textbooks with high-quality online resources–
Silver Spring, Md. (May 13, 2010) – Groton Public Schools (GPS) in Groton, Conn., is turning to powerful digital content from Discovery Education to engage students across the curriculum. Instead of depending solely on static textbooks, GPS educators are using digital resources from Discovery Education streaming and Discovery Education Science as instructional materials to encourage exploration, stimulate critical thinking, and ultimately, transition to a dynamic digital curriculum.
More than ten years ago, GPS started to make the move away from traditional textbook-based teaching and began incorporating various technology components and online resources across subject matters. Supporting the district’s implementation of interactive whiteboards, administrators chose to integrate Discovery Education streaming, the digital media-based learning service scientifically shown to increase academic achievement, into their instruction.
Discovery Education streaming has more than 125,000 digital learning objects, including videos, interactives, images, articles, and more, that integrate seamlessly into any curriculum. Aligned to state standards and assessments, and searchable by keyword, content area and grade level, the rich video content and other digital assets from Discovery Education engage today’s media-savvy students in learning.
“Discovery Education streaming is an invaluable tool in making the classroom an exciting and relevant environment for our students,” said Dr. Monica Franzone, director of K-12 science for GPS. “The most important aspect of Discovery Education streaming is the breadth and depth of vetted resources available through one searchable tool. Instead of searching the Internet for resources and videos that may or may not be appropriate for classroom use, teachers can use one tool and trust they are finding the best content available.”
Initially, Discovery Education streaming was offered to specific educators throughout the district in an effort to build enthusiastic and expert users who could, in turn, show their colleagues how to integrate this service into their daily lessons. “As soon as other teachers saw the possibilities Discovery Education streaming offers, they were hooked,” Franzone continued. GPS then made the online service available to all elementary and middle school teachers as well as media specialists throughout the district.
For the 2009-2010 school year, GPS continued to roll-out Discovery Education streaming to the entire district, while also incorporating Discovery Education Science, an online instructional service for elementary and middle schools. Tied to state science standards, the service provides core content through multiple learning modalities. Coupled with a real-time assessment component that measures students’ progress, Discovery Education Science recommends individualized resources that reinforce classroom instruction.
Discovery Education Science empowers educators to quickly locate and employ a variety of engaging multimedia resources, including videos, animations, images, articles, and virtual labs, to reach students through a medium they are already familiar with and eager to use in the classroom. Organized around an inquiry-based framework, Discovery Education Science covers physical, earth and space, and life sciences.
“Learning is traditionally confined to within the four walls of the classroom. These digital resources from Discovery Education allow students to experience a world they never could have in the past,” Franzone said. “They can touch space with NASA, listen to the sounds of a jungle in India – these resources allow teachers to bring interesting content to their students through an easy-to-use tool. The service offers unparalleled resources, such as clips from MYTHBUSTERS. Showing a video clip of a science experiment that could not be replicated in the classroom excites students and shows how their lessons relate to the real world.”
GPS offers a blend of digital resources and textbook-based curriculum, and is working to move to a dynamic multimedia curriculum in the future. “Our key focus is to connect classroom learning with how students live outside of the school, making each lesson more relevant and engaging. We have a strong commitment to using online resources, and using the excellent resources from Discovery Education brings our district one step closer to our goal.”
In addition to partnering with Discovery Education to provide digital content to school systems, the GPS also has collaborated with Discovery Education to build capacity and to support educators through one of the nation’s largest professional learning communities, the Discovery Educator Network (DEN). Through the DEN, GPS educators have access to a wide range of technology training as well as a resource library of teacher-generated projects and tools. During the course of this partnership, more than 45 GPS educators have joined the DEN.
For more information about Discovery Education, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education. Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.