After the COVID-19 pandemic, Washoe County School District in Nevada biggest challenges were student engagement, learning loss, and how to manage the adaptation of varying STEM instruction from campus to campus. Middle school subjects were taught in silos yet had a STEM lab, high school STEM focused on Career & Technical Education, and elementary schools took a cross-curricular approach to STEM that was supported by a computer lab.
To combat the challenges from the pandemic and support the different types of STEM instruction, the Nevada State Department of Education—with funding support from Nevada Gold Mines—selected Discovery Education Experience as a statewide option for its ease of use, ability to reach learners wherever they are, and high-quality, standards-aligned content. It proved to be the right choice because teachers like those in Washoe School District could rely on Experience to supplement instruction no matter how they taught STEM, while ensuring student engagement at multiple levels.
Experience also made an impact on the level of rigor in lessons to meet the district’s goals for student success. Finding the wealth of standards-aligned activities in Experienceencouraged many teachers to reflect on the standards they were teaching and see how they can enhance the rigor of their lessons using the helpful resources in Discovery Education and in their core program.
Discovery Education gives teachers control over how to navigate and use the resources to fit their classroom teaching and learning needs. Teachers found they can execute individual assignments easily, like videos, or conduct whole-class instruction. They can deliver the lessons in multiple ways to fit the needs of their classrooms and students. For example, Discovery Education can support learning both at school and at home, giving them continual access to engaging learning resources like Virtual Field Trips.
Between the curriculum leaders in Washoe County School District and the Discovery Education team, much is being done to find new ways to bring Discovery Education to more teachers, especially at the high school level. This close partnership focuses on identifying the needs of the high schools and targeting those needs through Discovery Education’s resources and professional learning. The district is also taking strategic steps in improving communication and outreach to their 100+ schools regarding the multitude of ways that Discovery Education can support effective teaching and learning.