It was old home week recently for Tricia Reiser, federal programs director at Great Bend USD 428, as she invited her long-time friend and colleague to share his knowledge of Discovery Education (DE) with local instructional leaders. Reiser explained that DE, a comprehensive digital resource that the district subscribes to, has what it calls a superintendent in residence. Her friend, Dwight Jones, serves as that education leader.
“Dwight leads the Discovery teams of educators across the U.S. in transforming districts to digital literacy,” Reiser said, “His charge is to travel the country to work with district leaders as they work to prepare students for the 21st century – teaching and learning.”
She noted that the district spends a lot of money on DE and the teachers really appreciate the streaming component. The workshop helped teachers learn to use it to its full potential.
“Educators in the district have been aware and utilizing the streaming videos that DE provides, but it offers so much more than just the videos,” Reiser said. “The purpose of the DE training was to become familiar with how DE can help teaching and learning in our district. We want teachers to use DE and take advantage of everything it has to offer.”
Plans are in the works to continue a partnership with the DE for more training and professional development.
Discovery Education provides:
• Extensive video library including videos from Discovery Channel, Scholastic, BBC, PBS and NASA.
• Image and audio libraries, an interactive atlas and encyclopedia articles.
• Video clips aligned to K-12 national and state curriculum standards. Many are organized according to themes and teachers can search for relevant clips by keyword, subject, grade level and curriculum standard.
• Streaming that provides a library of lesson plans and suggestions for incorporating the videos into all areas of study.
• Quiz builders: Teachers can create multiple-choice quizzes that students fill out using a computer. The quizzes are graded automatically and teachers can view the results, including the answers the students chose.
• Writing prompts: As with the quizzes, teachers create the prompts and students complete the assignments using a computer. There’s also a library of prompts for a variety of writing styles, from expository to narrative.
• Editable videos: Teachers can use video editing software to customize certain clips.
• Professional Development: Discovery Education offers a wide array of complimentary professional development options that allow educators to learn more about integrating technology into the classroom.
• Discovery Educator Network: A Discovery Education streaming subscription includes an invitation for all educators to join to the Discovery Educator Network (DEN). The DEN currently includes more than 88,000 members nationwide, providing professional development to more than a half a million educators.