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Discovery Education updated its K-12 learning platform to offer new ways to immerse students in digital content at home or in the classroom.

Post-pandemic tools are focusing on engaging digital content for all learning scenarios

Discovery Education has added new features to its K-12 learning platform that offer new ways to immerse students in digital content

Engagement–whether students are hybrid or in person–is a top priority for educators, particularly after the rollercoaster year COVID delivered to schools. Another thing COVID made clear? The need for impactful edtech tools and digital content.

New updates to Discovery Education‘s K-12 learning platform combine engaging tools with timely, vetted, and easy-to-access content. The updates give educators and students new ways to seamlessly create learning activities each day.  

“Where we are really focusing is that we want to bring joy back to teachers’ lives,” said Jason Ediger, Discovery Education’s chief marketing officer. “There’s something magical around the way teachers are inherently creative; they want to connect with a student and give them that hook for understanding. They want to help them see the possibilities available to them in the world.” 

A key part of the update is the continued ability of the features and tools to meet the needs of in-person, hybrid, or remote learners.

“One thing we’ve been very cognizant of as we built the tools is it’s not just an online/hybrid learning tool,” Ediger said. “A teacher can design these experiences for all the kids who sit in front of them in the classroom. If these kids went back, if they had a hybrid situation, all of the same functionalities, features, quizzes, polling, can be real-time, asynchronous. We make sure that continuity of learning can continue in all environments.”

Among the enhancements are: 

A new, interactive Quiz tool. The platform’s new Quiz tool provides multiple ways for teachers to promote active learning in the classroom and track student progress in real-time. Various Quiz types include: 

  • Ask Live Quiz. Through Live Quiz, teachers can now spark lively classroom discussions by asking students questions live through virtual meeting solutions, like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams 
  • Standard Quiz. With Standard Quiz, teachers can check for understanding and student readiness through a range of question formats, from polling to open-end and multiple-choice to image annotation.   
  • Video-Based Quiz. Video-Based Quiz combines video from Discovery Education’s rich vault of high-quality content and embedded questions on the video viewing timeline to create highly engaging interactive learning experiences.  

In all modes, Quiz results display in real-time, empowering educators to gauge participation and correct responses, offer just-in-time feedback, and identify remediation needs.  

Teacher and student-created activities and presentations are easier than ever with the improved Studio tool. Studio, Discovery Education’s latest collaboration and presentation tool, serves as educators’ creative outlet to imagine and practice new activities. 

With Studio, educators can: 

  • Use new Activity Templates based on Discovery Education’s SOS Instructional Strategies — the creative, research-based instructional strategies created by teachers for teachers — to create lively presentations that engage students in daily instruction.  
  • Give students the opportunity to share their knowledge in creative ways through their own presentation boards and slideshows. 
  • Collaborate with students in real-time within the confines of a safe and secure environment no matter where the classroom is. 
  • Promote literacy, accessibility, and comprehension for all learners with the embedded Microsoft Immersive Reader Tool. 

In addition, more than 1,500 ready-to-use instructional activities for all subjects are available through the Discovery Education platform.  Teachers can assign them to students as-is, edit and personalize these lessons within Studio, use the integrated Activity Builds to quickly build their own lessons, or start with a blank slate and create their own custom lessons from scratch. 

A completely redesigned Video Player. The new Discovery Education video player not only matches the platform’s lighter, redesigned look and feel, but it also makes it easy for teachers to incorporate rich media into the learning experiences they design and deliver every day. From the new Video Player page, teachers can:   

  • Build interactive video quizzes or slideshow activities in a few simple steps.  
  • Assign videos directly to students and add context and instructions.  
  • Share videos with students and colleagues using a simple link.  
  • Reach all learners with embedded language and accessibility supports.   
  • Find supporting resources and content like images, interactives, and audio.    

Together, these new features and enhancements support the creation of interactive learning experiences that spark curiosity, make classroom activities livelier and engaging, and provide the literacy and language supports that give every student the opportunity to have their “light bulb” moment.  

“Integrating all the edtech resources stood-up to maintain the continuity of learning during the COVID-19 pandemic is a major challenge facing school leaders,” said Discovery Education’s CEO Chief Executive Officer Scott Kinney.  “The new features and enhancements we are announcing today help solve that challenge.  The improved functionality of our flagship K-12 platform puts all the tools needed to engage students with digital content at educators’ fingertips and the work to boost our service’s ability to easily dovetail into school systems’ IT infrastructure makes it simple to merge our content and resources into the learning environments school systems already have in place. Taken together, these features and enhancements will help school systems improve the return on the edtech investment they made over the past year.” 

“When teachers enter the profession, their whole job and their mission is to make a connection with an individual student for that ‘a-ha’ moment. That spark and that joy is what drives every single teacher,” Ediger said. “So when we think about the kind of tools we might be able to build and when we know the value digital content can have in the learning experience, we’re trying to build workflows and tools that allow those teachers to build the kind of magical learning experiences that they’ve dreamed of.”

Educators using Discovery Education’s K-12 platform and all Discovery Education resources benefit from the support of the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) Community . This global community of education professionals connects members in school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing, and inspiration.    

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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