A new partnership with Discovery Education, which is funded through ESSER dollars, supports digital learning across Montana.

As ESSER spending increases, digital learning is a priority


A new partnership with Discovery Education, which is funded through ESSER dollars, supports core instruction and digital learning across Montana

Key points:

After a slow start in allocating federal ESSER funds, most states have found ways to spend their COVID relief dollars. In Montana, the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) is directing its ESSER money to digital learning resources.

OPI Superintendent Elsie Arntzen announced a new partnership with Discovery Education, a provider of state-of-the-art digital resources that support instruction wherever it takes place. Through this multi-year partnership, OPI is providing all 496 public school districts statewide access to a curated collection of high-quality, grade level appropriate, digital content aligned to Montana’s rigorous K-12 Content Standards.

The partnership–which is funded through ESSER–supports core instruction across Montana. In addition, the collaboration supports the state’s workforce readiness, rural education, Native American tribal history and culture, and parent and family engagement initiatives. Montana School Superintendents can activate their school district’s Discovery Education account by visiting this website.

“This partnership grows student learning both in and out of the classroom,” said Superintendent Elsie Arntzen. “The parental and family engagement aspect of Discovery Education will strengthen our Montana students’ success. I encourage all of our schools to take advantage of this great teaching and learning opportunity.”

The partnership is also ensuring that students in rural areas, which often lack high-speed internet connections and the resources that come with those connections, will have access to digital learning resources. “Many of Montana’s rural are part of a rural cooperative. Discovery Education will allow all our students the ability to access the content provided. Learning together has always promoted education in our frontier state, this is just another tool for lead teachers,” Arntzen said.

Arntzen expanded on how the partnership will impact the state’s learning goals for students: “This partnership will grow student learning through parental and family engagement. Discovery Education provides teachers with professional development so that they are more comfortable teaching. Students succeed when their teachers receive better training and when their parents are actively engaged in learning.”

The digital learning content now available to Montana’s teachers, students, and families is delivered through Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform. Connecting educators to a vast collection of high-quality, standards-aligned content and professional learning resources, Discovery Education facilitates engaging, daily instruction in any environment. These resources, sourced from trusted partners, are aligned to state and national standards, and help educators bring the outside world into teaching and learning every day. Through expanded, lasting partnerships with Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, Schoology, Canvas, Brightspace, and Clever, integrating Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform into existing IT architecture is easier than ever.

As part of this new partnership, Montana’s educators will also receive ongoing professional learning designed to help them realize the return on the state’s edtech investment. In addition, the state’s educators will also receive the support of the Discovery Education 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.

“Discovery Education is excited to support the state of Montana’s efforts to provide all teachers and parents the tools and resources needed to put students first,” said Coni Rechner, Discovery Education’s Senior Vice President of State & Strategic Partnership. “Superintendent Arntzen and her talented team have created an innovative vision for education in the Big Sky state, and Discovery Education is proud to support their efforts.

Montana school leaders interested in learning more about the resources available through this partnership can visit Discovery Education’s Montana state partnership website for more details.

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Laura Ascione
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