Two Kentucky School Systems Select Discovery Education to Support STEM and STEAM Instruction

Two Kentucky school systems—Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) and the Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS)—recently selected Discovery Education to support STEM/STEAM education in their school districts. Through these two new partnerships, Discovery Education will help educators in FCPS’s RISE Academy and JCPS’s Grace James Academy of Excellence nurture the growth of STEM cultures within these all-female schools  that help students develop the creative, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills needed for success in classrooms, online, or in the hybrid environment. Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms.

A brand new school opening in the 2020-2021 school year, FCPS’s Rise STEM Academy will support young women as they explore science, technology, engineering, and math during their formative years so that each student may more eagerly embrace STEM career pathways. JCPS’s Grace James Academy of Excellence is dedicated to empowering, activating, and illuminating academic excellence in every girl through an Afrocentric and gender-specific STEAM curriculum.

While in different school systems, both schools sought a complete STEM/STEAM solution that combined sustained professional learning and high-quality digital resources in a way that would nurture and develop a culture of STEM teaching and learning.  In addition, each school wanted a solution that presented a holistic, research-based approach to STEM/STEAM that offered participating educators a strong support structure.  Following a rigorous review, both schools selected Discovery Education’s comprehensive STEM program and Teacher Leader Collaborative (TLC) professional development support.  In FCPS’s RISE Academy, educators in grades K-2 will participate in the TLC, and in JCPS’s Grace James Academy of Excellence, educators in grade 6 will utilize the TLC.…Read More

Los Angeles Unified, Annenberg Learner and Discovery Education Launch New Partnership Bringing Dynamic Digital Resources

Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles Unified), Annenberg Learner and Discovery Education today launched a new partnership providing educators, students and families access to high-quality digital resources.

Through this new partnership, Los Angeles Unified educators, students and families are empowered to interact with more than 300,000 exciting digital resources, standards-aligned activities and vetted, high-quality content carefully curated by grade level. These new digital resources will play a critical role to support continued learning on any device; whether at home or in the classroom.

“We are grateful to Annenberg Learner and Discovery Education for helping us provide students with the tools they need to receive a great education.” said Austin Beutner, Los Angeles Unified Superintendent.…Read More

Vernier and SAM Labs Help Teachers Incorporate Science and Coding into Instruction

Middle school teachers can now integrate science lessons with data collection and coding using new packages from Vernier Software & Technology and SAM Labs. Each new topic-based package—comprised of a Go Direct sensor, SAM Labs output blocks, and ready-to-go activities within the Google Workbench programming platform—engages students in scientific discovery and introductory block-based coding.

“The new Vernier Coding with SAM Labs packages provide a cost-effective solution for teachers looking to introduce data collection and entry-level coding using SAM Labs with Vernier sensors,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “The packages are versatile in that teachers can use them for in-person instruction or in a hybrid learning model. For the latter, students collect data that interacts with their output blocks in class or borrow the package for use at home.”

Each package is designed to help students explore a specific scientific topic, such as temperature, magnetism, sound, force, and motion. Students use each packages’ corresponding Go Direct sensor—Go Direct Temperature, Go Direct 3-Axis Magnetic Field, Go Direct Sound, Go Direct Force and Acceleration, and Go Direct Motion, respectively—with the SAM Labs output blocks as they complete their step-by-step lesson.…Read More

How to employ a differentiated mindset when teaching STEM

When we facilitate professional development events, there’s often a common theme: teachers understand the importance of active STEM teaching and learning, but don’t always know how to implement it in a way that supports the diverse needs of their students. In our work with TGR EDU: Explore, a partnership between TGR Foundation and Discovery Education, we provide guidance to educators on how to prepare students for success through active, engaging instruction.

Differentiated instruction is a critical part of providing an equitable, effective STEM education. When instruction is differentiated, students are able to actively explore careers in STEM, hone their individual skillsets and build confidence.

Related content: 10 trends and predictions for STEM education…Read More

Create and share story time and read-aloud videos

In order to encourage reading and classroom read-aloud experiences, and to support schools and public libraries forced to close by the escalating COVID-19 outbreak, Penguin Random House is permitting teachers, librarians and booksellers to create and share story time and read-aloud videos and live events, according to the following guidelines:

For Teachers and Educators providing distance learning to students in a virtual classroom setting:

  • Story time or classroom read-aloud videos in which a Penguin Random House book is read aloud and the book is displayed (for picture books) may be created and posted to closed educational platforms such as Google Classroom, Schoology, Edmodo and Discovery Education, in order to replicate the read-aloud book experience that would otherwise be available to educators in the classroom.
  • If a Teacher or Educator plans to share a story time video by recording a video, uploading it to a YouTube channel, and posting a link to that YouTube video inside a closed educational platform, that YouTube video must be designated as “Unlisted” (not “Public”) when uploading. See screenshot for how to choose “Unlisted” while uploading on YouTube.
  • These story time and classroom read-aloud videos may be hosted on the educational platform and/or YouTube (as an “Unlisted” file) until the end of the current school year, after which we request that they be removed from the educational platform and/or from YouTube, unless this permission is extended for the next school semester.

For Booksellers and Librarians who wish to provide a story time reading or other read-aloud experience to young people who would otherwise visit the library or bookstore in person:…Read More

4 questions to ask about multimedia content

When considering multimedia presentation systems for classroom use, one’s mind immediately goes to the hardware–the monitors, projectors, and other components often grab all the attention. But, what is the critical ingredient in a multimedia presentation system? The MULTIMEDIA! Without high-quality multimedia content that is flexible to meet instructional goals, your presentation system is just a collection of high-priced hardware.

Over the last two years, I’ve had the unparalleled opportunity to talk with hundreds of educators nationwide as I gathered input and feedback on the design of Discovery Education Experience, our recently launched K-12 learning platform.

Related content: Key components of the digital classroom…Read More

How we got the edtech resource we wanted

As classroom teachers, we are always on the lookout for new resources and services that will benefit every student in our school. One day we encountered an edtech resource that would deliver curated, safe, and vetted digital media to teachers that would empower them to create dynamic digital learning environments for their students.

While we knew the addition of this resource–Discovery Education Experience–would drastically shift the work and culture of our staff, thanks to incredibly supportive peers and administrators at both the school and district level, we felt inspired and empowered to create a path that would bring this service to our school while drastically shifting the work and culture of our staff. Together, we worked for change while delivering this valued instructional resource.

Related content: 6 ways to get teachers on board with edtech…Read More

4 examples of engaging vision-impaired students in STEM

STEM learning is a cornerstone of education in today’s K-12 schools, but STEM classrooms often aren’t all that inspiring to students who are blind or have low vision.

So much of science is based on sight and observations, and when students who have vision challenges are forced to stand off to the side and listen to classmates’ observations about experiments or data, they lose some of the excitement that goes along with scientific discovery.

But students who are blind or have low vision don’t have to miss out on STEM’s engaging aspects. Science companies are creating tools that accommodate different needs, and some groups have created science experienced geared toward students with vision challenges.…Read More

How I became an active learner at ASCD “Empower18”

As ASCD “Empower18” kicked off in Boston on Friday, March 23 I knew the four days were going to be “wicked awesome”—I mean, come on!—it’s Boston. But somehow, the event toped even my highest expectations.

I was motivated to be both a learner and a leader at this year’s ASCD conference. In his keynote, Manny Scott said, “Be a student for your students,” so I prided myself on learning outside of my comfort zone as well as chances to learn within it. I became an active learner and I wanted to maximize every opportunity during this event.

There were so many sessions that matched various interests. My two must-haves: #CultureEd Panel and Unleashing Teacher-Led Innovation in Schools: Practical Tools That Have Real Impact. The common themes were taking risks in teaching and learning and letting your students’ creativity and discovery learning take center stage.…Read More

How to bring global learning to your classroom

The sun was high overhead as we stood in the open, slowly baking in the hundred- degree heat, which was abnormally hot for late October, even by southern California standards. It was late in the afternoon of day three of our expedition, and we weren’t sure what to expect as we got out of the van.

As one of 26 middle school teachers participating in EarthEcho International’s Water by Design Expedition, part of an annual program sponsored by the Northrop Grumman Foundation that leverages exploration and discovery to bring STEM education alive, I had been ferried about this bustling metropolitan area to learn how Angelenos use and manage their water. We were in good company, joined by various scientists, experts, and explorer and EarthEcho Founder, Philippe Cousteau, Jr.

Our destination was the terminus of the Los Angeles aqueduct, near the Van Norman Bypass Reservoir in Sylmar. Try to picture several hundred cubic feet of water per second cascading–no, raging–through a 12-foot diameter cement channel down the hillside and then leveling off in front of us. The snowpack in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas that feeds the aqueduct was abundant last winter, and the torrent of meltwater that had traveled over 400 miles to reach its destination was an astounding sight. I knew that I could use this powerful image with my students, along with the story of the aqueduct’s construction, as an engaging example of how people can engineer solutions to complex, real-world problems.…Read More