Our school has come a long way in two years with our use of Discovery Education tools. Sure, we had pockets of users here and there who showed an occasional video or clip, but most teachers hadn’t delved into it since the days of it being called United Streaming.
So, as a tech coach new to the building, I began a year of “Did you Know?”
-Did you know that DE is more than just videos?
-Did you know that many video clips are editable?
-Did you know you can infuse reading practice by turning on closed captioning?
-Did you know that Discovery Education offers amazing webinars?
-Did you know that there are hidden DE gems you can access without even logging in?
-And, most importantly, did you know that there is an amazing place called the DEN where you can collaborate and learning from other educators?
Soon, teachers were really discovering Discovery (yes, pun intended). My email was flooded with reports of their exciting finds. Teachers were now asking me, “Did you know?”
- Did you know they have many full audio books? (The Hunger Games!)
- Did you know they have most episodes of Sid the Science Kid and Magic School Bus to support science?
- Did you that the publishing group Weston Woods has over 200 animated versions of popular picture books?
-Did you know that have Planet Earth and Frozen Planet!?!?!
“Yes”, I smiled at each email that came in. “Yes I did. And now you do too.”
This year, teachers are so much more aware of what DE Media resources can do to supplement their instruction. They understand that they can search for content based on state standards and the Common Core. A few teachers are exploring the Builder tools–even first graders are creating well composed written responses to familiar stories. Students are taking virtual field trips to farms, telescopes, Google headquarters, and even (our favorite!) chatting with astronauts and creators of Mars rovers.
Do we have a school filled with DEN Stars? No, not yet. But we will. Because our school is discovering Discovery. And because of that, amazing things are beginning to happen.