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The teachers in the White Bear School District in Minnesota received two days of intense training with Discovery Education. Working in a progressive district, which is fully equipped with all the latest technology prepared these educators for our arrival.
During day one, we worked diligently to provide the teachers with a comprehensive overview of DE streaming and DE Science. Although many in our session had had exposure to Discovery Education last year, most gained new knowledge they will take back to their individual school sites. They delved deeper into My Content, creating folders and organizing materials they had saved prior to our time together. They gained a deeper understanding of the importance of downloading videos to their computers, and they enthusiastically explored the Teacher Center. In addition, many of these educators saw DE Science for the first time. They were amazed and intrigued by the virtual labs, the simulations, and the interactive videos.
Our second session, which was a “make-and-take”, began with a review of the three major search methods and the importance and usefulness of My Content. After that, we went full force in our exploration of PhotoStory and PowerPoint. We spent much of the morning showing exemplary student and teacher examples and demonstrating the necessary steps that go into creating a multimedia presentation.
The teachers were itching to get started and worked wholeheartedly creating dynamic, non-linear PowerPoints and PhotoStory projects they could use in the classroom. We saw some amazing presentations on Predators and Prey, Genetics, and Birds of Minnesota. This culminating activity allowed the teachers to apply what they learned about Discovery Education in a meaningful, authentic activity they could use in their classroom.
The teachers in Reserve, LA, a small town just outside of New Orleans, were awarded a grant for inquiry-based learning in science. Consequently, they had a decision to make: How could they maximize their funds to benefit both teachers and students? Their answer? Discovery Education Science.
This decision brought us to Riverside Academy, a private K-12 school with some pretty amazing teachers. The day included a streaming overview but mostly focused on DE Elementary Science. The teachers were blown away by the rich resources such as eBooks, virtual labs, and interactive glossary terms they now had at their fingertips. School was about to start in less than five days, and these teachers gained a new focus and enthusiasm for the upcoming school year thanks to Discovery Education. Many could not wait to begin using DE resources in the classroom, and when asked what they could integrate during the first week of school, some of their responses included, the calendar, video segments, explorations, and math overviews. While the teachers recognized that a bit more planning and preparation would have to go into using some of Science’s more exploratory tools (i.e., virtual labs), they were genuinely excited about integrating these into the curriculum throughout the school year.
This was the FIRST day of the 21st Century Learners Tech Camp in Green Bay which was attended by over 35 teachers in the school district. They were all smiles when they realized their students were going to be able to access Discovery Education and be able to enhance their projects with videos, images and sounds (to state just a few!) The day consisted of an overview of the new interface of Discovery Education and then we concentrated on learning the builders. The Teachers had time in the afternoon to build up their content folders, meet in the cadres to building assignments. We ended the day with a big share session of all of their ah ha moments and prizes were given away to start up a great week of learning!
We had the pleasure of working with some great innovative science teachers in Detroit this week! It was so much fun to share the resources inside of Discovery Education Science with these great educators! Their students have already enjoyed learning online with Discovery Education–just take a look at some of the thoughts they shared with us! “My student has been doing so poorly this summer, not coming to class, never doing his work, but I showed him (and my class) Discovery Education Science and his grades have improved, he comes to class, he gets really excited when I tell him we are going to be doing a virtual lab! ” “I can’t believe how powerful Discovery Education Science has been in my classroom this summer! All of my students have been so engaged watching the videos, performing the science simulations! It has been a joy to teach this summer, this program has made my life so much easier and I know that my students are actually learning !”Thank you Detroit Educators for your kind words! We are happy to help you “discover” the rich resources inside of Discovery Education Science!
Bridgeport Connecticut educators discovered that Discovery Education streaming Plus has something for everyone featuring a variety of multimedia tools to meet the diverse needs of our students. As one participant commented, “As a counselor, I feel that at times certain workshops only pertain to staff that are in a classroom all day. I did not feel this way with Discovery Education. I found many helpful clips and tools to use in my developmental guidance units.” We also explored some of the unique media found within streaming Plus that is sometimes overlooked: songs (close to 500), educational games, animations, and Math Explanations. Do you know magnets are made of? Listen to the song, Electricity which you can find by doing a Keyword Search and filtering the Media Type to song. We did!
Teachers offered ideas on how they plan to use streaming resources in summer school: “… I will use it to help students who have failed math … especially the math explanations.” As well as in the fall: “I plan on using several videos and images to at the beginning of the school year in order to give the students background information on new topics.” An overall great experience learning and wanting to do more with DE streaming tools. Kudos to the Educational Technology team for bringing us together and offering tremendous hands-on support. Bridgeport Public Schools, “Expect Great Things!”
Teachers in Asotin, Washington spent the morning learning how to use Discovery Science to replace the textbook. Teachers experienced how to use the ebooks and fundamentals to introduce concepts to the whole class using the Promethean board. Next in small groups we carried out a virtual lab, making sure to change only one variable for a fair test. Finally we explored ways that content, including video segments and interactive glossary items, can be assigned to students to reinforce and extend learning.
Web 2.o tools were the theme for the afternoon. We explored five great tools that allow students to incorporate Discovery’s images and reading passages to express key learning in a creative format with the rest of the world! Find tips, tricks, instructions and samples for all of these great tools — Animoto, Glogster, Wordle, Webspiration, and Voicethread. Visit the Web 2.0 Integration page now!
Memphis, Tennessee is famous for more than just down home hospitality, amazing BBQ, great music, and nostalgia. They had 20 media specialist, teachers, and technology coaches from Memphis City Schools spend the day learning about web 2.0 tools such as Animoto, EduGlogster, and GoAnimate. Attendees represented grades K-12 and brought passion and excitement into the computer lab as they strived to become 21st century engaging educators that would provide relevance to today’s digital natives.
As we built projects and navigated resources from the Discovery Education site teachers shared strategiess and best practices as to how they would incorporate these new innovative web 2.0 tools into their curriculum by differentiating instruction. Whether they were teaching vocabulary, foreign languages, science, social studies, language arts, or showcasing student work all had a plan as to how they would incorporate these new found resources.
True change and vision begins with leadership. As John Kotter said, “Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there; they cause change. They motivate and inspire others to go in the right direction and they, along with everyone else, sacrifice to get there.”
Discovery Education spent a day with the Livingston Independent School District administrators learning about the best practices of using Web 2.0 tools to allow students to collaborate, produce, and own more of their educational experience in the district. Over 30 administrators attended the session and were excited to engage, encourage, and effectively support their teachers integrating Discovery Education Streaming and Web 2.0 tools to provide their students with an extraordinary 21st century learning experience. Technology specialists were thankful for the session because they were not lacking in technology hardware, but now they have the means to infuse it into their curriculum.
Yes, it was warm outside AND inside, but working with the Summer School Teachers at the Detroit Public School – Ford High School warmed our hearts hearing such great compliments on Discovery Education Science! These teachers were excited to learn there are interactive videos to promote learning of vocabulary words. A couple of teachers shared their work on involving their students in studying the recent gulf oil tragedy and loved the new video to share with their students! When we left, they were taking action steps to guarantee a projector in their classroom. We look forward to hearing of their successes in the weeks to come!
June 5th and June 12th marked the launch of an exciting partnership between Detroit Public Schools and Discovery Education. Science educators joined Discovery Education Professional Development Specialists at Cooley High School for a hands-on in-depth look at Discovery Education Science. Using the “5 E Model: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate” of teaching science, DEPD Specialists guided the educators through learning how to create 21st century lessons with rich digital media.Educators learned how to activate student’s prior knowledge by engaging their students with Science related images, video segments, and audio files. They also learned how to effectively encourage students to explore, pose questions, and think about new science concepts with interactive virtual labs, explorations, and integrated science simulations. The culminating activity allowed educators to find media content via a curriculum standards search to enhance their science lessons for summer school students.
- “Thank you for taking us to the land of “what Could be”….thank you…thank you….thank you!”
- “Amazing program, I would LOVE to use this throughout the school year. It would greatly improve the ability for the students to interact and be more engaged in the material. The students would love the opportunity to work with this program and to have more interaction overall.”
- “I really feel that this will be a fantastic addition to the Detroit Public Schools Science Curriculum.”
- “I feel as though I have an interactive tool to take back to my students. Students will be more receptive to learning and will be encouraged to take responsibility for their learning.”
- “Today’s training introduced me to a new way of acquiring and diseminating science information and practices. I am very excited about using this website and look forward to using the website to enrich, enhance and introduce these concepts to my summer school students.”
We look forward to working more with the Detroit Public School Educators in the weeks ahead.