5000 + 10,000 = Engaging Digital Media

Nothing beats the Discovery Educator Network, and like the shameless commercial that I am for their communications networks, I just love that they are a gift that keeps giving true value to education. Using their Discovery Education streaming Newsletter as my source, I’d like to share resources and reasons why I continue to use them. Let’s begin with the addition of the 5,000th video to their streaming collection, a milestone in educational technology. Reasons to love DE Streaming:

  1. With your DE Streaming account, you have access to your own DE Streaming home page. That filters down to my students as well, who can manage and control their content for project-based learning.
  2. With 5000 videos, you have the largest film base that is VETTED = SAFE for student use.
  3. Closed captioning addresses more than hearing-impaired learners; teachers can address multiple learning styles, targeting the visual learner.
  4. DE Streaming is not blocked in school districts, making it a 24/7 learning tool. I know that there are more than 50 ways and reasons to embrace DE Streaming, but these are my favorite four and cause sufficient for me to celebrate their milestone.

Here are samples of recently added videos. Try watching The Fantastic Festivals of the World: The Czech Republic. Every year, Straznice in the Czech Republic hosts one of the oldest and most popular folklore festivals in Europe. In this festival, the Czech people celebrate many aspects of their intangible culture. Or consider using this new addition in your classroom because it addresses a growing issue in internet culture, Internet Safety: Pitfalls and Dangers. I know Steve Dembo does a terrific keynote on Your New Permanent Record, and this video can be used in tandem to reinforce Dembo‘s message. And from what I have seen on my Facebook, where I let my high school students join me, I can tell you that this video is an excellent starting point. (I do delete students whose behavior is not responsible, but that is another post.)

In addition to new releases, DE Streaming‘s newsletter also contains a “New Releases and Ideas” section. Why do I love this feature:

  1. The resources are almost always thematic and time sensitive, relating to a forthcoming event that celebrates a milestone in history.
  2. Discovery does all the work for you, whether you are a teacher or student. This month’s resources focus on Martin Luther King (I have a student working in an independent study who will just inhale these resources for her project). How easy to use these links and images to create a Google Earth Virtual Field Trip; with embedded videos and images.
  3. The suggestions are always inspiring, can be used cross curricula for writing prompts, address K-12 learners, and are ethnic, gender, and discipline-inclusive.

Take a look at this month’s offerings on MLK:
Martin Luther King” from Heroes of American History-Grade Band: K-2
“Martin Luther King, Jr. Day” from U.S. Celebrations-Grade Band 3-5
“Civil Disobedience: The Work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
from Civil Rights: The Long Road to Equality-Grade Band 6-8
In Remembrance of Martin-Grade Band 9-12 (Discovery Education streaming Plus)
“The Civil Rights Movement” from Restless Society-Grade Band 7-12


Martin Luther King by Ben Shahn
Martin Luther King Jr. at March on Washington
Martin Luther King Escorting Children
Martin Luther King Jr. in Jail

Or consider incorporating some of these resources for a project, unit, or lesson on Ameria Earhart:
The Sky’s the Limit: Women Overcoming the Odds – Grades 3-5
“Amelia Earhart” from
Discovering History: 20th-Century Biographies – Adventurers – Grades 9-12
Images: Pioneer Aviator Bessie Coleman Pilot Amelia Earhart Sally Ride, First U.S. Woman Astronaut

Or science offerings:
Start off this calendar year by exploring the beginning of life. Students will examine the two types of reproduction that organisms carry out. Check out these great videos and have students develop lists describing advantages and disadvantages of both types of reproduction.
TLC Elementary School: Life Cycles – Grades 3-5
Biology: The Science of Life – Making New Life: The Basics of Reproduction – Grades 6-8
Biologix: Asexual Reproduction and Alternation of Generations – Grades 9-12

And math:
It is officially 2009, and everyone should have a new calendar for this year. This is a great time to show younger students how to use one and how it is set up. Create examples for students where they have to determine days, months, and years between different dates. Older students can examine the history of math and how it led to many developments such as the calendar. Check out these videos:
Learning to Use a Calendar – Grades K-2
Project Mathematics: Early History of Mathematics – Grades 6-8
“Maya Calendar” from Discovering Math: Concepts in Number Theory – Grades 9-12

Then there are the contest opportunities from Discovery’s friends:
$10,000 for Learning Science?
ExploraVision is a national science competition that encourages students to imagine future technologies. Entrants think creatively, solve problems and learn valuable skills. Winners receive $10,000 savings bonds!

Win a Wireless Lab
Enter the
7th annual CDW•G Win a Wireless Lab Sweepstakes for your chance to win one of five grand prize wireless computer labs for your school, or one of more than 30 additional technology prizes. Enter once per day through May 1, 2008!

Not enough resources (purely rhetorical). Then there’s professional development, and let me tell you Discovery does it superbly. Take a look at these webinar opportunities posted by Jennifer Dorman on the DEN PA blog.

Or you could:
Visit New Teacher Survival Central
You’ll find FREE professional development videos, time-saving tips, classroom tools and practical support all new teachers need. Register for a chance at over $50,000 in prizes.

Got a reason why you love DEN. Take a moment to share it below. And a belated happy new year to all.

Turbo Tagger


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