Bridging Media and Digital Literacy with Brad Fountain

Let’s begin with Brad’s presentation; I just love when a presenter shares ahead of time. Wonderful. Thank you so much, Brad.

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Brad Fountain: Director of Instructional Implementation

Brad Fountain came on board shortly after Lance Rougeux joined the Discovery team. Head hunted by Hall Davidson, Brad is a seasoned presenter who specializes in brain research and administrative support, helping them learn how to function with media. His wife, a teacher, grounds him because Brad says it’s too easy to lose that classroom connection.Brad credits Hall with his being a part of Team Discovery and he is passionate about his work.

Promoting literacy in the classroom is no longer JUST part of the reading lesson.  The importance of developing the literate learner falls on all educators and is taught during all lessons.  Discovery Education has a plethora of digital resources that educators can utilize to develop literacy skills with reading strategies many educators use daily.
Shifts in literacy today include command of evidence from texts, higher leveIs of accuracy, and authentic texts and vocabulary. f you want to know more about science-related topics, you can follow Brad on his Discovery blog.
Spoken, written, and oral literacy.
It’s not about what the software does; it’s what the user does. Just putting a computer in a room isn’t the answer; it’s what you do with it. In building a framework, Discovery compiles digital texts and offers content with engaging media that addresses a number of states’ core standards with cross-curricular multimedia affordances. Interactive, collaborative, and pushing early into the 22nd century.
Scaffolding a reading activity from Discovery Science, Brad pulled out sentences to share. We were tasked to select 5 of the 10 sentences to find main ideas. Highlighting the critical sentences, we realized we were deciphering and summarizing. Anticipation charts, hard copy or digital, are a great way to make predictions about what you can expect. Often overlooked as a reading apprenticeship skill, anticipation can be a good exit ticket for the end of a class, although not a closing unit ender.

Filter by Important versus Interesting

A GIST (Generating Interaction between Schemata and Text) is a great summarizing tool. I like this activity, because as a former English teacher, I know how hard it is to get students to pare language and concepts into meaningful succinct expression. The idea is to summarize in the large upper box, then move to the left vertical, then to the smaller upper right and ultimately to the lower right box. Each box shrinks text. Cool idea for any grade level, and excellent for collaboration.
A Compare and Contrast Venn diagram is a good tool to use as students watch a short Discoverystreaming video. If you are watching a Civil War history segment, the diagram is ideal as a viewing activity (see Slide 21). I would caution that all of these tools are good gentle insertions into a PBL unit as openers, midway, and exit strategies, good pulse checkers on recognition of comprehension, but not stand alones within a unit.
Brad likes Exit Tickets (see Slides 22-23). I like RAFT. If students cannot identify what they learned that has a real world application, then either you need to revisit your planning to be certain you have a life learning teachable moment, or somewhere identify what the students missed. RAFT is a solid comprehension checker. If a student can answer all the components, you can infer that students have a fine comprehension of content, and since PA still subscribes to state testing, these tools are valuable in working toward meeting annual yearly goals. These strategies, added to Discovery assets, makes teaching, not teaching to the tests, a viable goal.
Think-Pair-Share is a good collaborative effort where students learn the intricacies of teamwork while still maintaining the integrity of their own voice. We have looked at written and auditory texts, but Discoverystreaming has the largest library of digital videos, and using them as the basis for marrying media with digital literacy builds a fine bridge. Using editable clips from Discoverystreaming, inserting it into iMovie (Mac), you can click on the record icon and become interactive with the video. If using a PC, use MovieMaker. Video pulls students into the learning process, given guidelines, a rubric, but some freedom of expression.
Brad’s final concept is Scan, which works on a mobile device.  Dansl will work on a PC if your computer does not have a camera (Macs do). Other QR code generators include,, and kaywa. lets you tie multiple QR codes to a link.
A wonderful presentation, and many thanks to Brad for an amazing presentation.
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