Originally authored by Janet AuCoin LeBlanc and Heather Moen (ETEC 510 January 2012)
Discovery Education is an online hub of learning for students from elementary school to high school. It provides “...high quality, dynamic, digital content to school districts...”("About Us", 2012). The digital media is aligned with provincial curriculae and is full of Canadian content. Discovery Education has a user friendly interface that allows students and teachers to explore content on their own and in any location with an internet connection. With a subscription to Discovery Education there are over 120,000 resources at your fingertips that are both engaging and educational ("Discovery Education streaming Plus", 2012).
Discovery Education is a comprehensive curricular resource. It is built with both the student and the teacher in mind. Discovery Education provides teachers and school divisions with a variety of digital formats full of Canadian content in all subject areas from elementary to high school ("Discovery Education streaming Plus", 2012). The content taps into students’ multiple intelligences by sharing in a variety of ways including videos, interactivities, glossaries, and e-book passages ("Discovery Education Science", 2012). This blended learning environment also provides teachers with the professional development necessary to effectively use Discovery Education. Teachers can use the digital content from Discovery Education to build curriculum based units and can have students accesses materials at home, during class time or by using a digital projector or SmartBoard and presenting it to a full class. Videos and other media are linked to curriculum standards and it is easy to create units that cover the curriculum using Discovery Education resources.
Discovery Education is made for the classroom. Teachers have the capability to add student usernames to classes as well as relevant content to classes or to individual student accounts. When a student logs into Discovery Education, the first page that is displayed has the content that the teacher has shared. Students can see when the content was added and when it is due. Teachers may include a deadline for when a video or assignment must be completed and can check to see when the video or assignment was accessed and the results of the assignments. The process for creating classes, viewing and assigning content is intuitive and user friendly.
The most important goal of Discovery Education is “accelerating student achievement” ("About Us", 2012). Schools and classrooms using Discovery Education have seen huge leaps in student achievement. In a case study, “Charlotte Mecklenburg School District (CMS): Dr. Peter Gorman's (Superintendent CMS) goal was a 3-5% gain in science scores over a very short time frame. A pilot program using Discovery Education Science led to double-digit gains in science scores year-over-year in CMS. Composite retest scores on North Carolina's science end-of-year exam for grades 5 and 8 increased by 26 points”("About Us", 2012).
- Comprehensive, standards-based Canadian content with multiple formats address different learning styles available 24/7 with Internet access
- Quickly identify relevant content for lessons utilizing enhanced search tools, such as Curriculum Standards Search, Thematic Focus pages or the Monthly Calendar
- Address multiple learning styles with content that can be delivered in a variety of formats (print, auditory, visual support and interactive experiences)
- Create and innovate with Assignment Builder, Quiz Center, Writing Prompt Generator, and other resources
- Keep teachers up-to-date with comprehensive Professional Development solutions and ongoing support through the DEN
- Upload and share user-created and licensed content and assign customized meta-data for local content
- Demonstrate real world science with STEM Connect, a captivating resource connecting students to STEM curriculum and career development
- Content from Discovery’s Canadian talent: Dave Salmoni, Into the Lion's Den, Les Stroud, Beyond Survival, and Dan Riskin("Discovery Education streaming Plus", 2012)
Streaming Canada Plus
Discovery Education streaming Canada Plus includes thousands of full-length video programs, hundreds of country-specific topics (Canadian geography, history, attractions, culture, and famous historical figures), and content from Planet Earth, Discovery Atlas, Canadian Geographic: Mysteries in the Ice, Stephen Hawking's Universe, and Disaster in the Gulf: A Race Against Time. Additional types of content include Career/workplace, English/Language Arts, Health, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Teaching Practices, Visual/Performing Arts, and World Languages. Video clips, audio files, and French language instruction are also available ("Discovery Education streaming Plus", 2012).
In addition to the above content, the following features are available in Discovery Education streaming Canada Plus ("Discovery Education streaming Plus", 2012):
- Assignment Builder - allows educators to create customized assignments which can include a variety of digital media types (videos, images, articles, and quizzes), and are accessible for student completion through the Discovery Education streaming student center. Within the Assignment Manager component, educators and administrators can view, manage, and print their assignments and results by class, students and code/URL ("DE Assignment Manager Overview", 2012).
- Quiz Center - permits educators to select pre-made quizzes in the Quiz Library, or create quizzes independently or through the use of the Quiz Builder databank ("DE Help", 2012). Students can then access and complete these quizzes on-line and receive results immediately via email.
- Writing Prompt Generator - combines text-based prompts with any image in the Discovery Education Image Library. With the Writing Prompt Builder, educators can create prompts using the thousands of ready-made declarative, persuasive, narrative, and expository writing exercise resources ("DE Help", 2012).
- Student Center - allows students to access tailored content and assignments from either school or at home.
- Teacher Center - provides teachers with useful resources and tools such as:
- Atlas Canada Interactive Map - a look at each province and territory of Canada.
- Discovery Atlas Interactive Map - a map with thousands of videos pertaining to the countries of the world- their culture, government, history and environment.
- Thematic Focus - weekly teaching topics and resources including video segments, lesson plans, and student activities.
- STEM Connect - learning activities and videos to support grade K-12 STEM education.
- Lesson Plan Library - over 200 lesson plans designed for Discovery Education streaming videos.
- Calendar - select a day and explore historical events related to Canada, Biography, Health& Guidance, Language Arts, Science, and Mathematics through text and video.
- Meet the Faces of Discovery Education - introduce the classroom to some of Discovery's biggest and most inspiring names in science and environmental education.
- ("Teacher Centre", 2012)
- Teacher Center - provides teachers with useful resources and tools such as:
- Discovery Educator Network - connects teachers both on-line and in-person and provides professional development opportunities (resources, blogs, forums, and webinars).
- Classroom Manager - a management tool which permits educators and administrators to create, modify, view and delete classes and students. This tool also allows educators and administrators to log-in as any student in their class roster to monitor their progress ("DE Classroom Manager Overview", 2012).
- Curriculum Standards Search - When the criteria stating the Services, State/Province,Standards Document, Subjects, Grade, and Year are entered, the Curriculum Standards search locates and displays all available related media, activities and resources ("Discovery Education Search", 2012).
- Interactive Glossary - a glossary of engaging animations, video, images, and more that provide students with hundreds of science terms.
- e-Books and Reading Passages - provide audio supported, leveled informational science text and reading passages.
- Fun-Damentals - an inquiry-based introduction to a science topic with audio support to build the basic background knowledge of students prior to beginning the study of a science topic.
- Explorations - gain a greater understanding of models and the effects of changing inputs on an outcome.
- Virtual Labs - audio supported inquiry-based exploration of investigative design and science process skills.
- Interactive Video - video clips with selectable ‘hotspots’ that provide additional information and reinforce learning points.
- Integrated Science Simulations - allows students to explore situations from a variety of science perspectives.
- Science Sleuths - open-ended science mysteries to be solved by students using the provided clues and resources such as interviews, photos, articles, graphics, and more.
- ("Discovery Education Science", 2012)
MediaShare is Discovery Education’s web-based content management system which enables educators and administrators to upload and share content (power points, tests, quizzes, activities, lesson plans, handout, and images) across schools, districts, or nationally. MediaShare allows educators and administrators to generate reports to understand usage patterns, and map content to curriculum standards ("MediaShare", 2012).
About Us. (2012). In Discovery Education. Retrieved from http://www.discoveryeducation.com/aboutus/
DE Assignment Manager Overview. (2012). Retrieved from http://classrooms.discoveryeducation.com/assignment-landing.cfm.
DE Classroom Manager Overview. (2012). Retrieved from http://classrooms.discoveryeducation.com/
DE Help. (2012). Retrieved from http://help.discoveryeducation.com/support/index.cfm?event=showAsset&guidTaxId=9601ed1d%2D1b78%2Dcd48%2Df839%2D42492bb1847c&guidAssetId=e466a630%2D1b78%2Dcd48%2Df808%2Dca3e8114e64c
Discovery Education Science. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.discoveryeducation.com/Canada/administrators/curricular-resources/science/
Discovery Education Search. (2012). Retrieved from http://search.discoveryeducation.com/CurriculumStandardLookup.cfm
Discovery Education streaming Plus. 2012. Retrieved from http://www.discoveryeducation.com/Canada/administrators/curricular-resources/streaming-plus/
MediaShare. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.discoveryeducation.com/Canada/administrators/curricular-resources/mediashare/
Professional Development. (2012). Retrieved from http://teachers.discoveryeducation.com/professionalDevelopment/
Teacher Centre. (2012). Retrieved from http://teachers.discoveryeducation.com/teacherCenter/