Discovery Education and Maryland’s Kent County Public Schools (KCPS) have launched a new partnership to create digital learning environments in classrooms district-wide. As part of this new collaboration, KCPS students grades K-12 will now have access to Discovery Education’s digital textbooks and curriculum-based content. In addition, Discovery Education will provide KCPS educators professional development opportunities to help build a network of teachers prepared to design and implement strategies that can be shared with their peers.
Through this six-year partnership, KCPS is the first school system in Maryland and among the first districts nationwide to adopt the new Discovery Education Math Techbook™. Kent County middle school educators will also support the district's goal of providing individualized learning experiences for all students by integrating Discovery Education Science Techbook™ and Social Studies Techbook™ into classroom instruction. Discovery Education’s digital textbook series provides individualized resources, including virtual labs, video clips, an interactive glossary and more.
In addition, all K-12 classrooms across the district will have access to Discovery Education Streaming Plus, a digital library of more than 155,000 learning objects that support all subject areas and learning styles.
“We are excited to collaborate with Discovery Education to bring the world into our classrooms, ensuring all students will have access to tools that will prepare them to succeed in the 21st century and become engaged citizens in a global economy,” said Kent County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Couch.
Last year, KCPS was one of six public school systems to be awarded a competitive grant from the Maryland State Department of Education’s Digital Learning Innovation Fund. A portion of the grant was used to pilot the Discovery Education Science Techbook in seventh grade classrooms, which boosted student engagement. Due in part to this success, the district was encouraged to expand its use of Discovery Education’s digital services to all classrooms across the district.
Through this new partnership, KCPS will also implement Discovery Education’s Digital Leader Corps (DLC). Featuring a combination of professional development, pedagogy and tools, the DLC helps participating educators learn to integrate educational technologies and digital media into classroom instruction. A new feature included in the DLC is educator created, student-centered Learning Labs. In these labs, teachers bring to life new teaching strategies, and practice and adapt their skills in a classroom setting before sharing their successes broadly with their colleagues. The DLC program provides teachers with continuous customized consultation throughout the process with on-going modeling, coaching and feedback from Discovery Education DLC experts in the pre-planning, stakeholder communications and implementation phases.
In addition, the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) will support KCPS’ educators in their efforts to transform students’ learning experiences with digital media. A global community of education professionals, the DEN connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing and inspiration.
Discovery Education's Techbook series supports multiple learning styles through interactive content and real-time updates that allow teachers to incorporate current events and cutting-edge thinking into their curricula. The cloud-based Techbook works in tandem with a school district’s technology infrastructure and existing hardware – iPads, tablets, mobile devices, laptops or desktops.