Illinois’ Des Plaines Consolidated School District 62 today announced an expanded partnership with Discovery Education, including an extensive professional development program supporting the district’s digital transition. District 62 educators are participating in Discovery Education’s recently launched Digital Leader Corps (DLC), a new multi-year professional development program that aims to build a network of teachers to design and implement innovative teaching strategies that can be shared with their peers.
In 2013, the district created an ambitious plan to increase use of digital devices and content in K-12 classrooms over a three year period. Through DLC, Discovery Education will support this plan by building the capacity of District 62 teacher leaders to integrate digital content into instruction and prepare students to be globally competitive, 21st-century citizens.
Featuring a combination of professional learning, pedagogy and tools, the DLC offers participating educators strategies for integrating 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 customized consultation throughout the process with modeling, coaching and feedback from Discovery Education DLC advisors in the pre-planning, stakeholder communications and implementation phases.
“To truly transform teaching and learning and ensure a successful digital transition, our teachers need a supportive environment where they can continuously improve their skills, knowledge and instructional practices,” said District 62 Superintendent Dr. Jane Westerhold. “We are thrilled to partner with Discovery Education to support our educators in becoming digital leaders and agents for change within their schools.”
Students district-wide currently have access to Discovery Education Streaming Plus, a digital library of over 150,000 learning objects aligned to state and national standards.
In addition, the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering networking and idea sharing. Over 20 Des Plaines educators are currently participating in the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) Ambassador program. Each DEN Ambassador makes a commitment to attend a series of in-person professional learning experiences, participate in on-line discussions, and share what he or she learns with colleagues and administrators.