New Digital Leader Corps Helps Develop Teacher-Leaders

Discovery Education today announced the launch of the Digital Leader Corps (DLC), a new professional development service. Under the DLC’s shared leadership model, Discovery Education works with school district partners to develop comprehensive professional learning plans that scale to any size learning initiative, build a culture of continuous improvement and ultimately, create lasting, systemic change.

The new professional development model builds a network of teacher-leaders to design and implement innovative teaching strategies that can be shared with their peers. Featuring a combination of professional learning, pedagogy and tools, the DLC helps participating educators learn to integrate educational technologies and digital media into classroom instruction.

A key feature of the DLC is educator created, student-centered Learning Labs. In these labs, teachers practice and adapt their skills in a classroom setting before sharing their successes broadly with their colleagues. The DLC program provides teachers with consultation throughout the process with modeling, coaching and feedback from DLC trainers.

"As an early adopter and thought-partner of the Digital Leader Corps, we are very excited to be embarking upon this systematic change movement in Wake County Public School System,” said Dr. Todd Wirt, Assistant Superintendent of Academics in Wake County Public School System. “We recognize the importance of having teachers at the forefront of transformation and we must support our teacher leaders in gaining the necessary skills to best prepare our students to be globally competitive, 21st century citizens."

The DLC uses multiple measures of data to evaluate the effectiveness of participants’ professional learning. Through surveys, direct observation, increased use of digital content and tools by teachers and students, and gains in student achievement, school systems can monitor the impact of the DLC and adjust their efforts as necessary to achieve desired outcomes.

Several districts across the U.S., including Wake County Public School System, Albuquerque Public Schools, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Houston Independent School District, Baltimore County Public Schools, Kent County Public Schools and Des Plaines Consolidated School District 62, are currently working with Discovery Education to implement the DLC model within their school systems. These districts have successfully instituted shared leadership models in their schools, allowing district leaders to focus on other aspects of the digital transition to impact student achievement more quickly and efficiently.