Abilene Independent School District’s Expanded Partnership with Discovery Education to Focused on Growing the Capacity of Middle School Teachers

Silver Spring, Md. (July 25, 2018) – Texas’ Abilene Independent School District (AISD) today announced an expansion of its partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. In the latest phase of AISD’s relationship with Discovery Education, the district will soon begin implementing Discovery Education’s Digital Leader Corp professional learning system in all four middle schools. The launch of this new professional learning initiative, along with the district’s transition to the Discovery Education Streaming Plus digital content service, will help educators evolve their classroom practice and continue to meet the needs of today’s tech-savvy students.

Covering approximately 106 square miles across Texas’ Taylor and Jones Counties, AISD’s mission is to provide the district’s 16,900 students exceptional educational opportunities in an environment that will produce graduates with the skills necessary to become productive, responsible citizens. AISD’s teachers and administrators understand that providing their diverse student population the exceptional educational opportunities that will launch them into successful careers requires a long-term commitment to continuous improvement.

To facilitate a culture of continuous improvement among the district’s middle school teachers, AISD is implementing Discovery Education Digital Leaders Corps. Featuring a unique combination of professional learning, pedagogy and tools, Digital Leader Corps offers participating educators proven approaches to integrating educational technologies and digital media into classroom instruction. These approaches are then practiced in educator created, student-centered Learning Labs. In these labs, teachers practice and adapt their new skills in a classroom setting before sharing their successes broadly with their colleagues. The Digital Leader Corps program provides teachers continuous customized, job-embedded consultation, with on-going modeling, coaching and feedback from Discovery Education experts in the pre-planning, stakeholder communications and implementation phases.

The rollout of Digital Leader Corps in AISD’s middle school will parallel the integration of the award-winning Discovery Education Streaming Plus into middle school classroom activities. A comprehensive digital service supplementing instruction across all K-12 curricular areas, Discovery Education Streaming Plus helps build students’ mastery in interpreting, understanding, and evaluating information. Students can access a variety of digital assets such as images, primary source documents, podcasts, articles, and videos, then are empowered to become content creators with a suite of content creation tools that help teachers and students safely and easily collaborate in real-time on virtual projects. Teacher resources include lesson plans, instructional strategies, and content collections organized around themes, as well as a collection of STEM resources designed to fuel a cultural shift in teaching and learning.

Together, Discovery Education’s Streaming Plus and Digital Leader Corps services will empower AISD’s middle school educators to create dynamic digital learning environments that will engage today’s technologically adept students.

“Our expanded partnership with Discovery Education helps ensure Abilene ISD’s highly effective educators continue to utilize best practices as they respond to the changing needs of our diverse student body,” said Abilene Independent School District Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Abigayle Barton. “We are excited to start this new professional development initiative and are ready to begin the important work ahead of us.”

The Discovery Education Community will continue supporting AISD’s educators as they transform students’ learning experiences with dynamic digital media. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community 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.

“Abilene Independent School District has made a tremendous investment in their educators, and Discovery Education is proud to have been chosen to support this effort,” said Phillip Mikula, Director of Educational Partnerships at Discovery Education. “Throughout our planning with Dr. Barton and her talented team, I’ve been impressed at the intense level of commitment each member of the AISD team has for the students they serve. The whole team at Discovery Education is ready to begin this important education initiative.”

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.