New Digital Textbook and Professional Development Initiative Empowers the District to Create Authentic Learning Environments and Build Educators’ Capacity to Support Transition to Digital Learning
Silver Spring, Md. (February 14, 2017) – Michigan’s Flint Community Schools (FCS) today announced a new partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms.
Through this new collaboration, FCS educators teaching grades K-8 districtwide can now accelerate the creation of authentic digital classrooms by integrating Discovery Education’s Science Techbook™, an innovative digital textbook, into classroom instruction. In addition, educators at two district schools will also take part in STEMFormation. A comprehensive, three-year system of professional development, STEMFormation helps school systems build and sustain a culture of STEM — the inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning encompassing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
FCS’s central mission is to develop a community of learners who are prepared to live, work, and contribute to an ever-changing society. To deliver on their mission, the school system offers a range of academic programs and services to the community, from pre-school to adult education. In addition, through a new Community Education Initiative, in collaboration with Crim Fitness Foundation, FCS is helping to create a regional system of support for all area students and families. A collaborative of organizations working together to establish schools in the Flint Community Schools district as neighborhood hubs, the Community Education Initiative is helping to create stronger families, healthier neighborhoods, higher performing schools and higher rates of student academic achievement and success.
This new partnership supports the Community Education Initiative’s efforts to increase student performance and engagemAent in science and math through the introduction of new and innovative digital textbooks and STEM-focused teaching techniques that expand students’ learning opportunities. In addition, this collaboration will strengthen the district’s efforts to achieve its mission to develop a community of learners prepared for success beyond graduation.
Discovery Education’s Science Techbooks were developed by a dedicated team of expert science educators with the input of teachers and administrators from around the nation. The Techbook’s rich, standards-aligned content includes video, audio, text and interactives with hands-on activities, as well as virtual labs that help classroom teachers differentiate instruction and create rich and engaging learning experiences for all students. Techbooks are also a substantially less expensive option per student at nearly half the cost of a traditional textbook, with additional savings derived from a lack of textbook replacement or inventory costs.
The Science Techbook™ also includes valuable STEM resources. STEM Project Starters encourage students to connect math, technology, and engineering to their understanding of science concepts to produce creative solutions to real world problems. In addition, the STEM In Action resources helps students connect their work to STEM careers, which promotes a clearer understanding of how skills used in school can be applied to jobs “in the real world.” Embedded formative assessment opportunities that help educators monitor student progress are included in each Techbook, and like all Discovery Education digital textbooks, the Science Techbooks work on any device and can be implemented in any instructional setting.
Embracing a philosophy of three-dimensional learning, Discovery Education’s Science Techbooks help educators integrate digital resources into their classroom practice. The Model Lessons within the Science Techbooks reflect the interconnectedness of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) and Cross-Cutting Concepts (CCC) and illustrate what these mean in practice for educators.
“Flint Community Schools has faced a series of challenges over the years. However, our commitment to serving our community and preparing our students for success beyond the classroom has never wavered”, said Bilal Tawwab, Superintendent of the Flint Community Schools. “We are excited to partner with Discovery Education to help our students learn to read, write, and think like scientists.”
To support educators as they create a STEM-focused culture of teaching and learning, educators at two FCS will participate in Discovery Education’s STEMFormation. A comprehensive, three-year system for building a culture of STEM at individual school sites, STEMformation guides educators as they master STEM instructional strategies. With a focus on developing high-quality STEM lessons, creating transdisciplinary lessons and units, and vertically aligning STEM education school-wide, STEMformation provides the robust professional development, job-embedded coaching, and administrative leadership to create a center of STEM excellence.
“Discovery Education is proud to be a part of Flint Community Schools’ efforts to write a new story about their work to support the success of all learners,” said Kevin Quinlan, Education Partnership Manager at Discovery Education. “We look forward to helping Flint’s teachers create the rich learning experiences that will open students’ eyes and minds to new ideas, concepts, and opportunities.”
The Discovery Education Community will also support FCS educators as they transform students’ learning experiences with 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.
For more information about the Discovery Education Techbook series, STEMFormation, or other services and resources from Discovery Education, visit: www.discoveryeducation.com.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.