Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today hosted the second annual Future @Now: Roadmap to the Digital Transition. A forum focused on one of the most critical issues in education today – implementing effective, district-level digital transitions that prepare students for citizenship, college, and careers, Future @Now provided attendees a step-by-step, actionable roadmap for transforming teaching and learning through educational technology, dynamic digital content, and job-embedded, sustained professional development.
Approximately 2,000 participants in 40 states and countries including Italy, China, Canada, New Zealand and Greece joined the live stream of the event, which was held at Discovery Education’s global headquarters in Silver Spring, Md. Offering stimulating panel discussions throughout the day that highlighted the key steps in a successful digital transition, Future @Now explored a variety of important topics, such as planning, creating a community and culture of change, developing teacher leaders, and integrating digital devices into the classroom.
“In the ever-evolving world of digital learning, it is important to stay on the cutting edge and be aware of what’s new, what’s working and what isn’t working,” said Lori Gash, curriculum coordinator, Meridian Joint School District No.2. “At Future @Now, I gleaned valuable insight regarding the implementation of best practices as they relate to the digital transformation and digital integration.” Featured speakers included Congressman George Miller (D-CA), sponsor of the Transforming Education through Technology Act and the Senior Democratic Member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, and Alberto Carvalho, winner of the 2014 AASA Superintendent of the Year Award. In addition, a variety of senior policy-makers, educators, and business, association, and foundation leaders joined Future @Now to offer insight into how various community stakeholders can support the successful transition to digital learning environments.
“All students deserve access to educational tools that will give them a 21st-century skill set and prepare them for high-growth, high-demand jobs,” said Representative George Miller, senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee. “Making the latest digital technology available to all students is monumental work, with the potential to dramatically change what, how, and how well our students learn. This major shift will also require adjustments in how we run schools and how we teach. It is essential that we continue to explore these issues so that we can manage the digital transition well and continue to improve the education of students across the country.”
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, as part of Discovery Education and the White House’s “Of the People” webinar series, concluded the event by taking participants on a live visit to a digital classroom at Wheatley Education Campus in Washington, D.C.
During Future @Now, Discovery Education announced that educators across the United States will be offered up to 60-day, no cost trial access to the Discovery Education Techbook™ series, the award-winning digital textbook solution featuring K-12 science; physics, chemistry and biology; and middle school social studies. In addition, they will be extended access to the evaluator edition of the Discovery Education Math Techbook series, which will give them the opportunity to submit feedback on how this new digital textbook can best meet the needs of their students. Finally, educators across Canada will be given up to 60-day trial access to the Discovery Education Science Techbook series, while all educators will be provided with the opportunity to participate in a series of virtual professional development sessions, at no cost, to support the effective classroom implementation of digital tools.
The Discovery Education Techbook series is a digital textbook solution for K-12 teachers and students in science, social studies and, launching in the fall of 2014, middle and high school mathematics. Built from the ground-up to be specifically aligned to national and state standards, the series delivers individualized resources and engages students in learning concepts through rich digital content, including virtual labs, video clips, an interactive glossary, and more. It is also cloud-based and platform-neutral, working with whatever hardware a district has – iPad, tablet, mobile device, laptop, or desktop.
“Discovery Education would like to thank everyone who participated in and supported our second annual Future @Now,” said Bill Goodwyn, CEO of Discovery Education. “We are thrilled to provide a forum for educators to learn best practices from those who have had success improving student outcomes through the use of technology. We hope participants left the event inspired and empowered to meaningfully impact teaching and learning in their school systems and communities.”
Future @Now: Roadmap to the Digital Transition was supported by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), Digital Promise, Everyone On, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP),National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), National School Boards Association (NSBA) and Rogers.
For more information on Future @Now, to view its archive online, and to learn more about the Techbook™ trial, visit http://www.discoveryeducation.com/futurenow2014.
For more information on other Discovery Education initiatives and services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations around the world to transform teaching and learning with innovative content and services that support educators and accelerate academic achievement. With a presence in over half of all US schools and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education fuels educational transformation with award-winning multimedia content including digital textbooks, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12 and community college instruction. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.