Discovery Education, the leading provider of K-12 digital textbooks and professional development in the U.S., along with Texas ASCD and the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) hosted Future@Now Texas, a live summit that addressed one of the most important issues in education – preparing Texas’ students for the opportunities of tomorrow’s world.
Held at Grand Prairie High School and streamed live nationwide, the event featured both national and state education and business leaders, elected officials and students who discussed the challenges facing the next generation and the skills required to address them, as well as the critical role that digital learning plays in preparing Texas students to meet those challenges.
Attendees and online viewers heard real success stories from educators who are using digital resources to transform teaching and learning across Texas. In addition, participants experienced a digital classroom in action and gleaned insights from educators, legislators, business and private foundation leaders who are spearheading initiatives to prepare students to be college, career and global citizenship ready.
The conference is part of a series of summits from Discovery Education called Future@Now: Transition to Digital Classrooms that bring together critical stakeholders interested in transforming education though new technologies. Designed to drive discussion among education thought-leaders, school district leaders and members of the business community on the challenges of transitioning to digital learning, Future@Now focuses on the impact of digital resources on students and educators, and highlights opportunities to advance the adoption of the innovative digital tools that best prepare today’s students for the careers of tomorrow.
Key speakers at yesterday’s event sharing their perspective on the implementation of digital learning environments included Texas State Representative Angie Chen Button who spoke about her digital learning legislation; Dr. Susan Simpson Hull, Superintendent, Grand Prairie ISD; Dr. Terry B. Grier, Superintendent, Houston ISD; Dr. Janis Jordan, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Corpus Christi ISD; Pat Lewis, Chief School Improvement Officer, Grand Prairie ISD; Eduardo Moreno, Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services, Edinburgh Consolidated ISD; Dr. Greg Firn, Deputy Superintendent of Academics, Grand Prairie ISD; and Dr. Bernard Harris, former NASA astronaut and the first African American to perform a spacewalk.
Attendees also heard from U.S. Representative and Ranking Member of the House Science, Space & Technology Committee, Eddie Bernice Johnson on the importance of STEM education.
“Grand Prairie ISD is pleased to have hosted this important event showcasing the power of educational technologies and digital content to accelerate learning,” said Dr. Susan Simpson Hull, Superintendent, Grand Prairie ISD. “I’d like to thank all those who participated in Future@Now Texas. Yesterday’s exciting discussions showed that across the state, innovative educators at all levels are moving forward and creating the digital classrooms Texas’ students need and deserve.” Among the day’s sessions were:
Digital Education from the Student’s Perspective: The day was kicked-off by a group of Texas third-graders who provided a look into the minds of today’s digital learners which included a discussion of how teachers can use students’ natural affinity for technology to accelerate achievement.
Digital Visionaries on Transformation: Superintendents and administrators from Texas school districts discussed how they are leading the transition to digital learning, why that shift is so critical, and how educational technologies are transforming their classrooms and creating engaged students, problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and lifelong learners.
Engaged Parents, Successful Transitions: Leon Pridgen, a parent who has been an active champion of the digital transition in the nationally recognized Mooresville, N.C., school system, shared best practices for district leaders to engage their communities and key opportunities for parents to elevate their involvement in their children’s educational future.
Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Jobs: Corporate and private foundation leaders who have invested in supporting educational change throughout Texas discussed why STEM, problem-solving and critical thinking skills are important to Texas’ economic future. In addition, these visionary leaders revealed successful models of public-private partnership that are accelerating schools’ access to the critical tools that help prepare students for college and careers in the STEM field and beyond.
Live from a Texas Digital Classroom: This unique look inside a digital classroom featured students and educators using Discovery Education Science Techbook live from McKinney Independent School District.
“We are excited to have brought Future@Now to Texas. This event provided a forum in which the educational community came together to talk not only about how the creation of authentic learning environments can help build the skills today’s students need for college, careers and citizenship, but also how those environments might help us to meet the scientific challenges of tomorrow,” said Scott Kinney, senior vice president, Discovery Education. “We are grateful to all participants for their attention to this important issue, and we look forward to continuing this dialogue at future events.”
Discovery Education, whose services are available in more than half of American classrooms, has been providing engaging digital resources to educators and students for more than a decade. The Discovery Education Techbook™ digital textbook series is revolutionizing instruction by providing interactive content that specifically appeals to today’s students and supports multiple learning styles. In addition, real-time updates to Techbook allow educators to incorporate current events and cutting-edge thinking into their curricula.
Discovery Education’s Techbook series also offer built-in assessments in each edition that measure students’ progress and support individualized classroom instruction. Finally, with each Techbook, Discovery Education provides the critical professional development educators need to build the authentic digital learning environments today’s students need and deserve. For more information on the conference or to view the online archive, visit: http://www.discoveryeducation.com/TexasFutureNow/ . For more information about Discovery Education’s other initiatives and services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.