Creating a Culture of STEAM Teaching and Learning the Focus of Florida’s Marion County Public Schools’ New Partnership with Discovery Education
District Will Combine Award-Winning Science Techbook, Digital Content, and Sustained STEAM-Focused Professional Development to Support STEAM Initiative-
Silver Spring, MD. (March 5, 2018) – Florida’s Marion County Public Schools (MCPS) today announced a new six-year partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. Through this new collaboration, the Marion County Public Schools will combine Discovery Education’s Science Techbook, Streaming Plus, and a sustained professional development program to support the district’s effort to create a rich culture of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) teaching and learning across the school system.
MCPS is committed to providing all students an authentic learning experience that helps them reach their fullest potential as it prepares them for success beyond graduation. To help achieve this goal, the district is creating modern learning environments by introducing Discovery Education’s dynamic digital content into classroom instruction at selected MCPS elementary and middle schools. Educators using this content will be supported by sustained, job-embedded professional development that will help them blend it into their daily practice. This unique combination of rich digital content and professional development will jumpstart MCPS’ efforts to build a culture of STEAM across the school system that aligns with the district’s goals for all students.
Discovery Education Streaming Plus will be among the first digital resources introduced to MCPS teachers and students. 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 including images, primary source documents, podcasts, oral interviews, books on tape, articles, videos, and more, and 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 new STEM/STEAM resources designed to fuel a cultural shift in teaching and learning.
Students in the elementary and middle schools participating in the first phase of this initiative will also receive access to Discovery Education’s Science Techbooks. Discovery Education’s Science Techbook series empowers educators to transform science instruction. Utilizing an inquiry-based format built on the Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate (5E) model, each Science Techbook includes rich, standards-aligned content such as video, audio, text, interactives with hands-on activities, and virtual labs that help educators differentiate instruction and provide a rich and engaging learning experience for students. Additional student features include bilingual text-to-speech and leveled reading tools, and note-taking and highlighting capabilities.
The Science Techbooks series also includes valuable STEM/STEAM resources as well. 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 embedded into each Techbook, and like all Discovery Education digital textbooks, the Science Techbooks works on any device and can be implemented in any instructional setting.
In addition, Discovery Education’s professional development services will also support MCPS’ efforts to build a culture of STEAM education. Through Discovery Education’s STEM Leader Corp capacity building model, district administrators and teachers will learn new strategies and best practices for building and sustaining a culture of STEAM in their schools and guide them as they master new STEAM instructional approaches. With a focus on developing high-quality STEAM instruction, creating interdisciplinary lessons and units, and vertically aligning STEAM education school-wide, this initiative provides the robust professional development, job-embedded coaching, and administrative leadership support necessary to create centers of STEAM excellence.
“In Marion County Public Schools, we know STEAM education is monumental to helping students grow the critical thinking and communication skills they need to compete in the world of tomorrow,” said MCPS Superintendent Dr. Heidi Maier. “This new partnership with Discovery Education helps equip our students and teachers with the tools they need in the classroom and helps us as a district accomplish our goals of building successful citizens every day. We’re excited this powerful collaboration is underway.”
In addition to receiving access to Discovery Education’s Science Techbook, Streaming Plus, and robust STEAM professional development, the Discovery Education Community will support MCPS’ educators’ efforts to 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.
“Discovery Education is honored to collaborate with MCPS on their effort to create modern and STEAM-based learning experiences that help students learn more about how they can help shape our future,” said Dr. Jason Sinquefield, Director of Education Partnerships at Discovery Education. “We look forward to supporting superintendent Dr. Maier and her wonderful team of educators and administrators as they begin this exciting new journey.”
For more information about Discovery Education’s Professional Development resources, Digital Techbook series, and more 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.
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.