Hamilton County Schools Wednesday announced it selected Discovery Education, a provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, to support its inquiry-based teaching and learning initiative. This new five-year partnership will bring Discovery Education’s award-winning digital services, as well as sustained professional learning, to all Hamilton County Schools’ middle and high school students and teachers.
This combination of digital content and professional learning will drive HCS’s efforts to help all students become life-long learners, said officials.
Serving approximately 45,000 students, speaking 125 languages, across 576 square miles in southeastern Tennessee, HSC has chosen inquiry-based learning to activate the curiosity of its middle and high school students. With Discovery Education’s blend of digital content and professional learning, district educators will build digital, inquiry-based learning environments that create new pathways and opportunities for middle and high school students, helping them prepare for their post-secondary educations and careers, said officials.
Also, HSC’s new partnership with Discovery Education supports the district’s Future Ready Preps initiative. This new effort seeks to personalize learning in the middle grades to meet every child where they are academically, expose them to a variety of potential careers, and support their social and emotional learning. Academic performance in district middle grades will be the focus, and teachers will spearhead the instructional and cultural shifts required to achieve the new vision for the middle school experience. This vision also extends to high schools through the Future Ready Institutes.
Among the new resources soon to be available to district middle and high school educators are, Discovery Education’s innovative Science, Math, and Social Studies Techbooks. These digital textbooks are aligned to standards, support a comprehensive curriculum, and are regularly updated at no cost. The series encourages all learners through interactive features that change the reading level of text and enable text to be read aloud. Discovery Education’s Techbook series saves teachers time with a design that places model lessons, student activities and assessments at their fingertips. Additionally, the Techbooks are platform neutral and can be used in one-to-one or one-to-many configurations and in any instructional environment.
Discovery Education’s Science Techbook utilizes an inquiry-based format built on the 5E model, helps teach students to read, write, and think like scientists through hands-on labs, digital explorations, an interactive glossary, and data analysis activities. The Math Techbook is a digital textbook that connects students to math through real-world problems, helping all learners develop long-lasting mastery of mathematical concepts. Finally, Discovery Education’s Social Studies Techbook uses an inquiry-based instructional approach that emphasizes informational text literacy, analytical writing, and problem-solving skills that students will apply in the classroom and beyond, said officials.
In addition to the Techbooks, HCS’s educators and students will also shortly begin using the Discovery Education Streaming Plus and STEM Connect services as core instructional resources to support their efforts to promote inquiry-based instruction.
Discovery Education Streaming Plus is a digital service supplementing instruction across all K-12 curricular areas. With Streaming Plus, students can access a variety of digital assets including images, primary source documents, podcasts, oral interviews, articles, videos, and more. Also, students using Streaming Plus are able to become content creators with a suite of content creation tools that help teachers and students 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 resources.
Discovery Education’s STEM Connect enhances core curriculum and brings STEM to life in classrooms. The K-8 supplemental resource built on a 4Cs STEM skills framework, STEM Connect helps students develop the creative, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills they need for success beyond graduation, said officials. Featuring modular learning units, STEM Connect provides students an experience that includes real-world challenges, career connections, and hands-on activities.
“The team at the Hamilton County Schools understands that students who are motivated and interested in learning are more successful, confident, and experience higher achievement,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, Hamilton County Schools superintendent. “Our new partnership with Discovery Education will help us achieve the culture shift we need to create even more rewarding learning experiences that we know will lead to higher engagement and greater student success.”
In addition to integrating a new host of digital content into classroom instruction, HCS’s middle school and high school educators will also participate in sustained, job-embedded professional learning from Discovery Education’s faculty that will help the educators evolve their teaching practice and use their new digital resources in the classroom. The Discovery Education Community will also support all HCS teachers’ efforts to 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 networking, idea sharing and inspiration.
"Discovery Education is honored to collaborate with the talented team at the Hamilton County Schools as they create modern, inquiry-based learning experiences that will engage every child, every day,” said Anna Strassner, Discovery Education’s senior manager of Education Partnerships. “We look forward to supporting superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson and his entire team as they begin this exciting new journey.”
For more information about Discovery Education’s Techbook Series, and other services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find on Instagram and Pinterest.