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Monday, October 12, 2015

Discovery Education

Discovery Education (DE) is a website that I always felt guilty for underutilizing.  While I long suspected it had some powerful resources (and, thanks to KDE, resources that are free!), I could not think past the idea that it was a great place to get shark videos and that's about it.

Boy, was I wrong.

From creating classes and sharing activities, to creating interactive posters ("Boards"), to having access to a library full of teacher professional development resources, Discovery Education is far from just a place for some angry marine life videos.

Once you have created a class, there are multiple ways you can provide material.  You can build an assignment to share (a collection of videos, texts, etc. to form an activity), create a quiz, or build a Board.  “Boards” are simple but interactive posters (a bit like Glogster) that you can share with students. Students can also make their own.  However, any Boards made by teachers or students can only be shared and seen within DE; they cannot be shared publicly outside the site.

Here was a surprising find: not only does DE help with information on how to navigate their site, but it also has a deep library of resources to help learn more about various teaching topics separate from their content-specific material.  For example, there is a series of materials on how to flip your classroom.  I highly recommend taking a peek at their S.O.S. (Spotlight on Strategies), which can quickly teach you general strategies on how to better manage and assess your students.

To help teachers get signed on, as well as give a quick tour of some of Discovery Education's resources, I created a Google Doc to help.  While the focus leans toward our Shelby County staff, I believe all educators interested in Discovery Education will benefit from the information -- especially ones in Kentucky.

Do you already use Discovery Education in your curriculum?  Share in the Comments below.

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