Have you seen the new Discovery Education?
First of all, if you haven’t checked out Discovery Ed in the past couple of years, you should give it another look. Quite a bit has changed in the 10 years I’ve been in education.
If you’re not familiar with Discovery Ed at all, now’s the time to learn!
What is it?
Discovery Education is standards-based digital curriculum resource for any teacher, at any level, and for any subject. Most teachers that aren’t super familiar with it just think of it as a place to get video content, but it actually has so much more multimedia content to explore, including images, articles, interactive boards, music, lesson materials, and professional learning.
It’s a service that has to be purchased, but many districts and even educational regions purchase the service for their educators. Chances are, you have access to it.
Discovery Ed has always had a ridiculous amount of resources, but they weren’t always easy to find. Over the summer, they completely redid their homepage to bring those resources to the forefront.
There are three categories at the top of the homepage, grouped by color.
The Discover section is where you would go to search for resources. You can search by subject, standard, or by what’s trending. As always, you’ll have the option to filter down your search to find content tailored to your needs.
The Teach section is where your content and classroom live. You can explore the content you’ve saved, view your classroom, and access the board builder studio.
The Grow section is my new favorite, and what I’ll be focusing on the most, because it highlights some of the most useful features of the site, known as Spotlight on Strategies (SOS). Before this redesign, I didn’t even know they were there!
You’ll notice that they’re grouped by category, and not by grade level. That’s because teachers can tweak how each one is implemented to fit the needs of their students.
Every strategy includes a quick video of the teacher that invented it, with an explanation of how it works in a classroom. It also includes a printable PDF that’s no longer than 2 pages. The beauty with these is that they don’t take a ton of planning to implement: if your lesson feels like it needs something, you can pull one of these up to skim at lunch and see if it works for you.
The other useful resource in the Grow area is the professional learning section. In it, you can find lots of professional resources you can use for extended professional development or for extra support. They’ve even included PowerPoint presentations that go over the new Discovery Ed, which is convenient for people like me that have to facilitate training.
The final feature of the Grow section is the Discovery Education Network (DEN).
My experience with the DEN is limited, but I’m hoping to explore it more this school year. Basically, it’s like a social media/professional learning network for educators that use Discovery Ed. You can share resources, ask questions, and explore the features of the site. I asked a question on it last year, and another teacher had an answer for me within a few hours.
If you’re interested in joining their ambassador program, you can click here for more information. According to the site “DEN Ambassador Program is a learning experience designed to build a local community of educators who share, reflect and learn together as they integrate digital media into their teaching practice.”
My DE is a new section of channels with curated content for the subjects you are interested in. The homepage comes with a couple of standard ones, and you can go search for subject channels that are relevant to you. Once you find a channel that you like (just do a search like you would for anything else), just add it to your homepage by clicking the plus sign in the top right corner.
The channel will continue to update with relevant content throughout the year. It won’t have EVERY piece of material on the site that applies, but it’s a good start. You can use the selector in the bottom left to filter the material by grade level.
One Last Thing…
Did you know you can download all of the videos and resources? I can’t tell you how many times our school Internet decided to misbehave, and I wasn’t able to show the video I wanted. By downloading it, it now lives on your computer, so it doesn’t matter what your Internet is doing. If you have a school Google Drive account that has unlimited storage, make some folders and keep the resources there. As long as you work for the district, you can continue to use them.
Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, go forth and gather resources!