Embracing the digital learning experience

New platform gives teachers the ability to meet students’ individual needs
By: | Issue: October, 2019 | Thought Leadership
September 30, 2019

Q&A with Peter Weir,
Chief Product Officer,
Discovery Education

Why is it crucial for education leaders to embrace digital learning?
Today’s students live in a world driven by technology and information, so it is incumbent on educators to provide the learning environments that will prepare students for success beyond graduation. Discovery Education supports educators to embrace digital learning by providing best-in-class resources and an innovative digital platform to maximize those technologies in the classroom. We give teachers a tech experience that’s just as good, if not better, than how they use products in their personal lives.

How are digital curricula improving student engagement?
Digital curricula support the creation of more engaging learning experiences and bring students to places and people they might not otherwise get to visit or meet. While students use technology in all facets of life, we don’t think they’re going to engage with just anything you put in front of them. So we have to give teachers high-quality content that prepares them to engage students. This empowers teachers to help students find connections between their peers and the subject matter, and creates conversations in the classroom, which builds the communication, collaboration and skills students need for future success.

How do digital solutions help teachers differentiate instruction?
Technology’s goal is to make a difficult task easier, and we believe digital solutions like ours help educators more easily implement best practices such as differentiated instruction. But to create these solutions, we need teacher input. That’s why, before we started building Discovery Education Experience 18 months ago, we asked educators what they needed. They said the ability to guide learners at different paces, to assign lessons to specific students, to change Lexile reading levels and to deliver lessons in different languages. They also wanted research-based instructional strategies that support teachers as they integrate digital resources into classrooms. Based on this list of “must haves,” we created Discovery Education Experience, which has been warmly received by educators nationwide.

“While students use technology in all facets of life, we don’t think they’re going to engage with just anything you put in front of them. So we have to give teachers high-quality content that prepares them to engage students.”

What has Discovery Education done to innovate digital learning?
We’ve baked continuous improvement into our design philosophy. We believe our digital solutions are never really ‘done’ and that there’s always room to improve. For example, we wanted to take students to exciting new places, so we invested in augmented and virtual reality. We wanted to offer content curation that lets teachers collaborate with students, so we built those tools into Discovery Education Experience. We also wanted to provide educators the PD and instructional strategies in one solution, so we created the SOS Strategies. We’ll always listen to educator feedback and work to improve the tools they need to prepare students for success.

For more information, please visit discoveryeducation.com/experience


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