Illinois U-46 Schools Extend Partnership with Discovery Education to Boost EdTech

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - 1:44 pm

Silver Spring, Md. (September 4, 2018) –  Illinois’ School District U-46 (U-46) today announced it is expanding its collaboration with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms.  In the latest phase of this partnership, Discovery Education will provide U-46 educators sustained, job-embedded professional learning that will help the district maximize their investment in educational technologies and accelerate the district’s efforts to transform its classrooms into dynamic digital learning environments.

Nearly 30 percent of School District U-46’s incredibly diverse student population are English Learners participating in the district’s acclaimed Dual Language program.  Earlier this year, U-46 partnered with Discovery Education to provide math teachers supporting the Dual Language initiative the company’s award-winning Math Techbook.  A digital textbook that connects students to math through real-world problems, Math Techbook is currently being used by students and teachers across the district’s high schools in both English and Spanish. Students are developing bilingualism and biliteracy skills with Math Techbook as they develop long-lasting mastery of mathematical concepts.

Recently, U-46 began implementing a new 1:1 initiative that will ultimately put 14,000 Chromebooks into the hands of students districtwide and create digital classroom experiences that mirror students’ interaction with digital content and technology in their lives outside school.  To support the deeper integration of digital content into the Dual Language program and to facilitate the district’s transition to 1:1 learning, School District U-46 will soon launch a new professional learning initiative from Discovery Education called Digital Leader Corps.  Featuring a unique combination of professional learning, pedagogy, and tools, Digital Leader Corps provides participating educators proven strategies and approaches for integrating educational technologies and digital media into classroom instruction.

These strategies and approaches are then practiced in educator created, student-centered Learning Labs. There, teachers practice and adapt new skills in a classroom setting before sharing their successes broadly with their colleagues. The Digital Leader Corps program provides teachers continuous customized, job-embedded consultation, with on-going modeling, coaching, and feedback from Discovery Education experts in the pre-planning, stakeholder communications, and implementation phases. 

“We all know that today’s students need to become familiar with a wide variety of educational technology tools,” said School District U-46 CEO Tony Sanders. “But strong professional development for our educators must go hand in hand with technology in order to properly integrate new and emerging resources in the classroom so that we help all students succeed.”   

Throughout this partnership, U-46 educators will continue to receive support from the Discovery Education Community. 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.

“The team at Discovery Education is very excited to expand our partnership with School District U-46 as they continue transforming district classrooms,” said Emily Keith, Discovery Education Senior Partnership Manager. “We look forward to helping teachers maximize the district’s investment in their digital content and other technologies and to supporting the continued academic growth of all U-46 students.”