FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Florence School District 1 is on its way to transforming classrooms into digital learning environments. The district just announced its partnership with Discovery Education, a web based program that provides digital content and resources for teachers to access. The superintendent for the district, Randy Bridges asked the principals if this new shift is something they want to be a part of.
Nine schools stretched across the district stepped forward to commit to the partnership. Briggs Elementary School is one of nine schools to incorporate Discovery Ed into every classroom. The school has access to the online portal, but teachers still need more training.
Tara Newton, Principal at Briggs Elementary says, "Partnering with Discovery Ed is going to help us keep up. There is so much out there and often times without providing the professional development, then our teachers don't use all the resources they have. Discovery Ed is doing two things, they are providing us the resources and they provide best practices, and professional development for our teachers to better use what they already have."
Justin Karkow, the Senior Director of Professional Development for Discovery Education says the company's online resources give students a new learning process. Discovery Education believes students ultimately will be more empowered by their work, and motivate each other which will create a richer environment to learn in.
"Letting students discover through research and inquiry based instruction makes them more engaged, and if we engage them, then they will learn," says Newton. Since most of the kids already have a chrome book, ipad, or laptop in class, this will take it one step further.
Bridges says, "If you take away all the technology and just give them a pencil and paper, my expectations for them academically are the same, so it's a tool, its an instructional tool."
The web portal has videos, tutorials, and information specifically designed for lesson plans the teacher can access. The students will have a personal login and a teacher can cater an assignment specifically to the needs of a student.
Florence School district 1 has committed to one year and Bridges hopes to add even more schools throughout that time. Discovery Ed will launch the first staff development day on January 7th, and there will be three more professional development days in the Spring.