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Detroit Takes Science Education Digital

Detroit Public Schools (DPS) in Michigan has begun the transition to a digital science curriculum in its middle and high schools based primarily on content from Discovery Education. Following an intensive professional development program over the summer, some 200 teachers entered the new school year prepared to integrate the extensive audiovisual and other digital content offered by the company's services, streaming and Discovery Education Science (DES), into their regular curriculum.

The company's streaming service provides more than 155,000 digital items aligned to Michigan state standards, including full-length video programs, clips, articles, still images, and interactive activities, all searchable using keyword, content area, grade level, and more advanced filtering options. DES provides virtual labs, experiments, simulations of real-world scientific activity, and subject-specific video clips and reading passages.

"Academic rebirth is a cornerstone of Detroit Public School's master facilities plan," said Barbara Byrd-Bennett, DPS chief academic and accountability auditor. "The process of rebirth includes changing the way we engage students in learning. Student's today are different. They inhabit a digital world." She said the Discovery digital services "can provide the resources to both engage our students in learning and develop our human capital, so that we can evolve our curriculum and methods of instruction to meet the changing needs of 21st century learners."

In addition to the summer preparation, the company will offer DPS teachers professional development opportunities throughout the year to support and mentor their integration of digital content into the science curriculum, with focus on lesson planning and differentiated instruction.

"At DPS, we ask ourselves each day, 'Is it good for the kids?'" said Sherry Ulery, deputy chief of academic affairs for DPS. "After witnessing the growth of our teaching staff this summer and [seeing] the positive impact our efforts to incorporate digital content into our curriculum have had on student engagement, I can say that this initial step towards a digital curriculum is good for the kids."

Finally, teachers will have unlimited access to the Discovery Education Network, which connects educators worldwide so that they can share resources, collaborate, and discuss the entire spectrum of education.

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.

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