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Oak Ridge Schools Adopts 1:1, Digital Resources To Become 'Premiere' STEM District

Tennessee's Oak Ridge Schools has entered into a six-year agreement with a private partner as part of its "digital transformation," which includes one-to-one computing and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiatives.

"The district's goal," according to a news release, "is to become a leader in STEM education through continuation and expansion of Oak Ridge's already well-regarded educational opportunities for students along with additional enhancements to technology infrastructure, professional development and access to devices, which will place dynamic digital content in the hands of each student."

To help provide that content, Oak Ridge Schools is deploying Discovery Education Streaming Plus to all classrooms. Features of the service include 155,000 digital learning objects, an assignments builder, audio files, encyclopedia articles, games, images, a quiz builder, skill builders, videos and writing prompts.

Additionally, students in grades K-8 will use the Discovery Education Science Techbook and students in grades 6-8 will use the Discovery Education Social Studies Techbook. Techbook features include individualized resources, an interactive glossary, video clips and virtual labs.

"Oak Ridge Schools is also providing its educators robust, customized professional development from Discovery Education experts who will guide them through the process of integrating Streaming Plus and Techbooks into classroom instruction," according to a news release about the implementation. "Fifty teachers will join a STEM cohort that will receive 10 days of customized professional development and coaching from Discovery Education each year."

Educators from Oak Ridge Schools will also have access to the Discovery Educator Network (DEN), a community designed to allow education professionals to share resources and ideas.

"Oak Ridge Schools' goal is to become the premier STEM school district in the country, and this new collaboration with Discovery Education will help us meet this goal," said Bruce Borchers, superintendent at Oak Ridge Schools, in a prepared statement. "We are looking forward to working with Discovery Education's expert team to create the authentic digital learning environments that will provide students the critical skills they will need to be successful not only in STEM, but in any field of their choosing."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].