Tech for Learning
Discovery Ed Boosts Collection for Back-to-School, Acquires AR/VR Ed Company
- By Dian Schaffhauser
In time for back-to-school lesson planning, new programs have been added to the Discovery Education Experience and Techbook content; and more content is being made available in Spanish. Also, Discovery recently announced the acquisition of Inspyro, which provides virtual reality and augmented reality education programs.
Among the content recently added to Discovery's services are:
Fifty-plus new programs from the Science Channel, which have been added to the Discovery Education Experience and Science Techbook, including "Incredible Engineering Blunders: Fixed," "Invisible Killers" (covering viral disease) and "Outrageous Acts of Science." (which highlights some of the internet's most watched science-related videos);
New short-form videos from CheddarK-12, which explore science, business, and technological innovations; and
Animal Planet videos, including "Jeremy Wade's Mighty Rivers," which covers health, sustainability and the world's major waterways.
Students will also get lessons on their impact on the environment, learn about the importance of environmental stewardship and learn how sustainability plays a role in baseball parks around the country in six new videos and activities developed in partnership with Major League Baseball. Each video and its related activities cover a different MLB club and present a unique conservation effort, including recycling, local food sourcing, water conservation and energy efficiency.
Content added to Discovery Education Experience and Social Studies Techbook will cover "Tuskegee Airmen: Heroes of World War II," profiling former pilots from the famed African American World War II unit.
The company has put some of its Math Techbook and Discovery Education Experience video clips and interactives in Spanish, covering such topics as functions, the Pythagorean theorem, similarity and congruence and probability.
Discovery has also acquired Computeam's stake in Inspyro for an undisclosed fee. The UK-based Inspyro unit creates curriculum-aligned learning modules in science, history and geography. Its assets work across multiple operating systems and are compatible with various VR headsets and displays.
According to Discovery, the addition of the Inspyro team will facilitate in-house capabilities to design, build and integrate new VR and AR content into its techbooks and other digital products.
"This is a fantastic opportunity to bring our technology and approach to the most trusted and respected brand in education," said Phil Birchinall, Inspyro's managing director, in a statement. "Discovery Education shares our commitment to bringing teachers and learners the immersive technology they need to create modern learning environments, and we look forward working together on that joint mission."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.