Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Discovery Education Student Center & Board Builder

I attended the official launch of the new Student Center in Discovery Education (DE) yesterday. Sessions were offered throughout the day that highlighted pilot programs around the country that had been using the new platform. Discovery has created a user-friendly learning management platform for DE users. All of the schools I work with have Discovery Education for their schools, but I do not believe they are taking full advantage of the DE Student Center. Here are some reasons why this is a great resources for students.

1. Multimedia research anywhere, anytime -- Back when I was in school, research meant going to the library and searching the card catalog for a book that would meet your needs. You would write down the call number and head to the stacks with your fingers crossed that the book would be there. If it was, you would check it out. If it wasn't, you would start over. Using Discovery Education Student Center, students can search for images and videos that provide information on the topic of their choice. They can save the resources to access later, and more than one student can access the same resource. Plus, students just need a computer with internet access to find great resources for projects and learning.

2. Great learning management functions -- The LMS in Discovery Education is not new. It has been available for several years to give teachers the option of teaching some of their class online. This platform is useful for teachers who want to get students caught up after an absence, for blended learning, or a complete flip. Connecting to the great content in DE makes it very easy to create lessons and push them out to student accounts. On the student side, the new center gives students a better timeline for assignments and management of their assignments for all of their classes in DE. The teacher side has easier navigation for finding student assignments and assessments.

3. Board Builder rocks! -- There are several web sites out there that allow users to create an interactive online poster. DE's Board Builder (BB) does this too, but better. Students can customize the board with color and background but the true magic is the content. BB let's you use DE content or upload your own including videos, images, and files. There is no worry about copyright since DE users have rights to use DE content plus adding your own videos to your board makes the projects uniquely yours. Another major bonus over poster web sites is the ease of turn in to the teacher. When a student finishes a board they simply share it with the teacher within DE. No need to post online and email the teacher a link. With BB the sharing, grading and feedback takes place in DE and can be tracked by the teacher. With some schools worried about online safety and publishing, this is a great solution for interactive projects with security.

If you are not using Discovery Education Student Center, try it today!!!

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