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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

High-tech learning: Schools launch STEM training by Melonie McLaurin

Melonie McLaurin inform, "Richmond County Schools’ middle through high school math teachers gathered at the Cole Auditorium Monday for their first look at Discovery Education’s new Math Techbook."
Melonie McLaurin | Daily Journal Richmond County Schools Superintendent Dr. Cindy Goodman, curriculum specialist Kelly DeLong and Discovery Education’s Anna Strassner discuss the future of Richmond County Schools technology and math during the Golden Leaf Foundation-sponsored STEM kickoff Monday morning. Photo: Richmond County Daily Journal

Upper-grade students could begin using the software by the first of the year. Discovery Education bills it as a “breakthrough digital textbook that will change the way North Carolina students and teachers experience math.”

Made possible by the support of the Golden Leaf Foundation, the day of professional development began with a catered breakfast from Panera Bread as teachers gathered around tables in the conference room, setting up their electronic devices and connecting to the Internet and greeting each other.

Linzy Hull of Rockingham Middle School shared a few of her thoughts about the training as she signed-in before entering the conference room. Hull is a second-year teacher from Pennsylvania.

“I expect, well, we’re learning about Discovery Education here and it’s a tool to help kids learn,” Hull said. “They have access to videos and other forms that they can see material in other than just the teachers standing at the front of the class and the students just taking down notes. This is a technology-based system, which they love, so I’m expecting to learn how to use it effectively and actually be able to implement it in my class more than just once a semester. I want to use this to help my instruction weekly if possible, but if not, monthly.”

Keynote speaker Hall Davidson of Discovery Education offered a layman’s explanation of the concept as he arranged his notes at the podium.

“We’re here for the math part of STEM today,” Davidson said. “We’re going to be using the Math Techbook, which is all digital, so it runs on machines and in the Cloud. You can do your homework from your phone, from any device. It’s a real transformation and the data is really clear that it’s better for students and better for teaching.
“Taking a day like this is important because it’s not magic. You can’t just go ‘poof!’ and have them (the teachers) know, so we’re going to teach them how to use it. None of this stuff is obvious, so this is a day about investing in people. You can never go wrong when you invest in people. So that’s what this day is about.”

Discovery Education Math Techbook


Source: Richmond County Daily Journal and Discovery Education Channel (YouTube)