SILVER SPRING, Md., April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Discovery Education, the leading provider of K-12 digital textbooks in the U.S., and Digital Promise, a nonprofit organization chartered by Congress to spur innovation in education, in conjunction with Connect2Compete, ERDI, ISTE, NCERT and other leading national and state-level education organizations, today launched the inaugural Future@Now: Transition to Digital Classrooms conference to discuss one of the most important issues in education today - the state of digital learning and its impact on college and workforce readiness.
Held today at Discovery Education's global headquarters and streamed live nationwide, it marked the first such event by the organization and set the stage for an announcement of a new national initiative to provide free trial access to digital textbooks for educators across the country.
Launching a year after the FCC and DOE's Digital Textbook Playbook initiative, the goal of the Future@Now: Transition to Digital Classrooms conference is to raise awareness about the benefits of digital learning and celebrate the successes of districts that have already deployed digital textbooks in meaningful ways in their classrooms. The conference also is designed to drive discussion among education thought-leaders, school district leaders and members of the business community on the challenges of transitioning to digital learning, the impact of digital resources on students and educators, and opportunities to advance the adoption of innovative digital tools in order to best prepare today's students for the careers of tomorrow.
Author of the "Transforming Education through Technology Act" and the most Senior Democratic Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee Congressman George Miller (D-CA) joined a number of senior policy-makers, educational thought leaders, superintendents, business and foundation leaders to give exclusive insight into the transition to digital learning environments. "There is a new imperative of digital learning in this country. The classroom has already evolved in such amazing ways and must continue to do so for us to compete on the world stage," said Congressman Miller. "The digitization of America's classrooms is one of the most important issues we as a society can tackle today."
To support educators in taking the first-step toward transitioning to digital learning environments, ISTE, Connect2Compete, Digital Promise and Discovery Education announced that beginning this month educators across the country will be given trial access to Discovery Education's Techbook™ series, the award-winning series of digital textbooks featuring K-12 science; physics, chemistry and biology; and middle school social studies. In addition to providing free trial access to its digital textbooks, Discovery Education and ISTE will also provide educators with the opportunity to participate in more than 40 virtual professional development sessions, also at no cost, to support educators in effective classroom implementation of digital tools.
"Discovery Education's Techbook™ series is already being used by districts across the country and we've seen amazing results in student engagement and achievement," said Bill Goodwyn, CEO, Discovery Education. "We want to put a digital textbook into the hands of every educator in the U.S. to enable them to experience the impact digital resources make in classrooms and see firsthand how such tools are transforming teaching and learning."
Other leaders on hand for this inaugural event, which was also streamed to more than 1,000 sites nationwide, included Dr. Mark Edwards, AASA Superintendent of the Year, Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools member and Superintendent of Mooresville Graded School District; Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent and recipient of the Broad Prize in Urban Education; Zach Leverenz, CEO, Connect2Compete; Holly Jobe, President, ISTE; Eric Spiegel, President and CEO, Siemens Corporation U.S.; Shannon Schuyler, Corporate Responsibility Leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers; as well as students who have used the technology in their own classrooms. In addition to Connect2Compete, ERDI, ISTE and NCERT, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, Suburban School Superintendents, AEP, TASA, Texas ASCD and Illinois ASCD also partnered to launch the conference.
The conference also included a unique, live look inside a digital classroom, featuring students and educators from Collier County Public Schools in Naples, Fla.
Discovery Education's Techbook™ series is revolutionizing instruction by providing support for multiple learning styles, interactive content that specifically appeals to digital natives and real-time updates that allow educators to incorporate current events and cutting-edge thinking into their curricula. In addition, Discovery Education offers built-in assessments in each digital textbook that measure students' progress and support individualized classroom instruction.
For more information on the conference, to view its archive online and to learn more about the Techbook™ trial, visit:
About Discovery Education
Discovery Communications revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education. Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media, a dynamic user community, assessment services and professional development in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.
About Digital Promise
Digital Promise is an independent, bipartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization chartered by Congress to spur innovation in education. Through its work with educators, technologists, researchers, and leading thinkers, Digital Promise supports comprehensive research and development to improve all levels of education and provide Americans with the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the global economy. One of its flagship initiatives, the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, is a national coalition of public school districts committed to digital innovation that delivers results for students. The League of Innovative Schools is made up of 32 school districts and education groups in 21 states, that collectively serve more than 2.5 million students.
SOURCE Discovery Education