Students and educators from Wicomico County Public Schools’ Bennett Middle School and Wicomico High School had the unique opportunity to showcase innovative teaching and dynamic digital tools in front of a national audience of teachers, administrators and education leaders. Twenty-four students from Wicomico County Public Schools and their teachers were invited to participate in model lessons at the Jan. 8 official national launch event for Discovery Education’s Math Techbook series, a breakthrough, interactive digital textbook that fosters a deep understanding of math concepts and demonstrates to students the relevance of math in their everyday lives. The launch event was held at Discovery Education’s global headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., and live streamed to more than 15,000 educators across the country.
The students participating in this event engaged in lessons from Math Techbook’s Grade 6 and Algebra II courses, considering how real-world problems can be solved mathematically. Bennett Middle School students began to explore real-world applications for using greatest common factors and least common multiples as problem-solving strategies. Wicomico High School students explored how they can model real-world situations with exponential growth and exponential decay functions. Through this lesson, both in person guests and a nationwide audience experienced the digital textbook’s innovative instructional method, interactive features, embedded tools, and assessment resources.
“We are proud of our students and teachers at Bennett Middle School and Wicomico High School who were selected to model math lessons using Techbook. Our students are digital natives and we are pleased to offer this powerful tool to further develop their 21st Century skills,” said Andrew Todd, mathematics supervisor for Wicomico County Public Schools. “We are thrilled to ‘test drive’ such an engaging and innovative way for students to interact with mathematics. Through student inquiry, real-life investigations and simulations, Techbook helps students develop conceptual understandings. Wicomico County Public Schools mathematics teachers will pilot this new resource through the end of this school year in grades six through eight, Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II.
This event brought national recognition, as thousands of people worldwide tuned in to watch the live streaming of the event, which remains available for replay online. Bennett Middle’s math classroom use of the techbook is showcased starting =at the 1:53:17 mark of the video: http://www.discoveryeducation.com/futurenow2015/math-techbook-launch/index.cfm?utm_source=de&utm_medium=latest-updatesl&utm_campaign=mtb-launch
Since 2004, Wicomico County Public Schools and Discovery Education have partnered to provide district teachers dynamic digital resources that enhance curriculum and inspire students. The district expanded its partnership with Discovery Education last year to offer Science Techbook districtwide to students in grades 6-8, and has experienced great success with students using the digital resource to gain a better understanding of the universe around them. Discovery Education experts have also provided professional development opportunities for educators to help them effectively integrate Science Techbook into instruction.
“The Techbook’s unique blend of text, video, online simulations, and hands-on investigations are helping our students develop the inquiry skills and science content knowledge that will be required of them as they move into advanced science coursework and the 21st Century workplace,” said Brian Raygor, science supervisor for Wicomico Schools. “I look forward to seeing how our science and math teachers can collaborate in their use of the Techbooks and continue to help our students see the everyday relevance of these courses.”
Science Techbook has increased student engagement in Wicomico County Public Schools, and as a result, the district began exploring the use of the new Math Techbook for classroom instruction in Grades 6-12 in 2013.
Wicomico Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Fredericksen said he’s proud to have Wicomico students and teachers working on the cutting edge of instructional technology. “Our entire Wicomico team has focused on stretching our technology resources to address multiple needs – student learning, testing, data management, and direct initial instruction. Math Techbook addresses these needs, effectively leveraging equipment funds to enhance learning. It’s the next best step for our students, families, and school system. Long term, we see this as an important transition point for the way we serve our students and prepare them to live and learn in the world of today and tomorrow.”
In addition to the student showcase, Discovery Education hosted a thought-leadership panel moderated by NBC News4 Today anchor Aaron Gilchrist to discuss the wide-ranging implications of math achievement in the United States. Confirmed panelists include: Dr. Mark Edwards, Superintendent of the Mooresville Graded School District in Mooresville, N.C., who was named the 2013 National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators; Dr. Francis “Skip” Fennell, Professor of Education at McDaniel College and internationally renowned expert in mathematics; Danica McKellar, Actress and Best-Selling Author; Michele Weslander-Quaid, Chief Innovation Evangelist at Google; and Portia Wu, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training.
“Wicomico County Public Schools is a national leader in integrating digital content into classroom instruction,” said Matt Monjan, Vice President of Educational Partnerships, Discovery Education. “We are pleased to have educators and students from the district join us for this important thought leadership event. Through their participation they are demonstrating, for a national audience, the exciting future of math education.”
Math Techbook, the latest addition to the company’s award-winning line of digital textbooks, transforms the way students and teachers experience math through engaging instructional strategies and real-world problems that motivate and excite students with diverse learning styles.
Math Techbook is designed to encourage inquiry-based learning. Through its Discover, Practice, Apply instructional approach, Math Techbook moves conceptual learning, procedural fluency and real-world problem application through a cycle that promotes greater student knowledge retention. Math Techbook supports middle school math (sixth, seventh and eighth grade), high school math (Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry), and Integrated Math (Math I, II and III) instruction.
Developed by Discovery Education’s team of expert math educators, Math Techbook features dynamic, Common Core and state standards-aligned content, interactives, videos, digital tools, and game-like activities that increase students’ motivation to learn math. Useful student tools including a graphing calculator, geometry tool, whiteboard tool and matrix solver are also embedded into each Techbook. In addition, students interact with content in a manner familiar and exciting to them, and can monitor their own progress in real-time with the Student Dashboard.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Available in over half of all U.S. schools and primary schools in England, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.