Introducing new digital programming to schools and districts is not an easy thing to do. How do you decide what is good? How much should you be spending on these programs? Why should you spend anything when you have free resources like Google?
First, just like anywhere else, there is no such thing as a free ride. Quality programming costs money. The challenge is where do you spend your limited resources.
The other big problem is a very hard one to solve. Once you have a program ready for implementation, how do you find the time and resources to train a busy staff on how best to use this new program.
I don’t think we have solved this last problem yet.
I am very interested in Discovery Education. I have used this resource for years, I have attended their principal’s conferences and have trained our staff on how to use the program in the classroom. For a time, our school was the only one in our district that had access to Discovery’s Science Techbook.
I have also done work on the Science Techbook revision that has been taking place over the past year.
So, I know this resource and I believe it has a huge amount to offer educators. The problem remains, how do you tell busy teachers and administrators about a resource that could really enhance student learning?
This has been difficult. Sadly, in my former board, they have cut back or possibly eliminated the use of this resource. They have done this for a simple reason – people were not using it.
Again, this is understandable. People are very busy and they really need to take a pause if they are going to learn about new resources and tools for learning. There are so many out there – how are they to choose?
The answer is a simple one but it takes time. Districts need to commit human resources and time to teach people how to use complex digital tools. Putting them out there and expecting something to happen just won’t work. Teachers are simply too busy.
While I am happy to talk to anyone about Discovery Education, I am not getting lots of offers to come in and teach teachers about Discovery. Maybe the best thing for now is to simply blog about Discovery Education.
So, I have set up a new blog Discovery Education In Canada and I plan to post every day on some aspect of Discovery Education and how it can work as an excellent digital resource for teaching and learning.
This is a bit of a challenge as I have to download material from the DE site so that people who are not registered with Discovery can see the material I am referring to.
I have four posts out now and I started on Saturday. No idea if this is going to spread the good news, but if you don’t try you will never know.
So, the experiment begins. I hope you take a moment to look and maybe even share a post or two.