You may be familiar with The Discovery Channel for the science, history and technology programs it shows, such as Mythbusters. Discovery Education is the side of the media and communications group which helps support teachers and students in schools. This premium site provides are a large range of resources for different subjects tailored to suit UK curriculum at KS3 and GCSE level. In fact it has more than 8000 resources, over 3800 of which are videos which cover 16 subject areas. There are even resources for subject area such as German and PE, which are not often available on other sites. Video come from a range of sources such as Animal Planet, The Science Channel, BBC and Channel 4 learning as well as the discovery channel, of course.
Apart from videos, the other resources include those you would expect to receive such as worksheets, slideshow presentations and quizzes. Teacher guides are also available to help plan lessons around the resources available. Additional features are as follows:
Daily and Weekly news– Although often ignored in schools, there is an option to share topics in the media with students in tutor groups or assemblies. Summaries are available of the main news stories in easy-to-read text for children to be able to access.
Careers Videos– Guidance is provided on what students can do once they leave school, study A-levels or go to University.
Quiz builder– Create interactive, self marking quizzes that can be used in lesson or for homework. Teachers can keep track of student understanding more easily.
Board Builder– This looks much like padlet where images, messages and video can be shared easily between teachers and students. It is described as a digital pin-board on their site.
Assignment Builder– Be it the resources provided by Discovery or your own resources this is a place to plan lessons and share assignments.
At the time of writing this will cost £2800 per year although discounts are available for smaller schools. Trials are also available; and if you are thinking of spending this much it is probably worth the effort of taking up the offer. A less expensive option is to just take the Science package or the English package which come with the same features but without the Daily and Weekly news. When you sign up you also become a member of the Discovery Education Community, connecting teachers to allow sharing of resources and best practice. They even organise events and virtual conferences. To sign up follow the link.
It would be great to hear from schools, teachers or students who have used Discovery Education and how they found the experience. Please leave your comments below.