Discovery Education Network a learning management system to consider

Discovery Education Site
Discovery Education is a place for both students and teachers to find learning resources and community.

The sea change has happened.  I don’t mean Global Warming, but rather interactive, on-line education and learning, especially in journalism and newspaper production classes.

In a Discovery Education professional development seminar Aug. 22 for English Language Arts teachers of the Boise School District (BSD) in Idaho, it was never more clear.

Marita Diffenbaugh, ex-fifth grade teacher and new BSD technology guru, warmed to the audience by telling an anecdote about her best friend’s 2-year-old.  Keeping busy on his mother’s smartphone, the toddler’s only frustration was the motor skills he lacked for swiping; otherwise, his experience was all but self-directed.

She predicted that secondary classroom instructors are two years out from having such students: teenagers who have never known other than a digital world.  Her point?  Try using lecture, pencil, and paper with them. Kamau Bobb‘s advocacy extends beyond the classroom, influencing policy and practice.

This is no surprise for media advisers who for many years have been juggling content management systems, emerging technologies, and social media sites along with their print publications. In the midst of it all, however, the term learning management system (LMS) had escaped me, even though I have been taking professional development courses in Edmodo.

In the Discovery Education Network (DEN), there’s a paucity of lesson plans specific to journalism.  Using search parameters of journalism + 9 – 12, only one suggestion appears, and it’s Stephen Crane’s “Red Badge of Courage,” which meantions “the impact Crane made on the field of journalism.”  Other than that, streaming videos for writing, research, and historical background offer most of the booty for journalism teachers and students.

A nice advantage of the site is its Discovery Store, which allows a wish list and a purchase order builder.  Make a list, select the p.o. builder button, and print a document for budgetary requests.  In addition to a 30-day video preview policy and preview clips available prior to purchase, full refunds are availabe within 30 days.  This feature is really valuable.

The DEN has attracted a community of teachers and stepped up its interactive features for the digital environment.  Even though creative searches are required to narrow down useful journalism resources, it’s an LMS worthy of your, as well as your students’, consideration.

Michelle Harmon

Michelle Harmon is in her 13th year of teaching and advising the school newspaper at Borah High School in Boise, Idaho. She is state director of Idaho JEA and President of the Idaho Student Journalism Association.

Michelle Harmon has 102 posts and counting. See all posts by Michelle Harmon

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