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2015 Discovery Education Summer Institute highlights new strategies for creating digital learning environments

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Discovery Education recently hosted 120 educators from across the U.S., Canada, and United Kingdom for the 2015 Discovery Education Summer Institute, an immersive, week-long professional development experience. Six UK teachers joined the worldwide network of educators who learned best practices for digital integration from 12-17 July at American University in Washington, D.C. Attendees included Matt Wright from Harbour Primary & Nursery School; Andre Boulton from Claires Court School; Rachel Clark from St. Georges VA Church Primary School; Heather Libby from Green Wrythe Primary School; Phil Nottingham from Springwell Park Primary School; and Katrina Boast from Victoria Community Primary School.

The Discovery Education Summer Institute featured a number of interactive seminars and hands-on workshops designed to support educators as they combine the latest technologies and digital content to create authentic digital learning environments that engage students and improve achievement. In addition, the Discovery Education Summer Institute provided an opportunity for participants to connect, collaborate, and share resources, ideas and strategies for integrating the latest technologies and digital content into classroom instruction.

“This professional development opportunity allowed me to learn so much! The sense of community at the Summer Institute made me feel truly welcomed and a part of something special,” said Matt Wright, Year 5 Teacher from Harbour Primary & Nursery School. “This has inspired me so much and I can’t wait for the upcoming school year to begin, so I can try out these new techniques with my class and share all the great learning with my colleagues!”

During the Summer Institute, educators heard about the latest trends in education from a variety of noted experts, including Trace Dominguez, Host of TestTube’s DNews, Discovery Digital Networks; Hall Davidson, Senior Director of Global Learning Initiatives at Discovery Education; Steve Dembo, Director of Social Media Strategy and Online Community at Discovery Education; and Dean Shareski, Community Manager at Discovery Education Canada.

In addition to hearing from education experts, attendees participated in a series of interactive workshops led by the Discovery Education professional development team about creating digital content and integrating mobile and web-based tools into instruction, as well as collaborated with fellow educators on a variety of educational technology projects; and shared ideas and best practices with their peers. UK educators Phil Nottingham and Matt Wright shared their experiences of teaching coding as part of the English primary school curriculum with fellow educators from the United States and Canada.

“The talented group of educators who participated in this year’s Summer Institute demonstrated their leadership and commitment to enriching students’ learning experiences through innovative technologies and instructional strategies,” said Lance Rougeux, Vice President of Learning Communities and Innovation for Discovery Education. “I’m confident the skills and knowledge they have gained from this opportunity will increase their students’ engagement and achievement, and better prepare them with the critical skills necessary for success beyond the classroom.”

After participating in the Discovery Education Summer Institute, the UK teachers will return to their schools in the autumn with numerous classroom-ready multimedia projects as well as new strategies and techniques to integrate digital resources into curriculum and instruction to transform teaching and learning.

For more information about the Discovery Education Community activities, including the Summer Institute, visit or catch-up on the social media conversation using #DENSI2015.

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