Back in January I wrote about rediscovering Discovery Education. In today’s post, guest blogger Heather Boltz, 6th grade English teacher at MMS, shares an exciting feature of DE that shows it goes way beyond just videos.
Discovery Education Board Builder
By Heather Boltz
Discovery Education Board Builder is a tool that allows both teachers and students to create an attractive online presentation that goes beyond simple slides. It works like a web page, but is easier to build, and can be assigned to specific students.
There are several features of DE Board Builder that make it attractive to teachers. Templates, which can be customized to meet your needs and style preferences, make it easy to drag and drop a variety of media, links, and text into your presentation. Although you have access to the thousands of media images and clips from DE, your media doesn’t have to come just from Discovery Education; you can use your own images, audio, and video clips as well, giving students the option to create their own media to use on their boards.
There are many options for using DE boards with students. Teachers can create a class and assign boards for students to read, listen, and respond to independently, either in class or for homework. You can even differentiate your boards to meet the needs of all learners. You could also create a board and project it for the whole class to experience together. Having the board makes for a seamless presentation without the slides.
For our Man v. Society unit, we read a variety of paired poems about the Civil Rights Movement. I created a board that paired clips from a New York Times article, a poem, and a video about Bloody Sunday. The goal was to present information about the event from a variety of genres and media. Students logged in on laptops to view the board. A link to a Google Doc provided students the option to answer response questions online or on paper. Overall using this tool was valuable, and students enjoyed the presentation format. In the future, I’d like to look for opportunities to allow students to build a board of their own. In ELA, the use of a DE Board provides an opportunity to cover many standards, including:
- CC.1.2.6.G Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
- CC.1.3.6.G Compare and contrast the experiences of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what is “seen” and “heard” when reading the text to what is perceived when listening or watching.
- CC.1.4.6.C Develop and analyze the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples; include graphics and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
- CC.1.5.6.F Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.
Want more information and ideas on how to use Board Builder in your classroom? Click here. When you’re ready to give it a try, login to Discovery Education and navigate to the Board Builder. If you don’t have a Discovery Education account, contact Anne (firstname.lastname@example.org) for an access code.