While much of the world has ground to a halt, schools and universities have gone into overdrive in order to sustain this massive transition to remote learning with the edtech industry racing to help. Here are some big deals we saw this week.

Pennsylvania’s Daniel Boone Area School District (DBASD) announced a new partnership with Discovery Education, the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms. The digital services provided by Discovery Education to DBASD’s students and educators and the supporting professional development opportunities ensure district students access to exciting digital lessons no matter their location or device.

Located approximately 10 miles southeast of Reading, Pennsylvania, and approximately 50 miles northeast of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, DBASD takes pride in Learning Together; Advocating for All as they develop diverse learners within a safe environment.  To build the capacity of district educators to meet the evolving needs of students and the challenges of virtual learning, DBASD sought a digital instructional solution that could be used either in the classroom or remotely and that was supported by sustained professional learning. Following a rigorous selection process, the district chose Discovery Education’s suite of award-winning digital services for classroom use in all schools districtwide.  “The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of providing all students access to flexible, digital curricula they can access from school or at home,” said Dr. Brett Cooper, Daniel Boone Area School District Superintendent.  “But equally important is preparing educators to effectively integrate digital content into their instructional practice in the classroom or online. Through our new collaboration with Discovery Education, our educators will be better prepared to meet the needs of our students wherever they are now and in the future.”

To help educators maximize the value of their new digital resources, Discovery Education’s expert Professional Learning team will provide numerous professional development opportunities in the upcoming school year. During these professional development opportunities, educators will learn how to use their new digital resources.  In addition, they will explore best practices for integrating technology and digital content into teaching and learning in ways that will maximize their impact, increase student engagement in instruction, and improve students’ academic achievement.

DBASD’s partnership with Discovery Education also provides district teachers access to the Discovery Education Community. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing, and inspiration.

“Discovery Education is excited to work with the team at the Daniel Boone Area School District on this new initiative,” said Alissa McLean, Discovery Education’s Manager of Education Partnerships. “We are honored to be selected by the district for this work and believe that together we will create the dynamic digital learning experiences the district’s students need no matter where they are learning.”

The company Healthy Player One was launched Friday with a timely mission—Keep people safe while competing online both physically and mentally:

“Healthy Player One provides a secure method for capturing player conduct and proactively managing access time to help academic esports programs address bullying and game-related injuries that exist in most schools. The first SaaS solution designed to proactively monitor and report on health and safety in esports, Healthy Player ONE is broken down into two primary components using client-based software and our cloud dashboard. Co-Founder Eliot Levine goes deeper.

The Global Grid for Learning is leading the 1 Million Devices fundraising campaign that aims to match corporations, foundations and individual philanthropists (including parents) with K-12 schools serving economically challenged communities, whose students are being forced to study remotely from home due to school closures caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Many of these students are not able to afford broadband connected access devices (PC’s, Laptops, Tablets or Smart Phones) that would enable them to learn remotely from home while being locked-down in their homes during their school closures. Many of the states have announced their plans to keep schools closed till the end of this academic year, as a minimum.

As a result, these students are at risk of not being able to graduate this academic year unless we can ensure equity and financial support by providing them with broadband-connected access devices. We can’t leave any student behind disconnected from their school!