In collaboration with local educators in underserved countries, Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership harnesses the educational power of television by creating Learning Centers - versatile community resources where students, teachers and entire communities can access and share information.
By channeling television’s capacity to educate and inspire, the Partnership is meeting its goals of:
- Increasing student learning
- Increasing teacher effectiveness
- Increasing community involvement in schools and access to information
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Learning Centers are media hubs for information and discovery established in communities that lack access to educational resources.
Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership has developed a three-part model for creating dynamic and sustainable centers for community learning, a model that has demonstrated its success in nearly two hundred Learning Centers throughout the world.
Part 1: Establish the Location
Although most often in a school, Learning Centers can be established in any location central to community life. Our first steps: Investigate the needs, receive requests and applications from schools and communities, select the sites, and provide the equipment.
Part 2: Develop Programming
Video programming makes information come to life. Once the Learning Center is equipped, the Partnership works closely with the communities to produce and deliver culturally-relevant programming.
Part 3: Provide Training
To maximize each Center’s effectiveness and sustainability, the Partnership provides in-depth teacher training on techniques for using television as an educational tool.
Equipped with basic technology, an ordinary community facility becomes a dynamic community asset, providing endless possibilities for learning and discovery.
Investigate and Identify
To create a Learning Center, Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership begins by meeting with a country's National and Provincial Ministries of Education to determine how and where a Center will best compliment their educational priorities. Considering these priorities and sponsor preferences, local Partnership representatives then meet with leaders from the identified schools and communities to further assess suitability - including the community's willingness to take ownership of the project. The Partnership then receives applications from schools and communities that meet our carefully developed selection criteria.
Learning Centers are established in existing structures central to community life. Although most often in a school, a Learning Center can also be established in a community center, clinic, library, mobile van, or even a donkey-drawn television cart. After a careful selection process, the Partnership donates and installs a television and VCR or DVD player, as well as satellite or cable technology, if possible. Where needed, solar power can be provided to run the equipment. To promote sustainability, the community receives immediate ownership of the equipment, including its security and maintenance. A community advisory committee is formed to direct scheduling and use of the Center.
The Partnership’s video programming brings information to life, enabling students in underserved areas to discover more about their world and themselves.
Created with support from Discovery Channel's vast programming library and production resources, these programs allow viewers to travel through the solar system exploring planets, or journey through the body, investigating cells, germs and health concepts. Children and community members are experiencing other lands, cultures and ideas - even discovering parts of their own countries and histories for the first time.
In addition to our programming, the Partnership connects communities to a wealth of other information sources, including:
- Other national and international educational video programming
- Education and news networks through cable or satellite services (where feasible)
- Local broadcast television
The Partnership develops original, culturally-relevant programming, translated in the appropriate language to meet community needs and interests. To accomplish this, collaboration with the community is paramount. Programming ideas originate from the communities themselves. Throughout the production process the Partnership solicits input and feedback from students, parents, teachers and other community members.
Drawing on Discovery Channel's resources, including its extensive programming library and production staff, the Partnership produces high-quality programming that opens up worlds of ideas and inspiration. To make the programming more relevant to the audience, we often incorporate familiar images and footage from the local community, private and public organizations and government agencies.
The Partnership’s programming covers a wide range of subjects, including science, nature, history and geography. Designed to supplement the local curriculum, each program includes a teacher resource guide to help instructors use the program in support of their teaching objectives.
Other Information Sources
Other Programming Sources
Learning Centers are created to connect communities to as much information as possible. To that end, we research and make available existing programs from a wide variety of sources. These sources include programming created by national governments (e.g. Ministries of Education and Health), nonprofit organizations and commercial video distributors.
Cable, satellite and national broadcast networks provide an additional source of both local and global information. Satellite services allow people, even those living in remote rural areas, to receive the same information and programming available to better-resourced areas. The Partnership encourages companies that distribute satellite and cable services to partner in our efforts by donating news and educational channels to Learning Centers. The result: Centers with access to a wide range of programs and news year round.
Watch a Program Segment
Based on community needs and interests, the Partnership develops relevant video programs. Used in schools and learning centers, these programs stimulate learning and discovery.
"My Country: China"
"Science of Pregnancy"
"Media Literacy II"
and Beyond the Earth"
The Partnership provides high-quality educational programming produced in collaboration with educators and communities.
The Partnership also provides training to help educators use these programs to accomplish their own teaching objectives. Read about some of the ways teachers have cleverly integrated videos into their lesson plans.
- Invisible Friends and Enemies: Genetics, Bacteria and Viruses
- Beneath, Above, and Beyond the Earth
- World Heritage
- Great Zimbabwe and Meerkats: A Kalahari Saga
- Elephants and African Geography
- Along the Equator and Up the Nile
- Ocean Habitats
- Nature's Resources
- Galapagos, Serengeti, and Cheetahs: The Winning Streak
- A Journey to Antiquity
- Wild About Animals: Animal Builders, Gooney Birds, Dolphins, Animal Disguises, Bison
- Wild About Animals: Hyenas, Kodiak Bears, Parenting, Saguaro
- Wild About Animals: Capybaras, Deep Sea, Guanacos, Grooming, Marine Iguanas
- Wild About Animals: Monarch Butterflies, Orangutans, Venom, Wolves, Horns and Antlers
- Wild About Animals: Ants, Crocodiles, Leopards, Salmon, Polar Bears
- Wild About Animals: Cheetahs, Coyotes, Komodo Dragons, Snakes, Wild Dogs
- To Fly. From Our Earth to the Stars
- Exploring Outer Space
- The Geography of Earth
- Ultimate Athlete
- Human Biology
- Surviving Natural Disasters
- The Science of Programming
- Birth Around the World
- Marvels of Engineering
- Physics 1: Matter and Energy
- Physics 2: An Introduction to Motion
- Indigenous People
- Indigenous People in a Changing World
- Mathematics 1
- Mathematics 2
- Mathematics 3
- Mathematics 4
- China: My Country
- The Global Conversation: A History of Mass Media
- Science of Plants 1
- Science of Plants 2
- Science of Plants 3
A Lesson to Remember
Not only do Partnership programs provide engaging information on a variety of subjects, they also give teachers the opportunity to use them as parallels for other lesson plans.
- Using the program "People of the Nile", Nancy, a third grade teacher at Umkhathizwe Primary School in South Africa, holds the interest of her class by applying real-life images to illustrate mathematical concepts. While showing a clip about a tribe of nomadic herders, she pauses the video on a herd of cattle and gives her students an arithmetic lesson, which includes counting the cows, multiplying to figure out the number of legs, and subtracting to account for cows leaving the herd.
- In Peru, some educators have used the "Wild About Animals: Ants" program segment to teach about hierarchies and governmental structures.
- Héctor Briseño, a teacher at Escuela Niño Artillero in Zapopan, Mexico, gets his students thoroughly involved in the topics covered in the videos. When his first-grade class watched a video on the Serengeti, Briseño engaged his students by having them recreate the sounds and movements of each animal.
- In South Africa, teacher M.J Ngoako has discovered multiple uses for the program “Indigenous People”. "The program helped me to explain some of the terminologies that I could not understand and present to the learners. Learners were so excited and entertained at the same time when viewing the video, that is, people dancing in different traditional attires, when old women were building their huts using both sticks and mud. Learners were able to relate to the stories…When viewing the same Indigenous People segment I discovered a technology lesson: 'materials then, materials now.' The video helped learners to discover how older people developed, [helped them understand] the effect of technological processes in our lives.”
In communities where resources are scarce and the desire for information is abundant, Learning Centers bridge the gap. To maximize each Center's effectiveness and sustainability, Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership provides local educators with extensive training for using television as an academic tool and community resource.
Long-term training helps ensure long-term success of the Centers. The Partnership’s in-country staff provides local educators with three years of monitoring and training focused on providing techniques for using television as a teaching tool for the classroom and for the community. This training is developed and regularly modified according to local conditions through ongoing collaboration with education experts and the communities.
"Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership has helped us improve the way we teach our lessons. Children love the videos we show in class and like to participate in program-related activities. These videos have also stimulated our students to further research specific topics. Our students have become better critical thinkers and analyze things in great detail."
Alicia Torres, Teacher, Mexico
For the Classroom
Effective use of television in the classroom increases student-centered learning, facilitates visual learning, and encourages discussion and critical thinking. The Partnership’s training workshops provide educators with skills to effectively integrate educational television and video content into their teaching. For example, educators enliven a lesson about plate tectonics by showing the students vivid images of volcanoes erupting and graphic animations of plate movement.
By working with national education departments and local educators, the Partnership’s training complements existing national education initiatives. The Partnership does not develop or influence local curriculum. Rather, the organization supports local education agendas and builds teacher capacity by helping educators deliver expected and specific local curricular outcomes for a variety of age levels. Our training sessions teach sound, practical methods, as well as foster creativity by encouraging teachers to develop their own ideas for using technology and programming.
For the Community
The Partnership’s training equips educators to use television to support a variety of community interests. In Zimbabwe and Uganda, Learning Centers have helped deliver critical messages in local HIV/AIDS and child abuse workshops. In Peru and Mexico, classroom videos have bolstered parents' workshops, inspiring stimulating discussions on family values, parenting, government and a variety of other topics. The Partnership’s in-depth localized training helps communities use Learning Centers as important information hubs.