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Streaming service keeps students engaged
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Students within the Turlock Unified School District will continue to have cutting edge technology at their fingertips thanks to action taken Tuesday by the Board of Trustees, unanimously approving a subscriber agreement between the District and Discovery Education, Inc.

Through Aug. 30, 2017, District schools will have access to Discovery Education Streaming, a digital service designed to help effectively implement Common Core. The service offers an integrated, digital program that addresses curriculum, allowing teachers to select media that goes along with the lesson they are currently teaching.

“Teachers can pre-plan and choose videos from their lessons, download them and show them to the class,” said District Technology and Data Systems Supervisor Judi Green. “It provides content that gives them a wide variety of ways to deliver their curriculum.”

According to Green, TUSD has used Discovery Education Streaming for approximately 10 years. The service provides over 200,000 curriculum-type videos, which are constantly updated as information in the real world changes and fall under the primary areas of Common Core, including Mathematics, English/Language Arts, Science and Social Sciences.

“The videos and information are all current but have a little bit of history, too,” said Green. “It keeps the kids engaged and into the curriculum that they’re studying.”

All content within the streaming service has been reviewed for appropriateness within the classroom, explained Green, helping eliminate the potential dangers of showing videos from other websites, such as YouTube. Though the District does have filters in place to prevent inappropriate content from accidentally being shown in classes, the streaming service is a more practical solution.

 “A filter is a software program, not a person sitting there actually reviewing content,” said Green. “We know this service is very safe.”

Each school site is to pay for its own service, with each District elementary school, as well as Turlock Junior High School and Dutcher Middle School, paying $1,570 each for the one year subscription. Turlock and Pitman High Schools will pay $2,095 each.

“The usage is pretty high for the program and we are happy with it,” said Green. “It’s a good resource.”