South Carolina spends $15M in federal relief to purchase digital learning materials

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The South Carolina Department of Education will spend $15 million over three years on three resources to support digital learning, the department announced.

To support teachers and students learning remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the department will purchase a suite of resources from Discovery Education, a digital library of educational content from providers such as PBS, BBC and National Geographic, and four learning management systems to facilitate remote assignments.

“The purchase of these three platforms and the seamless ability for every South Carolina teacher to access them and incorporate high quality content into their classroom instruction can be a game changer for our state,” Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said in a statement.

The $15 million investment is funded by appropriations from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

School districts across the state were asked to choose from four learning management system options to use for digital learning: Canvas, Schoology, Blackboard and Google Classroom. The department provided licenses for students and staff to use their preferred platform, fully funded for the next three years.

The department procured access for every teacher and student in the state to SAFARI Montage, a K-12 video streaming repository. The library includes standards-aligned documentaries and educational videos for all grade levels and subjects, including episodes of “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” Access to these resources will be available through 2023.

All teachers and students also will get access to digital lessons and professional development resources from Discovery Education.

“COVID-19 has presented enormous challenges to teaching and learning, but this digital platform will help level the K-12 education playing field this school year and beyond,” Spearman said.





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