Social Studies Techbook uses an inquiry-based approach to enhance literacy and critical thinking skills, allowing students to approach inquiry through the 5Es: Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, and Evaluate. From stories of ancient cultures to current events, this comprehensive digital textbook takes concepts off the pages and brings lessons to life.
Step 1: Log into Discovery Education
Not sure how to log in? Contact your teacher or school to get specific information.
Step 2: Access Social Studies Techbook
Once you are logged in, Social Studies Techbook can be accessed from the grid navigation or from My Resources at the bottom of the Student Homepage.
Alternatively, teachers can assign specific pages or resources from Social Studies Techbook. These will appear at the top of the student’s homepage. Click on any of these assignments to go directly to that page or resource within Social Studies Techbook.
Step 3: Navigate a Course
Social Studies Techbook opens to the last course the students accessed. If necessary, they can change the course from the dropdown at the top.
Social Studies Techbook is organized and described using the following vocabulary:
Course: overall course of study in an academic area
- Unit: thematic groupings of learning concepts
- Chapter: sequencing of learning topics
- Concept: individual topics of study
On the course page, students have two views available to them:
Social Studies Techbook Overview, the default view, is a browse-enabled, visual grid.
Table of Contents view provides a more linear, book-like navigation.
Step 4: Navigate Social Studies Techbook
Students can navigate to the Unit page by clicking View Unit to see an overview of the concepts in this unit as well as any projects or unit openers (this varies from concept to concept).
Once a student navigates into a concept, they will see that the Social Studies Techbook is written based on the 5E Model.
In the Engage stage of inquiry learning, students first encounter and identify an instructional task. Here they make connections between past and present learning experiences, lay the organizational groundwork for the activities ahead, and stimulate their involvement in the anticipation of these activities.
The Explore stage provides students with a common set of conceptual learning experiences to identify and develop content knowledge, processes, and skills. Students often work together in teams, building a base of common experience which assists them in the process of sharing and communicating.
In the Explain stage, students begin to put the abstract information that they have been gathering into a more concrete, communicable form. Here, formal definitions, explanations, and labels are associated with the knowledge that the learner has gained through the Engage and Explore activities. Students are also encouraged to put these explanations into their own words to demonstrate understanding.
Elaborate activities encourage learners to expand on the concepts learned, make connections to other related concepts, and apply their understandings to the world around them. In Social Studies Techbook, the Elaborate tab provides students with interactive activities, including document-based investigations and current events connections. Students also have access to related primary and secondary text and multimedia sources.
Evaluation should be an ongoing process that occurs throughout a lesson, providing for self assessment as well as formal assessment as the learning occurs. In Social Studies Techbook, the Evaluate tab provides multiple options for student assessment, including brief and extended constructed response items and multiple-choice questions. This section also includes multimedia review flashcards.
Step 5: Explore Social Studies Techbook Tools
With Core Interactive Text, Social Studies Techbook text can be read aloud, highlighted, or annotated with sticky notes. Select any text in and a reader tool will appear.
Select Speak Text to have the text read aloud. To adjust speed, volume, or to have words highlighted as they are spoken, open Settings.
Select the text and then choose Highlight to highlight words or phrases in selected colors. Choose Take Notes to highlight the words and create open-text notes about the words or phrases. Highlights and Notes are specific to each user and will only clear if deleted. To view notes associated with highlighted text, select the highlighted text and choose View Notes, or choose Notebook from the toolbar to see notes organized by concept, unit, and course.
Key academic terms in Social Studies Techbook are linked to the Reference library. The Reference library can also be launched anytime from the toolbar.
Each term includes details that include a definition and key context sentences for the term, a video segment discussing the term, and images or diagrams.
Definitions and key context statements are provided in both English and Spanish. Interactive Reference terms are embedded throughout the Social Studies Techbook or they also can be found through the general keyword search.
The Social Studies Techbook Reference also includes the Immersive Reader functionality. Click the icon to open Immersive Reader which opens up many accessibility options, such as:
- Read aloud text
- Access a picture dictionary for words
- Translate text to over 60 languages
- Change the size, style, and color of the text
- Use a line focus tool while reading
- Highlight the grammar throughout the text
Learn more about Immersive Reader.
The toolbar is located on the right side of the screen.
Here, students can access:
Language & Level - choose between English or Spanish as well as Reading Level, where available. (Reading Level A is on grade level; Reading Level B is below grade level.
- Reading Level A displays a Lexile range of 950L – 1150L text
- Reading Level B displays a Lexile range of 750L – 850L text
- Concept Dashboard - access formative assessment data for the concept
- Reference - includes entries for key content words and terms, including people, places, events, and general terms.
- My Notebook - highlight important concepts or vocabulary, then the interactive text automatically adds to the interactive notebook. Add new or additional notes, and the notebook saves and organizes it by course, unit, and concept.
Actions - add this concept to My Content or Quicklist for easy access later or share with others
Print Options - get a printer-friendly version of the page for printing or saving as PDF for offline access. Choose to print the page, all pages within the tab, or all tabs within the concept.
Tools - various tools are available to teachers and students to support learning in Techbook.
- Whiteboard allows students to create visual artifacts to share with teachers and classmates. Learn more about the Whiteboard (Canadian Subscribers).
- Atlas is a multi-layered, interactive map that allows students and teachers to toggle between map types, such as biome, satellite, and outline; add overlays, such as landforms and major cities; and use modern varied data for regions of the world.
- Global News shares recent stories from the Global Wrap series – a weekly, current events service where students learn about events that are happening in the real world, in a safe, age-appropriate news report.
Step 6: Explore Resources & Answer Questions
In addition to the Core Interactive Text, students will also be able to engage with other types of resources - including videos, images, text passages, and interactives. Students can play the videos and click around the interactives from within Social Studies Techbook to support deeper learning of the concept.
Additionally, students will come across embedded assignments. These take many forms, but will appear in a box. Once opened, the assignment, graphic organizer, or text will open with directions for the students. Directions for completing and submitting the assignment will appear for the student.
Step 7: View Your Progress
The Results icon in the toolbar will launch the Concept Dashboard. This gives the students the opportunity to track their progress in a concept and see their results for any assignments that are submitted through Social Studies Techbook. (These are typically located in the Explain tab.)
Students can switch between the tabs of the concept in the dropdown at the top. They can click on any score to look at the details - whether they want to see how they answered or how the teacher graded it (if it wasn’t auto-scored).