Every day, public media stations are developing new approaches for delivering educational content and services that advance learning – on-air, online, at home and in the classroom.
The My Source Education Innovation Awards have been created by CPB to recognize and showcase stations’ use of pioneering methods and emerging digital technologies to serve the educational needs of their communities. The work of these award-winning stations demonstrates the breadth of public media’s educational contributions nationwide and the depth of its impact on individual learners and their families.
Alabama Public Television (Birmingham, AL) – APT bolstered its STEM offerings by participating in a national study of whooping cranes. Partnering with Journey North and Operation Migration, APT and Title I students tracked the birds’ migration to create new content online, which over 292,000 elementary students in 924 public elementary schools have accessed.
Eight/ Arizona PBS (Phoenix, AZ) – Eight experimented with ways to bring virtual reality into professional development for K-12 teachers. Eight’s ASSET program collaborates with ISTE and Virtual Pioneers to provide virtual field trips, “realtime” workshops, and other online resources, dramatically expanding how Arizona’s educators incorporate technology into the classroom.
KOCE (Huntington Beach, CA) – KOCE is the only television station dedicated to providing news, cultural information, and educational resources to the three million residents of Orange County. Partnering with Chapman University and the OC Department of Education, KOCE’s two-year-old digital OC Channel provides media training and is a “one-stop shop” for teachers on local issues.
KLCS (Los Angeles, CA) – KLCS has supported video production in schools for more than 20 years and its Video in the Classroom Competition has proven to be a great motivator for students. Teachers report that video projects improve students’ understanding of course content and increase their participation in classroom work, resulting in higher achievement.
WHUT (Washington, DC) –WHUT created a Media and Learning Lab and SuperWhy! Summer Literacy Camps to introduce children in low-income families to public broadcasting's interactive games, online content, and television programming. Both projects also help assure producers that their content is effective in diverse, low-income communities. PBS Kids Island was tested extensively using the Lab.
WPBT (Miami, FL) – WPBT launched a free professional development web site for voluntary pre-kindergarten educators. The learning modules cover four curriculum standards, each of which includes a virtual field trip to different places in the community, with short “intro” videos to help teachers understand the standards presented during the trips.
WSRE (Pensacola, FL) – Through its Digital School Initiative, WSRE, in partnership with their local school district, offers professional development to K-12 educators focused on the innovative use of technology to enhance curriculum. Experts and classroom teachers provide hands-on-training, and a companion documentary produced by WSRE was featured statewide on the Florida Knowledge Network.
WFSU (Tallahassee, FL) – WFSU partners with the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory to sponsor a two-week summer science camp called SciGirls, offering hands-on science experiences for middle school girls with local scientists and engineers. This year, campers documented their work with FLIP cameras, creating video diaries for a daily blog.
Georgia Public Broadcasting (Atlanta, GA) – In 2009 the Georgia Department of Education launched a remediation program, Project ExPreSS, for students who fail their high school graduation test. This program incorporated Georgia Public Broadcasting’s digital media to illustrate each learning object. The success of the program – a pass rate double the previous year’s - led to the development of a free online program available statewide.
Iowa Public Television (Johnston, IA) – IPTV discovered that 75% of Iowa middle-school students identified STEM careers as an area of interest. In response, IPTV joined Future City, Iowa Science Fair 2009, and IT Olympics to produce and deliver a series of 113 STEM-related interactive videoconferences. In 2009 the project reached 655 Iowa schools, with a total of 9,259 teachers and students participating.
WSIU (Carbondale, IL) – WSIU offers rural educators online professional development courses to inspire peer interaction, achievement, and recognition. The station combines scholarship opportunities, face-to-face orientation, and ongoing local support with the PBS TeacherLine series to introduce teachers to digital learning experiences. WSIU collaborates with faculty in higher education institutions to forge new opportunities for online course development and academic credit.
WNIN/Tri-State Public Media (Evansville, IN) – As part of their two-year economic initiative, WNIN promoted workforce development strategies with a series of public service announcements. Topics included first steps for the unemployed, writing resumes/interviewing, 21st century skills, and avoiding the depression of unemployment. DVDS were provided to HR departments and social service agencies, and these interstitials continue to run on-air and online.
WFYI (Indianapolis, IN) – WFYI’s Indiana Expeditions is a multi-platform series designed to promote informal science education and inquiry-based learning. As part of its STEM initiative, the station created six new television shows, a web site, an online teachers toolkit with more than 20 lessons. It conducted trainings for schools reaching 16,800 students, for local museums reaching 12,000 and at professional conferences.
KET/ Kentucky Educational Television (Lexington, KY) – KET collaborated with the Kentucky Department of Education to expand its professional development resources. The Literacy Leadership project took cameras into nine Kentucky schools where changes in literacy instruction have resulted in dramatic improvements among all student demographic groups. The video, available via DVD and online, will assist Kentucky’s teachers by learning through watching.
Louisiana Public Broadcasting (Baton Rouge, LA) – Louisiana Public Broadcasting partnered with Lafayette Utility System, Bay Area Video Coalition and Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE) to enhance technology and instruction at Carencro High School. This project provided more bandwidth to the school, expanding instruction to include creation of 3-D models and training students for careers in technology.
WBUR-FM & WGBH-TV (Boston, MA) – WBUR-FM and WGBH-TV collaborated on Project Dropout, a multimedia series examining the Massachusetts high school dropout rate through more than 20 radio reports, a live television special and an extensive website featuring student video diaries. The series helped raise the profile of the problem just as the Massachusetts Dropout Prevention Commission was drawing up its recommendations on the issue.
WUMB-FM (Boston, MA) – Through its series The Big Read: Getting Boston Excited About Reading Literature, WUMB has stimulated interest in literature on its airwaves, website and podcasts providing information on books, interviews with authors, call-in talk shows, public service announcements, and a radio play. In two years, the station has distributed more than 20,000 reader guides, 650 audio guides, and 385 teacher guides.
WGBY (Springfield, MA) – In 2009, WGBY piloted the Martha Speaks Read Aloud Book Club, a summer initiative to inspire young elementary school children to read. The station partnered with local libraries in eight Western Massachusetts communities to start a weekly book club, engaging children in story readings surrounding the topics and characters of Martha Speaks.
Detroit Public Television (Detroit, MI) – Detroit Public Television has developed Think Squad, a weekly half-hour television series to make science, technology, engineering and math exciting and fun for middle-school students. Think Squad provides viewers and the show's young cast and crew with STEM curriculum and exposure to a variety of science projects, professionals and careers.
Maryland Public Television (Owings Mills, MD) – Partnering with Education Arcade at MIT, animation company FableVision, and an advisory board of state and national math education experts, Maryland Public Television designed, developed, and delivered Lure of the Labyrinth. In a study of 3,000 pre-algebra students, teachers noted students’ increased achievement, engagement, and interest in playing the math game at home.
KCPT (Kansas City, MO) – KCPT has created 32 instruction-video vignettes featuring the top examples of inquiry-based teaching methods for 3rd through 5th grade science and math teachers. These videos are available online with accompanying lesson plans and resources for classrooms across the Kansas City area.
KIOS-FM (Omaha, NE) - KIOS-FM partnered with Omaha Public School District’s broadcasting classes to improve students’ reading and writing skills by providing students the opportunity to air their work on-air and online. The project taught these students the basics of newsgathering and reporting using a relatively new form of digital technology, the Marantz PMD-620 Recorder.
KVNO-FM (Omaha, NE) – KVNO-FM’s helped form the Omaha Kids Coalition, an award-winning public service project dedicated to integrating the efforts of nonprofit agencies serving at-risk youth. In using digital media to promote content, University of Nebraska Omaha broadcasting students learn how to increase civic engagement and foster a climate where citizen journalism flourishes.
KNME (Albuquerque, NM) – In a state where physics laboratories and high-tech companies are some of the largest employers, KNME’s Science Central and Science Crawl projects create more science literacy and encourage middle school students to investigate STEM careers. K also set up a special e-mail account for over 200 high school science teachers to consult one another with technical questions.
Vegas PBS (Las Vegas, NV) – With Keeping Kids Fit, Vegas PBS educates children and their families on how to make their lifestyles healthier. More than 300 workshops have been conducted at the early childhood level and 4,000 exercise and nutrition kits have been developed and distributed to elementary and middle school students and their families.
WSKG (Binghamton, NY) – WSKG’s WoW: Working on Wellness promotes health and wellness issues, namely preventing childhood obesity, in its community. A children's television show, MOVE IT! and a related outreach program, Stride with Pride”, encourage 3rd to 5th graders to get moving. Eight school districts and 870 students participated in the first year.
WNED (Buffalo, NY) – As part of WNED’s Your Life, Your Money Financial Literacy Initiative, the station used online and social media to raising awareness among young adults of rising credit card debt and the need for retirement planning. Community outreach was built into the project with events in Buffalo, New York City, and across the country.
Mountain Lake PBS/ WCFE (Plattsburgh, NY) – WCFE celebrated the quadricentennial of Samuel de Champlain's explorations by producing an animated historical documentary and multimedia project for a younger PBS audience. Nearly 1,000 viewers attended the area-wide premieres of Dead Reckoning: Champlain in America, which was complemented by a newspaper article-writing contest and a comprehensive educational web site.
WXXI (Rochester, NY) – Homework Hotline is WXXI's live statewide call-in show where elementary and middle school students receive help with homework problems. In addition to providing homework assistance, the show presents daily thematic segments on student book reviews, arts, history, science and other subjects.
ThinkTV/WPTD (Dayton, OH) – Two years ago, ThinkTV began working with the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Center to raise awareness of the regional STEM initiative. The partners now work together to create web content for students, videos for broadcast, and online professional development resources, increasing the engagement of students and teachers in STEM education throughout the region.
OETA (Oklahoma City, OK) – OETA is bolstering Oklahoma’s adult literacy through two new programs. Emmy Award-winning TV411 offers practical lessons on math, writing, reading comprehension and includes motivational interviews. GED Connection teaches skills and knowledge tested on the new GED exam while offering test-taking strategies and demonstrations of people applying these skills in real life.
Penn State Public Broadcasting (University Park, PA) – WPSU’s Blue Ribbon Readers program is a series of seven online, interactive literacy games that build skills in kindergarteners through fifth graders. Assessment of pre-and post-test scores revealed that on average, students in classes using these games gained an oral reading fluency of 17 words per minute and increased their reading comprehension scores by 28 points.
SCETV (Columbia, SC) – SCETV’s Web of Water and its companion web site trace a kayaking expedition from South Carolina’s mountains to the ocean. This program, which helps students to identify with local natural, cultural and historical landscapes, was provided to Title 1 schools and groups at-risk or with special needs.
Texas Public Radio (San Antonio, TX) – Texas Public Radio’s Teaching Tools web site connects educators to downloadable curriculum and teaching components made available by NPR, American Public Media, Minnesota Public Radio and public radio program producers. The site provides extensive educational materials in the areas of language arts, social studies, science and music.
KUEN (Wasatch, UT) – With the country’s highest population of children, Utah’s residents are very concerned about the prospective dangers of the Internet. KUEN started NetSafe Utah to provide in-depth instruction for educators, caregivers and kids through online and in-person workshops. In 2009, the program served 24,413 children and 2,462 adults, an eightfold increase over the previous year.
WHRO (Norfolk, VA) – WHRO, which is owned by 18 local public school divisions, recently created the Hampton Roads Virtual Learning Center. Through the project, the station offers modular, instructor-led, core-curriculum online student courses, as well as nearly 40 AP and world language courses with more than 3,500 statewide registrations annually.
Vermont Public Television (Colchester, VT) – Vermont Public Television celebrated the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's discovery of Lake Champlain with an hour-long documentary, Champlain: The Lake Between. The full project encompassed an extensive educational initiative focused on native history, incorporating public screenings, producer Q&A sessions, teacher training workshops and companion CD-ROM with teaching materials.
KPLU (Tacoma, WA) – KPLU started its School of Jazz project to connect local student musicians with mentors. More than 1,000 students have learned the secrets and nuances of jazz performance, and produced professional-quality CDs, which are broadcast on-air and streamed online. The station has also helped to raise over $50,000 for local schools’ music programs.
Wyoming PBS (Riverton, WY) – To engage students in STEM subjects, Wyoming Public Television produced a field trip to one of the state’s many wind farms. A video of the trip, now available online with lesson plans, includes presentations from power engineers, construction design experts and teachers, and has already garnered up to 955 page views in one day.
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