Posts Tagged ‘education’

Eighteen Kentucky teachers named 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 by Tom Martin

PBSLM Digital InnovatorsEighteen Kentucky teachers have been selected to participate in the 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators program. The program, which is in its fourth year, honors tech-savvy K-12 educators from across the country who serve as leaders in the use of educational technology and incorporation of digital media into their classrooms.

Educators were selected based on submission of videos and written essays that addressed how they are creatively using digital technology and tools in the classroom to drive student achievement.

Kentucky’s 2016 PBS LearningMedia Lead Digital Innovator is:
James Wampler, Shelby County High School, Shelbyville

“Digital Innovation is important in today’s classrooms because students need exposure to proper utilization of technology to connect them in relevant, engaging and information-rich ways to the real world that they live in,” said Wampler, who teaches eighth grade science. “I’m really looking forward to meeting representatives from other states to see how they are using technology as a tool for student engagement and growth.”

Additionally, seventeen Kentucky educators were identified as Local PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators:

Jamie Chenault, Lakewood Elementary School, Cecilia

Sara Byron, Kentucky Country Day School, Louisville

Lori Corbin, Webster County High School, Dixon

Savannah Denning, Lincoln Elementary School, Franklin

Kristie Ennis, Waggener High School, Louisville

Nicole Glover, Louisville Collegiate School, Louisville

Carrie Gupton, Meade County High School, Brandenburg

Stephanie Hagan, Saint Athanasius School, Louisville

Willa Johnson, Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative, McRoberts

Justin Kirby, Adairville School, Adairville

Amy Madsen, George Rogers Clark High School, Winchester

Melissa Metcalf, Foley Middle School, Berea

Sam Northern, Simpson Elementary School, Franklin

Jessica Pass, Boone County High School, Florence

Sarah Shartzer, Kentucky Country Day School, Louisville

Jennie Watkins, Corbin Intermediate School, Corbin

Denise Webb, Pleasure Ridge Park High School, Louisville

The 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators will receive year-long professional development opportunities, a free PBS TeacherLine professional development course, networking opportunities and more. Kentucky’s PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators will also receive ongoing support in their communities from KET.

In addition, the 52 Lead Digital Innovators will receive an all-expense paid trip to Denver, Colorado, to participate in the 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Summit and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference.

“KET congratulates these talented Kentucky teachers for their use of digital media – like the instructional resources KET produces – to engage students and make a real difference in the classroom,” said Nancy Carpenter, KET’s senior director for education. “They will represent KET and the entire state as they continue to enhance their skills with these one-of-a-kind resources, tools and training from PBS LearningMedia.”

The full list of 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators is available here.

New study finds first-graders’ math knowledge increases with PBS KIDS’ Odd Squad

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 by Tom Martin

PBS Kids Odd Squad A new study by WestEd, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development and service agency, confirms the positive educational impact of the PBS KIDS series Odd Squad. The series, for children ages 5-8, airs at 4:30/3:30 pm Monday-Friday on KET and weekdays at 6:30/5:30 am and Saturdays at 10/9 am on KET2. The series is also available on demand through the PBS KIDS app.

First-graders’ knowledge of algebraic thinking, as well as of numbers and operations, increased significantly during the study in which the children, their families and their teachers used digital and hands-on resources from the series Odd Squad. Materials used in the classroom by teachers and participating children, and at home by children and their families, included television episodes, online games, video clips and hands-on activities.

Teachers used episodes and related resources from Odd Squad in their classroom instruction. At home, parents were encouraged to watch an Odd Squad episode with their child, then discuss it and do an activity together about the math content in the episode.

Key Findings

  • Over the course of the study, students’ overall knowledge of mathematics in the domains of numbers and operations and algebraic thinking increased significantly
  • In sub-categories of mathematical knowledge, students showed significant and positive pre- and post-changes on their knowledge of skip counting, pattern recognition, and simple addition and subtraction
  • Children who were exposed to the PBS KIDS transmedia resources outscored their comparison group peers
  • Parents’ awareness of their children’s mathematics development significantly increased over the course of the intervention.

The study, “Odd Squad: Learning Math with PBS KIDS Transmedia Content at School and Home,” was conducted on behalf of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the PBS Ready To Learn initiative. More information is available at

This research study is the sixth WestEd study that has analyzed and found positive effects on early learning from PBS KIDS’ television, hands-on activities and interactive content. Previous studies have demonstrated the learning impact of other PBS KIDS series, specifically, Peg + Cat, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, Sid the Science Kid and Curious George.

Louisville H.S. junior selected for summer PBS NewsHour intern experience

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 by Tom Martin


“I receive a significant amount of joy and happiness every time I get the chance to tell a new story.”

These are the thoughts of an excited Jailen Leavell, a junior at Louisville’s Pleasure Ridge Park High School, one among 20 talented middle and high school storytellers from 11 states selected for summer internships at PBS NewsHour in Washington, D.C.

Supported by a grant from PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs, KET has been working on video production techniques with Jailen and other students at Pleasure Ridge Park as well as at Elizabethtown’s Central Hardin and John Hardin high schools. Students who participate in the project learn how to think critically, problem-solve, synthesize information and investigate important topics.

Now, as a fellow for the PBS Summer Student Reporting Academy, Leavell will be further mentored by public media professionals and given the opportunity to sharpen his journalism and production skills by producing original digital content. “I’m interested in all three components of journalism: videography, producing, and writing.  I never want to limit myself, I want to be well rounded for my future,” he said.

In addition to hands-on production experiences, the interns will also have opportunities to contribute as PBS staff develops strategies to engage young people in news and current affairs.

For Leavell and the other young journalists in Louisville and Elizabethtown who have been participating in the Student Reporting Labs, the experience has been enlightening. They reported on how their peers view racial tensions in their own communities and how young people are breaking down gender stereotypes, contributing their stories to the NewsHour’s broadcast and digital platforms.

“A couple months ago I had the opportunity to produce a story on a Louisville male teen,” Leavell recalled. “He was a fashion designer, and he expressed to us how it isn’t the norm for young men to design women’s clothing. But he holds his head high and doesn’t even acknowledge the negative comments he sometimes receives.”

The Student Reporting Lab curriculum, developed in partnership with the Media Education Lab of Temple University as well as media professionals and high school teachers, is divided into three flexible units with a total of 10 lesson plans aimed at strengthening digital and news literacy competencies.

Along with technical instruction on the use of cameras and editing equipment, the Student Reporting Labs also focus on the role of journalism in society and developing broader communication skills, including listening, asking questions, public speaking, and finding, analyzing and evaluating the quality of information.

Digital technologies have democratized journalism, giving anyone with a smart device the tools to instantly record, edit and share video and texts about events. But Leavell believes it’s important to keep one foot firmly rooted in traditional media. “I feel Citizen Journalism is very important when appropriate and on the right occasion. I will always support and enjoy the traditional forms of journalism, though, as it’s important that the public always has a trustworthy news organization to look to for accurate and balanced news.”

In November 2014, KET hosted 42 students and six teachers from Pleasure Ridge Park, John Hardin and Central Hardin High schools for a day of workshops and presentations on effective interviewing techniques, production planning, video production, and green-screen technologies. Students heard from Bill Goodman, host and managing editor of KET’s Kentucky Tonight program, Connections host and legislative affairs reporter Renee Shaw, and other members of the KET production staff.

Student Reporting Labs is a part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a public media initiative helping communities improve education opportunities for all students and build the next generation of skilled graduates.

The Reporting Labs are made possible by grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Science Foundation.

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