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Highlights from 2014!!

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Happy New Year! In the spirit of reflection brought on by the end of one year and the beginning of the next, I have decided to highlight 10 of the most impactful projects, resources, and changes to KET’s k-12 resources during 2014.  Here they are in no particular order:


1. The New News Quiz

The News Quiz team reorganized in 2014 and decided to move the production from Studio A to the green screen studio, which allows the them to take full advantage of captions and graphics.  They also chose to switch media providers.  These changes have given News Quiz a fresh new look.  If you are not familiar with News Quiz, you can watch the last episode of the year here.


2. PBS LearningMedia Makeover

PBS LearningMedia, a repository of free high quality content for teachers and students, also underwent a major makeover this year; it just keeps getting better!  For a quick overview, you can watch this four minute video.


3, Math at the Core

KET’s k-12 team spent a good portion of 2014 developing resources for the Math at the Core Collection in PBS LearningMedia, which is a collection of engaging media and integrated activities, aligned with the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics.  These resources are designed for middle school students of diverse learning styles and backgrounds and produced by a collaborative group of producers with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  Here is a great example of a KET produced resource.


4. Discovery Education’s Boardbuilder Tool

Boardbuilder really took off in 2014!  Creating a board is a quick and easy way to curate and display video, still images, documents and text. If you haven’t seen one yet, check out this example board.  You will have to log in to see it, but if you work in a public school in Kentucky, you should have an account.  Please email me at if you need help!


5. American Graduate

In 2014, KET became an American Graduate station, which means KET has grant funding to work with local organizations to increase understanding about the challenges for at-risk youth and develop long term solutions emphasizing the importance of a strong foundation in early education and the need for consistent caring adults.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you should definitely watch Dropping Back In, our new American Graduate funded series that addresses issues and solutions for at-risk youth.


6. 2014 KET Multimedia Professional Development Day

Even though it happens every year, I can’t leave out our big summer professional development day in a list of highlights.  In addition to touring the KET studios, attendees enjoyed sessions on a wide range of topics such as Google Resources for Educators, Infographics, and School Video Production.  Next year, the big event will take place on July 22.


7. 2014 Young Writers Contest

The Young Writeres Contest is another annual highlight, but this year it is worth noting that we added a short story contest and were shocked to receive over 200 entries!  We had about 600 entries all together and enjoyed reading every one!


8. Ipad Video Production Workshops

With the newest version of iMovie and other great apps like LEGO Movie Maker and Greenscreen (Do Ink), the iPad has become a really great tool for school video production.  As a result, our iPad video production workshops were all the rage in 2014.  Many students came to the KET multimedia lab for these workshops and the education consultants also offered free onsite iPad video production workshops for students throughout the year.


9. 2014 KET School Video Project Challenge –Digital Citizenship

In addition to our year-round invitation to share student-produced videos on all subjects at KET’s School Video Project website, the KET School Video Project Challenge — Digital Citizenship, was a great opportunity to integrate multimedia technology and media studies in a fun activity for project-based learning and a chance to win a greenscreen and light kit for making more great student projects!


10. PBS Newshour Student Reporting Labs

Four Kentucky high schools chose to start Student Reporting Labs in 2014. The PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs program connects middle and high school students to their local PBS stations, in this case KET, to produce original, student-generated video reports.  Students from these four high schools came to KET for a special day to learn directly from some of our most experienced production staff.

A Brief Overview of PBS LearningMedia

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Are you curious about PBS LearningMedia but haven’t had time to check it our on your own or attend a training?  Here is a quick 4 minute overview to get you started:


Creating Rubrics for Student Multimedia Projects

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Multimedia projects can be a fun and engaging way to learn new content.  In addition, they can serve as evidence for Program Reviews, help bring the 21st Century Skills of creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration to your classroom, and meet a number of ISTE’s Technology Standards for Students.  Perhaps most importantly, student created multimedia projects serve as an alternative assessment for student learning.  For class projects to meet any of these goals, however, the teacher must have the end in mind and develop one or more rubrics before the project is begun.

Well-designed rubrics are critical to a successful project because they serve as a guide for both the teacher and the students.  In developing rubrics in advance, the teacher makes explicit what criteria within the project will serve as evidence of student learning and creates a record of his or her expectations that can be revised to meet the realities of the class environment.  Having the rubric in advance also helps students because it allows them to assume responsibility for their own learning and makes formative assessment and self-evaluation a natural part of instruction.

Five Tips for Creating Rubrics

  1. Make sure you feel comfortable determining whether students have met the criteria used in the rubric. For example, creativity is a desirable quality, but it is hard to quantify.  In contrast, you may feel more comfortable determining whether a central theme or approach is original.  2
  2. Be as specific as possible. For example, “no more than three major grammatical errors” is much easier to score than “uses appropriate grammatical conventions.”
  3. Look at some other examples of rubrics, but always tailor the rubric to meet your expectations of student learning and behavior.
  4. Consider creating more than one rubric for an assignment.  For example, you can create one rubric that addresses the content you would like students to learn and one for the use of technology to create the project.  You might also consider a separate rubric for group work.  The students receive a grade for each rubric, clarifying where they were successful and where they need improvement.
  5. Finally, be patient with the process of trying something new.  Whenever you assign a project to students you learn more about what guidance and structure is needed for students to be successful.  The next time you assign the project, this new understanding can be incorporated into your rubric.

For more guidance and for sample rubrics, visit the Buck Institute for Education’s rubric page.

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