WINTER 2014 PBS TeacherLine Courses

PBSTeacherLine_FTR1PBS TeacherLine is happy to announce its WINTER 2014 schedule of courses as well as an opportunity to win free professional development for your school.  PBS TeacherLine offers an assortment of online development courses trusted by thousands of PreK-12 educators — from 15 to 45-hour facilitated courses to 3-hour self-paced courses that you can take on your own time. Continue reading

Teaching Social Studies Enhanced with Technology

iml04_img_lr9_lIncreased access to devices and digital tools makes it easier for social studies teachers to integrate technology into their teaching, so reports staff writers in the December 5th edition of eSchool News.  Social studies lessons are becoming more engaging and interactive, thanks to a variety of classroom technology tools and resources. Continue reading

2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Program

Digital InnovatorsAre you a digital superstar at your school? If you are creatively integrating digital media and technology, we encourage you to apply to the 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Program. This year-long professional development program is designed to foster and grow a community of 100 digitally-savvy educators through access to virtual trainings and exclusive resources, national recognition and membership into a robust professional learning community.  15 top applicants will also receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Summit. Continue reading

PreK-12 Model Curriculum Units From ESE

WGBH EducationAs part of a Race to the Top proposal, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) is developing 100+ Model Curriculum Units (MCUs)to help you use the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks (incorporating the Common Core State Standards).  They span PreK-12 in English language arts, Mathematics, U.S. History/Social Studies, and Science and Technology Engineering.

Each unit identifies the standard(s) to be taught, big understandings, essential questions, a Curriculum Embedded Performance Assessment (CEPA), an outline of lessons, possible digital resources to use, and detailed lesson plans. As media partner for this project, WGBH in Boston will provide digital resources via PBS LearningMedia.

Units are posted on the ESE website at the link below. Many are in draft form and ready for a Try-Out phase. Follow these steps to access the MCUs for a 2-week period, after which you can continue to request access for an unlimited number of times.

1)   Visit

2)   Complete the short form. An access link will be sent to your email address.

3)   Check your email inbox for a message from “ESE Administration”

4)   Open the message and click the link to the website.

5)   Select a unit of interest to you.

You can also visit for updates on the units and links to thousands of free digital learning resources.

6 ways eBooks can support Common Core

ebooks1resizedAs schools begin implementing the Common Core State Standards, experts say that this could be an opportune time for districts to explore eBooks, specifically because eBooks’ technology features can help fulfill many Common Core requirements. So reports Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor, in the November 14th issue of eSchool News. As schools face shrinking budgets, eBooks could well be one solution. The article lists six ways in which eBooks can help implement Common Core Standards.

Read the entire article by clicking here.

A related site to this issue that you may find of value is PBS LearningMedia can help support Common Core Standards.

Granby Teachers Explore WGBY Educator Resources

Granby photo

Just one week ago, teachers from the Granby MA. Public Schools participated in WGBY workshops at the junior/senior high during their professional development day.  JoanVohl Hamilton, a dedicated ELA teacher there, was a great help in making these workshops happen.  (Here’s a photo of one group with Joan first in the top row and myself front row, fourth from left:).  These K-12 teachers came into the junior/senior computer lab enthusiastic to learn about the rich resources that WGBY’s Community Engagement and Education Department has to offer.  During our two afternoon sessions, they were able to sign up to receive WGBY’s Education Blog and learn about PBS TeacherLine online courses and WGBY’s Lending Library.  One teacher regretted that she had just asked her school librarian to purchase a Ken Burn’s film she could have borrowed for free, and another began checking off TeacherLine courses she can take to support her students’ needs and fulfill her PDP certification requirements.

But the highlight of each workshop was PBS LearningMedia with its now 34,000 — and growing — resources.  After seeing the site’s user-friendly functionality and registering for free, teachers were able to search resources by grade level, content area, standards, and collections.  Some teachers even began saving favorite videos, interactives, and lesson plans to later examine, share, and organize in folders.  While some had to contend with a few tech glitches such as slow computers and blocked sound, teachers’ feedback showed their appreciation for this hands-on opportunity, with many wishing we’d had more time to explore this vast resource!

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month With WGBY At Presencia!

Presencia_Spotlight-v2Celebrate Hispanic Heritage month by joining WGBY and our many community partners this Friday, October 25, for Presencia, an evening of music, culture, food, and dance to benefit the Latino Youth Media Institute and North End Center for Literacy and Learning (NECLL) at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (directions).  We’ve been practicing our salsa and would love to teach you, or perhaps you can teach us a few new steps!

And thanks to PBS LearningMedia,  we have more resources to add to those we shared in an earlier post this month:

The Red Balloon | Oh Noah! | K-2:  Learn and practice Spanish, including vocabulary for colors and vehicles with the Oh Noah! “The Red Balloon” webisode, related games, and lesson plan.

We are the Music | Sante Fe Symphony | 3-4   :Explore the music and dance sequences of 11 cultural groups who have settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico over the past 700 years.

Hispanic Exploration | Library of Congress | 4-12:  This set of primary resources from the Library of Congress provides a window into this time period, as well as a Teacher’s Guide with historical context and teaching suggestions.

Baseball & Social Change | WGBH | 5-8:  In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students learn about baseball legend Roberto Clemente, his early years in the U. S.  during segregation and changes in the 1960s that made the culture more open to Clemente’s Latino culture.

Revolutionary Art | LPB | 9-12:  In this lesson accompanied by a film clip from the documentary ‘The Storm that Swept Mexico’, students examine the use of art as historical narrative and social commentary, and create a mural inspired by the Mexican Muralist movement.


PBS TeacherLine Fall Courses Start October 23

PBS TeacherLine’s 3, 15, 30, and 45-hour online, professional development courses are designed to enhance your content knowledge and expand your library of teaching strategies. We recently posted PBS TeacherLine’s virtual catalog with courses that span the PreK-12 spectrum and explore subjects like reading, language arts, STEM, and the Common Core, with most courses offering PDPs, CEUs, or graduate credit. .  (You can search here under “PBS TeacherLine” if you missed the post.)

Feel free to explore the additional featured instructional strategy and technology facilitated courses below or check out the entire collection here.

Strategy Courses:

Curriculum Mapping I by Heidi Hayes Jacobs  – INST300
Grades K-12 | 30 Hours | Enroll

Connecting Family, Community & Schools – INST320
Grades K-12 | 30 Hours | Enroll

Teaching with WebQuests – TECH145
Grades K-12 | 30 Hours | Enroll

Tech Courses:

Digital Tools for Innovative Learning – TECH335
Grades K-12 | 30 Hours | Enroll

Leveraging Smart & Social Digital Media in Classroom – TECH575
Grades K-12 | 30 Hours  | Enroll

Can New Computer Software Improve Writing Skills?

Girl WritingFor years, employers have complained about the need to spend millions of dollars in remedial writing classes in order to bring employees with poor writing skills up to an acceptable level of proficiency. More recently, the heavy use of word processing programs appears to have eroded weak writing skills even more as people rely on the software to correct unclear structure, incomplete sentences as well as errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Now a software manufacturer claims to have created a program that will improve writing skills across the grade spectrum. This begs the question:  Can the technology that contributes to the problem solve the problem? The makers of infographic claim yes.  Read a review of this product, prepared by Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor of eSchool News in their October 2nd issue by clicking here.

Ideas and Resources for Improving Science Education

girls scienceThe September 2, 2013 issue of the New York Times Education Issue has a provocative article by Claudia Dreifus based on the collective ideas of 19 scientists, educators and students on how to improve science education in this country. Their ideas are worth reading. Many of these ideas will no doubt spark debate and ideas in your own school environment.  Read the entire article by clicking here.

PBS LearningMedia has vast resources for science in the classroom that you can search by grade, content, and standards.  Just on example from thousands of resources aligned to National Standards is Jonathan Bird’s Blue World for grades Prek-12.  This collection from Educational Underwater Adventure brings Emmy award-winning video to classrooms to teach science with a spirit of adventure and exploration in the underwater realm.  It includes the content from this national public television series, which has aired since 2008, paired with lesson plans and study guides aligned to National Science Standards. These resources cover academic subject areas including biology, chemistry, math, history and physics.