Meet Mr. Bean, American Graduate Champion

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”  Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson’s words were taped to my desk at home for many years as my son was growing up.  Their meaning is apt for many educators and other adults who inspire and support youth, including American Graduate Champion Charlie Bean of the St. Louis Public Schools.

January is National Mentoring Month and Public Media’s initiative American Graduate will have a large presence during the National Mentoring Summit, Jan. 27-29, including Charlie Bean and one of his mentees — or “beans” as calls them — Malik Avery.

Learn more about who will be at the summit and the discussions  Continue reading

Become a 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator

As we’ve been sharing here, the PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators program recognizes educators nationwide who incorporate digital media in classrooms and serve as leaders in educational technology.  This year for the first time, all educators who submit a complete application for tech-savvy K-12 educators and meet all entry requirements will be invited to join and reap the program’s benefits.

From this group, up to 54 Lead Innovators will be selected and also receive a three day, all-expense paid trip Continue reading

Why and How to Become a PBS Digital Innovator

“…if we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.”  John Dewey

These PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators share how PBS has been educating them their entire lives, as children, parents and now as educators.  And, as John Dewey’s quotation makes clear, teachers must lead students into the ever-changing future, and today that future is inextricably connected to technology.

If you’re passionate about using technology to create learning opportunities, enjoy collaborating with other educators to spark student interest in learning, and are an active sharer of content and ideas through social media, then you’ll want to consider applying for a chance to become a PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator.

For the first time in four years, all educators that submit a complete application  and meet the entry requirements will be invited to join the Digital Innovators program!  All 2016 Digital Innovators will receive Continue reading

6 Reasons to Apply to Be 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator

This video was created as part of an application to become a 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator.  Now through  February 8, 2016, you can apply to be a 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator.     Whether you’re flipping your classroom, integrating tablets and mobile devices, using game-based learning to engage your students or doing more with digital media and technology, PBS LearningMedia wants to hear from you.

Of the six reasons to submit your application, Continue reading

Mary Ellen Baron: In Memory of a Beloved Educator

unnamedSometimes educators’ personal and professional lives blur as friends become mentors and leaders in teaching excellence.  Such was the case with Mary Ellen Baron, a dear friend and beloved educator who passed away on July 20, 2015 after refusing to let cancer define her life for the last 7 years.

A born educator, Mary Ellen saw teaching and learning moments in most moments of her life as a wife, mother and grandmother, teacher, administrator, and friend.  Never too busy to listen and help, she served those who were fortunate to cross her path — from students to custodians to colleagues — in the Westfield and Springfield schools, the Springfield School Department, and on the Monson School Board. Continue reading

Author & Illustrator Commemorate Sandy Hook Elementary Children

At the New England Reading Association (NERA) Conference held in Springfield this past May, Patricia MacLachlan and Steven Kellogg, both celebrated for their work in children’s literature, received the 2015 Special Recognition Award for  Snowflakes Fall.  As this video shows, their book honors the spirits of the 20 young victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School and helps transcend the tragic events of December 14, 2012.  Educators at the conference who love children and reading listened, sometimes tearfully, as Continue reading

Meet the 2015 Digital Innovators

We’ve shared information with you before about the Digital Innovators’ program, including a profile of last year’s local digital innovator, Mark Vasicek, from West Springfield High.  Now, PBS LearningMedia is pleased to introduce the 2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators.  After a nationwide search, these educators were selected for their passion and commitment to innovative teaching practices. Continue reading

Launching Today: Program Application for 2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators

The holiday season is here and we’re celebrating by kicking off the 2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators program.  In addition to this video from one of last year’s recipients, Bekah Hightower, we’ve shared inspiring information about our local 2014 Digital Innovator, Mark Vasicek, and hope you’ll consider applying for this program.  As a PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator, you’ll be able to build a relationship with WGBY, receive one year of free PD, gain membership into a robust professional learning community and have an all-expense paid two-day trip to the PBS Digital Summit in Philadelphia, PA Continue reading

2014 Hispanic Heritage Award Recipients Include High School Robotics Team

During the 27th Hispanic Heritage Awards last night in Washington, DC, honored recipients included celebrities, physicians, scientists, educators, innovators, public officials and community and business leaders. The awards, established by the White House in 1987 to commemorate the creation of Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S., are considered among the highest honors for Latinos by Latinos and recognize notable Latinos who have had a positive impact on America and the world in various fields. The recipient of the 2014 education award is the Hayden High School Robotics Team Continue reading

Featured 2014 Pioneer Valley Teacher of Excellence: Catherine Maccini

indexCatherine teaches 6th grade English at M. Marcus Kiley Middle School in Springfield, MA.  She loves her job and adores the children. She tries to prepare them for life with an open minded, sociological, and democratic education.

As one of this year’s Pioneer Valley Teachers of Excellence Awards recipients, we asked her the following questions: Continue reading