Monday, January 4, 2016

On Being Connected and PBS LearningMedia from Sue Totaro

This post is from Sue Totaro, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction

Thanks to the efforts of our technology team, I’ve been much more conscientious about connecting to other educators through Twitter over the last few months. I’m constantly amazed at the wealth of information, the unbelievably tech savvy teachers and students, and the digital repository of resources at our fingertips. 
image credit:Milken Educator Awards

I sometimes, however, fall into the black hole of the internet, jumping from site to site, search to search, looking for the best video, best article, or best app. What I’ve found is that the more I am connected to great sites that compile and integrate digital resources for teachers, the less time I spend blindly searching. 

Two resources I happened upon over winter break are designed to both connect teachers and share lesson ideas. PBS LearningMedia© allows PreK-12 teachers to search their videos, lessons, and links by grade, subject, resource type, and language for digital media that can be incorporated into classrooms. Many of the links include lesson summaries and an overview, grade level, suggested time, links to media resources and materials, as well as the activities and assessments, and all of the resources are aligned to standards. The site also has “Productivity Tools for Teachers” and a free PBS Student App for the iPad.

In addition to the site, PBS LearningMedia© has an active Twitter feed @PBSLrnMedia with over 12K followers. The tweets have links to the site’s collection of 100,000 free resources for teachers. What really interested me about the feed and site was the opportunity for teachers to be recognized as “Digital Innovators.” 

The program recognizes educators nationwide who are
image credit: PBS LearningMedia
incorporating digital media in classrooms and serving as leaders in educational technology. According to the site, “Over the course of the 2016/2017 school year, PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators will be part of a robust professional learning community that will foster new ways of thinking, while leading the way in using technology to drive student achievement. 54 applicants, one from each US state and territory will be designated as Lead PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators and will also receive a three day, all-expense paid trip to Denver, CO to participate in the PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Summit and the prestigious ISTE Conference from June 25-27, 2016. Plus, each Lead PBS Digital Innovator will receive a Samsung Galaxy® tablet.” 

The application period for the 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators program is open and anyone interested should apply by February 8.

~Sue Totaro

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