About Erik Ernst

I'm the promotion manager at Wisconsin Public Television. When I'm not letting people know about all of the awesome work the station is doing around the state, you'll find me planning my family's next trip to somewhere fun, warm and likely connected to a Disney Park.

 

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Madison Teacher Selected For 2017 PBS Digital Innovators Program

David Olson is recognized for his game-changing integration of digital media in the classroom; Olson will partner with Wisconsin Public Television to build learning outcomes in Wisconsin.

Today, Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) announced David Olson, a teacher from James Madison Memorial High School in Madison, as one of 52 educators from across the country selected for the fifth annual PBS Digital Innovators Program. The program recognizes classroom change makers: educators who skillfully approach education with a bold and fresh perspective, and who integrate digital media and resources into their classrooms.

“WPT is excited to collaborate with David Olson, who was chosen from a pool of innovative educators across the country,” said Alyssa Tsagong, WPT Director of Education.  (Explore more about WPT Education online!) “Working directly with Wisconsin’s most passionate educators inspires our entire station, and leads to our best work. We are proud that he will represent WPT and our state as he participates in this unique opportunity to work in-depth with the excellent resources and professional development from PBS LearningMedia.”

As a social studies teacher, Olson said he finds his students are most engaged when they get to learn from history and apply their knowledge to real situations. Simulations, authentic textual analysis and games he brings into in his classroom give students the opportunity to see how the things they learn apply to the real world.

Olson, who has employed WPT resources in his classroom, including those from WPT’s WisconsinVote.org project and the Vel Phillips: Dream Big Dreams documentary, said that digital content helps many of his lessons make the strongest impact. “When I have my students experience life inside a solitary confinement cell using a Virtual Reality headset or [invite them to] create their own political advertisements, it sparks their curiosity and leads them to think of new problems to solve,” he said.

In partnership with WPT, Olson will work to deepen the connection between the educator community and the educational resources offered through public television. PBS Digital Innovators also participate in ongoing professional development, share their ideas on PBS platforms, have access to exclusive resources from PBS LearningMedia, receive a free PBS Teacherline professional development course, and are invited to special events, including the 2017 PBS Digital Summit in San Antonio, Texas.

For all educators, PBS LearningMedia offers more than 100,000 digital resources – including lesson plans, worksheets, video content and more, are available through PBS LearningMedia – for pre-K-12 classrooms and other learning environments. Teachers can access this content at pbslearningmedia.org.

Experience the Sounds of Solitary

What does solitary confinement sound like? In the short film below from our colleagues at FRONTLINE, experience a solitary existence that is anything but silent. Then, join us Tuesday night at 8 on Wisconsin Public Television for the powerful new FRONTLINE documentary, “Last Days of Solitary.” In the film, producers take us inside a Maine prison to learn what happens when prisoners from solitary confinement try to re-enter society, and why leaders in that state are trying to decrease its use of this isolating correction tactic.

Click here to listen to an exclusive Wisconsin Public Radio interview with FRONTLINE Executive Producer and UW-Madison alumna Raney Aronson-Rath from her recent visit to Wisconsin.

Happy Birthday, Daniel Tiger! Watch his 1954 TV debut

Happy birthday, Daniel Tiger! Watch our favorite little tiger puppet make his April 5, 1954 TV debut on WQED’s  “The Children’s Corner” in the video below.

According to The Fred Rogers’ Company, “Originally, a bird was supposed to come out of the clock that was drawn on the set wall. The night before, WQED Pittsburgh Station Manager Dorothy Daniel presented Fred Rogers with a tiger puppet as a gift at the program’s launch party. He decided to use the tiger puppet instead of the bird and named the puppet Daniel, after the person who gave him the gift.”

Since then, Daniel’s been helping educate, entertain and comfort generations of children on Wisconsin Public Television and PBS through Mister Rogers Neighborhood and now Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Ugga Mugga, Daniel. We love you!

Of course, Daniel Tiger and Mister Rogers are just part of the strong educational legacy of Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio. Join us all this year as we celebrate landmarks like this from our first 100 years. Explore our history and share your story of how public broadcasting has impacted your life online now at wpt.org/100.

Happy Birthday, Daniel Tiger!

Happy Birthday, Daniel Tiger!
On April 5th, 1954, Daniel Tiger appeared for the first time on the first episode of “The Children’s Corner.” Originally, a bird was supposed to come out of the clock that was drawn on the set wall. The night before, WQED Pittsburgh Station Manager Dorothy Daniel presented Fred Rogers with a tiger puppet as a gift at the program’s launch party. He decided to use the tiger puppet instead of the bird and named the puppet Daniel, after the person who gave him the gift.

Posted by The Fred Rogers Company on Wednesday, April 5, 2017

WPT Previews: American Experience’s Mark Samels on The Great War

When he visited Wisconsin this past October, American Experience Executive Producer and UW-Madison alumnus Mark Samels talked with us to give a behind-the-scenes perspective on the making of the PBS series’ new film, The Great War – a three-night event that begins 8 p.m. Monday, April 10 on Wisconsin Public Television.

Watch his behind-the-scenes perspective on the film’s creation and then watch a trailer for this powerful three-part documentary, below.

Antiques Roadshow Coming to Green Bay June 17

Antiques Roadshow has announced their 2017 tour, and the show is coming to Green Bay June 17!

The application process to enter the random drawing for a chance to receive free tickets is open now through April 10.

Learn more about the application process, find out how you can apply to have large furniture pieces appraised, see the full rules and sign up for your chance to attend the taping and have your priceless antiques appraised by one of the show’s experts online now!

Can’t get enough Antiques Roadshow? Watch full episodes and favorite appraisals online now!

WPT Previews: American Experience’s Mark Samels on Command and Control

When he visited Wisconsin recently, American Experience Executive Producer and UW-Madison alumnus Mark Samels talked with us to give a behind-the-scenes perspective on the making of the PBS series’ new film, Command and Control, which premieres the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 10, immediately following PBS NewsHour coverage of President Obama’s Farewell Address.

Watch his behind-the-scenes perspective on the film’s creation and then watch a trailer for this powerful documentary, below.

A Conversation With Mercy Street Star Gary Cole

In his acting career, Gary Cole has inhabited roles ranging from an aloof manager in Office Space to Vice President in The West Wing and an advisor to the President in Veep. And, in the PBS Civil War drama Mercy Street, Cole finds himself as the wealthy patriarch of a Confederate family living in Union-occupied territory. As the series enters its second season this month – premiering Jan. 22 on Wisconsin Public Television, we checked in with Cole to ask him about his role as James Green Sr., how his new work on public television has brought his career full circle and even a few insights into how Office Space became a cult classic.

Continue reading A Conversation With Mercy Street Star Gary Cole

Celebrating the Life of John Glenn

As we continue to celebrate the life and achievements of John Glenn, who passed away Thursday, watch this 2012 PBS NewsHour interview with the astronaut and former senator discussing his groundbreaking mission to become the first American to orbit the Earth.

Join us on Wisconsin Public Television Monday night at 9 for a special presentation of the biographical documentary, “John Glenn: A Life of Service.” Watch a preview of that show below.

Remembering John Lennon In His Own Words

As we remember John Lennon, who died on this day in 1980, watch this animated Blank on Blank interview from PBS Digital Studios with Lennon and Yoko Ono talking about the complexity of love.

Then, watch Patina Miller’s stunning version of Lennon’s “Imagine” in this clip from Live at Lincoln Center.


Exclusive Preview! Wisconsin Winter From The Air – Opening Scene

See the All New Special’s Opening Scene in This Exclusive Preview!
Wisconsin Winter From the Air
Coming to Wisconsin Public Television
7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30

Enjoy the newest sneak peek below from Wisconsin Winter From the Air.

“Snow falls
and winter begins.
Winter in Wisconsin traces a new path…
charts a new trail.

A season of frosted landscapes…
that last but a day,
icy blue vistas atop the waters,
and deep green pines framed in snowy white.

It’s brisk…
it’s bracing…
and it’s a wonder to behold.

A season like no other,
a view of the state like no other –
Wisconsin Winter… From the Air”

This narration featuring the voice of beloved Wisconsin author Michael Perry highlights the vibrant open of the all-new Wisconsin Winter From the Air, coming Nov. 30 to Wisconsin Public Television. Enjoy this special sneak peek from the new show as we begin the final countdown to the broadcast premiere!

Support WPT and Receive Wisconsin Winter From the Air on BluRay and DVD
Give the Gift of Quality Public Television This Season!

Support Wisconsin Public Television and receive a DVD/BluRay copy of Wisconsin Winter From the Air as a Thank You gift. Donate now to receive your Wisconsin Winter From the Air thank-you gifts before Christmas!

Funding for Wisconsin Winter From the Air provided by Ron and Colleen Weyers, Wisconsin Department of Tourism, Morgan’s Shoes, John E. Kuenzl Foundation, Stanley J. Cottrill Fund, Francis A. and Georgia F. Ariens Fund within the Brillion Area Family of Funds, Holiday Vacations, and Friends of Wisconsin Public Television.