WPT spoke with Olson shortly after his return from the Digital Summit in San Antonio.
“Having access to high quality digital resources, and finding ways for teachers to connect with one other and foster innovation, can only lead to good things,” says Olson. “It will lead to much better outcomes for students; we’re creating citizens who hopefully will be ready to be full participants in a very different world than the one in which many WPT members might have grown up.”
For more great resources for educators, kids and anyone who loves to learn, visit WPT Education.
Students rarely get to see politics in action. Often, they don’t even get a chance to meet the candidates, let alone watch a debate live and participate. But last month, a group of students from Bay View Middle School in the Howard-Suamico School District located near Green Bay did just that.
My name is Amy Arbogash and I am the Technology Integration Specialist at Bay View. Last month, I had the privilege of attending the first-ever Wisconsin Public Television Education Innovation Summit held in Madison. Over the course of two days, educators from around the state gathered to learn, collaborate and create. While there, I learned from the WPT staff that they were planning to do something a little different for the upcoming Wisconsin State Superintendent Debate: They wanted to put the candidates in front of a live audience of their most important constituents — students!
Through the efforts of our administration and teachers, we were able to bring 10 students from Bay View to the debate on March 31. Because we have more than 900 students in our 7th- and 8th-grade middle school, we asked students to apply for the privilege to attend and submit questions to WPT for inclusion in the debate. The students were so excited, many spent hours researching ideas for questions. One of our assistant superintendents even worked directly with students to talk about state and district funding.
On the day of the debate, the 10 students, two social studies teachers and I headed down to Madison. As we entered the studio at WPT, the awe on our students’ faces took my breath away. Seeing the stage, lights, candidates, cameras and WPT production staff amazed them. Getting a tour of the studio and seeing all of the behind-the-scenes action was an unbelievable opportunity. The students got to watch the entire debate unfold in front of them, and several had their questions answered live on television. We ended our night with lots of pictures, discussions with the candidates, and memories to last a lifetime!
Wisconsin Public Television has always been a supportive resource for Wisconsin teachers and students, but in the last month, I’ve discovered that their support goes deeper than educational television. WPT Education provides invaluable opportunities in and beyond the classroom for those who seek reliable, accurate, easily accessible and free tools for learning.
Eighty percent of middle schoolers can’t tell the difference between sponsored content and objective journalism, according to a recent Stanford University study on youth media literacy. In light of the ongoing conversation about the impact of misinformation and propaganda in our politics, teachers in Wisconsin and around the nation face steep challenges and high stakes as they work to help students think critically about the media they consume.
Luckily, PBS NewsHour offers the Student Reporting Labs (SRL) initiative— a framework of curricula, project ideas and mentoring relationships with local PBS stations that puts students behind the camera to get them thinking – and working – like professional journalists. SRL students learn about sourcing, bias, fact-checking, and the nuts-and-bolts of videography and editing. And they do it all as creators rather than consumers. Continue reading Project-Based Media Literacy With Student Reporting Labs→
When I taught high school English, I had a mailbox in the staff lounge in a wall full of identical little rectangular mailboxes. About twice a year, I would find something useful in my mailbox. But the other 178 school days, I only found mountains of junk mail — flyers for expensive digital subscription services or glossy magazines brimming with overpriced textbooks that would be obsolete before they arrived. Soon, the junk mail felt as identical as the rows of little rectangular mailboxes. Continue reading Video Games & Learning: Teachers & Developers Write the Future Together→
Wisconsin Public Television has exciting news! On Monday, Jan. 16 a brand-new 24/7 channel: WPT PBS KIDS and live stream will debut, supporting WPT’s mission to provide Wisconsin children with high-quality educational content. Read more about these new children’s services and how to tune in below!
Now, thanks to the energy and passion of Door County teachers and community members, more than 400 Exploration Kits are on their way to classrooms in the Southern Door, Sturgeon Bay, Sevastopol, Gibraltar, and Washington Island school districts. Kits are also being delivered to homeschoolers, private schools, local museums and other community groups.
Lizbeth Thomas, a teacher from the Gibraltar School District, writes:
“Sometimes people take for granted the vast treasures of this beautiful county. This is an incredible reminder. It is so important to preserve this history; I felt privileged to be a part of this project. My small part – writing curriculum – ensures that this will be shared throughout Wisconsin schools and beyond. Thank you!”
Read on to learn more about the exciting resources available in this kit.
As the United States celebrates National Native American Heritage Month throughout November, Wisconsin residents and others interested in learning more about Native American culture of the past and present can find a variety of easy-to-access resources thanks to Act 31.
In the words of Aaron Bird Bear, University of Wisconsin-Madison’s American Indian Curriculum Services Coordinator, “Act 31 is an invitation to get to know the deep human story of the Western Great Lakes. It helps us understand our neighbors. It helps us understand our own shared history … Act 31 gives us a great sense of perspective of thinking about this place, of the many different ways we understand this place, and that’s a skill set that will be valuable for anyone wherever they go, in this global, connected world …”
Milwaukee High School of the Arts social studies teachers Drew deLutio and Kelsey Noack worked with WPT to create “experiences, not lessons” for students to engage more deeply with the extraordinary story of Vel Phillips. A flash drive containing the Vel Phillips: Dream Big Dreams curriculum was recently mailed to social studies educators for grades 6-12, and elementary library media specialists throughout Wisconsin.
Read about Drew deLutio’s experience working on this project:
“I discovered that I could be smart and capable and valuable for something that had nothing to do with Hollywood. This is me. And it felt great.”
In this powerful and inspirational video, Wonder Years actress Danica McKellar shares how her discovery of mathematics in college helped her discover she is so much more than a former child star. Knowledge truly is power!
Our friends at PBS Learning Media tapped Forrest Kline from the band hellogoodbye to record this cool new song about visiting each and every state in the U.S.A.
It’s creative, fun and they – of course – saved the best state for last!
Even better – “I Wanna See the States” is more than just a song. Visit pbslearningmedia.org/, search the song title and discover an all-inclusive readymade learning module for classrooms – complete with a lesson plan, annotated lyrics and blank maps.