Education

WPT Education’s Capitol Game Gets Top Score

This October, WPT Education was excited to introduce Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case, a free online video game set in and around the Wisconsin State Capitol, that assists educators in teaching social studies, while giving students the chance to be “history detectives.”

Nikki Lutzke, a teacher partner in the Parkview School District, said, “[Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case] brought learning to us concretely… and forever changed how this teacher views learning about and teaching history!”

Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case from WCER on Vimeo.

Read more about how this exciting project came to life – including the essential collaboration of students and teachers from around Wisconsin!

Continue reading WPT Education’s Capitol Game Gets Top Score

WPT Education presents Click Youth Media Festival

WPT has been part of the educational infrastructure of Wisconsin since the station’s beginnings – on television, in the classroom and in the community.

Over 55 educators and students ages 10-18 gathered in Madison this June for the first-ever Click Youth Media Festival, a one-day crash course in journalism and media production.

Over 55 youth and educators attended the first ever Click Youth Media Festival.

Read more to learn about the day!

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WPT Education Brings Hmong History to Wisconsin Classrooms

Becky Marburger

The Wisconsin Hometown Stories project offers a fantastic opportunity for in-depth exploration of the local histories and stories that showcase communities around our state.

WPT Education works side-by-side with teachers in each community to build content and pathways connecting students with the history and stories around them.

Wisconsin Hometown Stories: Eau Claire will premiere later in 2018. As we began our research in that region, an educator survey revealed the need for more digital learning resources – especially biographies and materials that highlight the Hmong community.

Read on to see how WPT’s work in Eau Claire is resulting in new, community-specific digital learning resources – including the history and culture of Hmong residents.

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Celebrate Women’s History Month on WPT! Part 2

There’s just so much to share this month about amazing women and the fascinating lives they’ve led. So we’ve broken our highlight post into two parts. (See Part 1 here for some TV highlights throughout the month).

In a vintage photo from the early 1900s, a woman holds an On Wisconsin flagThis round, we’re introducing some of the most inspiring women from Wisconsin – women whose efforts continue to make an impact around the world. Even if some of these names sound familiar, why not meet a few more?

Read on for even more – then, tell us which Wisconsin women, past and present, inspire YOU!

Continue reading Celebrate Women’s History Month on WPT! Part 2

Guest Post from WPT Education: How I Became a Game Designer

John Dollar

As an education specialist at WPT, and a former teacher at Sauk Prairie High School, I’m always excited to discover new ways that we can collaborate with teachers to make education come alive for students of all ages.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to the amazing Nikki Lutzke, who teaches fourth grade in southern Wisconsin’s Parkview School District. She and some of her fellow teachers recently joined some of the brightest local minds in history and game design to create something special – something that we know teachers and students all across Wisconsin will love.

Read on for Nikki’s thoughts on her new side gig in video game design – and enjoy!

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From WPT Education: Kids and Screen Time

Why is it so hard to give a 2-year-old a device?  Is it because we feel guilty?   

Sara DeWitt, Vice President of PBS Kids Digital, recorded a TED talk about the anxiety we have that a cell phone will “interrupt childhood.”  She covers the three concerns we have with devices and young children and demystifies them.

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Meet Wisconsin’s 2017 PBS Digital Innovator: David Olson

In April, we introduced you to David Olson, chair of the social studies department at Madison’s James Madison Memorial High School. As Wisconsin’s 2017 PBS Digital Innovator, he was one of 52 educators across the country to attend the 2017 PBS Digital Summit. Read their stories.

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.

Continue reading Meet Wisconsin’s 2017 PBS Digital Innovator: David Olson

May the 4th Be With You: Remembering a Very Special Star Wars Visit to Sesame Street

This annual unofficial Star Wars holiday – May the 4th be with you! – gives us a great excuse to go back and look at one of our favorite moments from the legendary intergalactic franchise. That, of course, was the day that R2D2 and C-3PO visited Sesame Street!

Landing just before the release of The Empire Strikes Back, the second film in the still-growing series, the two iconic droids actually appeared on our favorite children’s program for two episodes in January 1980. And the highlights are still amazing.

First, the Sesame Street gang approach the friendly pair to see what brings them to town. Naturally R2D2 claims a secret mission has brought him to deliver a secret message, while C-3PO simply wants an oil change after traveling 50 parsecs.

Then, the two space friends join in the kind of impromptu musical fun – and learning – that can only happen on Sesame Street when they teach Big Bird how to count with their own personalized numbers ditty – “If it says one, I go ‘beep!’ If it says two, I go ‘beep beep!'” – and join in with Bob and friends on an almost avant-garde interpretation of the alphabet song!

And, of course, what would a visit to Sesame Street be without meeting a new friend? Before blasting off back to another galaxy, R2D2 even fell in love with an unexpected feature of almost every street!

Of course, this actual visit from real stars of the Star Wars cast isn’t the only time the films have found their way onto the beloved children’s series. In fact, just a few years ago, Star Wars was the focus of one of our favorite Sesame Street parodies, “Star S’mores.” Watch for Snuffleupagus as a Bantha, and stay for the meta in-joke of Grover as Yoda. And, May the 4th be with you!

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.

Behind the Scenes: Students Attend State Superintendent Debate in WPT Studios

“We’re rolling in 3…2…1…”

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.

Amy Arbogash takes some behind-the-scenes photos of students on set.

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!

Students seated and ready for the live debate.

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.

For resources on Wisconsin elections and debates, visit  wimedialab.pbslearningmedia.org and www.wisconsinvote.org.

For more of Amy’s thoughts on education, follow her on twitter @amyarbogash or check out her blog at amyarbogash.weebly.com