Thursday, September 6, 2001

Online Educational Media

In a revolutionary partnership designed to bring Internet-delivered, core curriculum-based video-on-demand to all public schools, colleges, and libraries statewide, Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) and United Learning (UL) have announced an alliance that puts Georgia at the forefront of the movement to meet the U.S. Department of Education's National Educational Technology Goals. (United Learning is an Illinois-based company with whom GPB has had a long-standing relationship. GPB acquires educational content from UL for delivery to Georgia schools via GPB's statewide PeachStar Satellite Network.)

Combining GPB's educational programming and UL's new website, an extensive library of hundreds of hours of educational programming is now available online in GPB's broadcast area. The new partnership affects more than 2,500 buildings, including more than 1,900 PreK-12 public schools, 89,000 teachers, and 1.4 million students, starting immediately. The content was developed in compliance with Georgia's Quality Core Curriculum (QCC), which is the official statewide curriculum adopted by the State Board of Education for all Georgia public schools.

UL is launching a formal scientific evaluation of its site, to be completed in 2002. Free live demonstrations of the technology behind the GPB/UL partnership are available at

This partnership supports the long-range educational technology goals advocated by Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes and former Gov. Zell Miller. The venture also reflects the recommendations of the bi-partisan, congressional Web-Based Education Commission, in its report "The Power of The Internet for Learning" presented to both the President and Congress. Georgia U.S. Rep. Johnny Isakson served as vice-chair of the Commission.

Subscribers now have instant access to roughly 1,000 videos and more than 10,000 video clips in science, social studies, math, language arts, and guidance, as well as to extensive support materials for teachers and students. Video content may be downloaded directly to a teacher's or student's hard drive or streamed over the Internet. The entire library may be searched by keyword, grade level, subject, or specific QCC standard.

GPB's efforts directly address National Educational Technology Goals issued by the United States Department of Education last year. These goals are:

* All students and teachers will have access to information technology in their classrooms, schools, communities, and homes.
* All teachers will use technology effectively to help students achieve high academic standards.
* All students will have technology and information literacy skills.
* Research and evaluation will improve the next generation of technology applications for teaching and learning.
* Digital content and networked applications will transform teaching and learning.

In addition to meeting broad national goals, GPB's initiative specifically addresses technology integration learning standards set forth in the QCC. Those standards mandate that all students in Georgia public schools will be able to master a myriad of information technology-related skills such as:

* Operating basic technology tools and applications
* Creating, modifying, and editing documents using word processing and desktop publishing tools
* Creating, managing, and utilizing information using database and spreadsheet tools and applications
* Using multimedia tools to express ideas
* Evaluating, selecting, and using telecommunication tools and online resources to communicate ideas that persuade, describe, inform, or involve
* Using a variety of telecommunication tools to communicate the results of research projects
* Using technology and telecommunications tools to locate, analyze, synthesize, evaluate, apply, and communicate information
* Using a variety of technology tools to solve problems

Realizing these goals and learning objectives will fundamentally change the way educational media is delivered and used by teachers and students in the classroom and beyond.