Friday, February 8, 2002

FYI: Workshop In A Box

At PeachStar Education Services, our goal is to provide high quality educational resources that enrich inform, and support the Georgia learning community. In order for us to do that most effectively, it is important that every Georgia educator have a clear understanding of who PeachStar is, what we do to improve education in Georgia, when our programming is available, where to find our educational resources, why it's important for you to use PeachStar in your classroom, and how to utilize the assets we offer in the most effective way. Well, that's a lot of information to gather on your own, so PeachStar has created the Workshop In A Box CD-ROM and companion website to provide Georgia educators with all of the knowledge about PeachStar that you will need to improve the integration of technology into public education.

The CD-ROM and accompanying website is arranged into four broad sections of information:

* About GPB,
* About PeachStar,
* Teacher Toolbox, and
* Sample Lessons

Within each of these sections, you will find the detailed descriptions and explanations that will answer all of your questions about using technology to improve classroom instruction.

Under the GPB and PeachStar sections you will find information about our history, programs and services, special projects, information sources, satellite resources, and broadcast rights. Pay special attention to the information about broadcast rights for both the PeachStar produced and the non-PeachStar produced programming that you record via the satellite network. As users of PeachStar resources, it is your responsibility to stay in compliance with the broadcast and digital rights set for our programming.

The Teacher Toolbox section provides you with resources such as Bloom's Taxonomy, a hierarchy of educational objectives that is useful for categorizing test questions, a template for the creation of effective lesson plans, and a complete tutorial on how to develop PowerPoint presentations for classroom use. The Sample Lessons section provides you with just that: complete model lesson plans developed by your fellow Georgia teachers during PeachStar's Teacher-In-Residence program. There are lesson plans for all grade levels K-12 and they cover a wide range of subject areas from foreign language to math and music! These are wonderful models to guide you as you create your own dynamic lesson plans using technology and PeachStar programming. A lot of your fellow teachers are really excited about what PeachStar has to offer and they want to share what they've learned with colleagues and friends. So in addition to sharing key information with teachers to help them use PeachStar in their own classrooms, the Workshop In A Box CD-ROM and website serve as tools to aid educators who are giving presentations about the use of PeachStar in technology integration.

Wednesday, February 6, 2002

Black History Month: Celebrating Our Heritage

As you know, February is Black History Month, a time dedicated to recognizing the important role that African-Americans have played in the history and development of our country. In honor of this celebration, both PeachStar and GPTV will be airing a number of programs that tell the story of important contributions that African-Americans have made to our shared history. Look for these favorites to air on PeachStar throughout the month:

* Civil Rights: The Long Road to Equity
* George Washington Carver
* Georgia Stories
* Great Black Innovators
* Jazz: A Celebration of Ella Fitzgerald
* The People's House
* The Road to Freedom: A Documentary History of African-Americans
* Underground Railroad: Escape from Slavery
* We Shall Overcome: A History of the Civil Rights Movement
* Check the program listings for broadcast dates and times.

GPTV is airing several excellent programs that you might want to consider using in the classroom to help address Black History Month as well. As with all programming unfamiliar to you, teachers should be sure to watch these programs closely before showing them in class as some may have language or content that might be sensitive for some students.

American Experience/ Scottsboro: An American Tragedy

This video tells the story of one of the most significant legal fights of the twentieth century. The trial of nine falsely accused African-American teens would draw North and South into their sharpest conflict since the Civil War, yield two momentous Supreme Court decisions, and give birth to the Civil Rights Movement. Visit for primary sources and further reading relating to this incident.

Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory

This video tells the story of a group of young ex-slaves in post-Civil War Tennessee who set out on a mission to save their financially troubled school by giving concerts. The Jubilee Singers introduced audiences to the power of spirituals, the religious anthems of slavery. A portrait of faith, music, and sacrifice.

The Invisible Soldiers: Unheard Voices

This video views World War II through the eyes of the more than one million African American service men and women who gave their loyalty and their lives to protect a country that denied them the very freedoms for which they were fighting.

PeachStar: Georgia's Source for Professional Development

As you are well aware, over $14 million was cut from Georgia's professional development budget for the upcoming school year. In the face of this reduction, Georgia educators will find it difficult to meet their professional development requirements while maintaining a balanced budget across the board. As you plan your budget for the next fiscal year, keep in mind that PeachStar is a viable and cost-free option for professional development for K-12 educators.

Research indicates that onsite school-focused staff development has a greater impact on systemic change in schools with regards to teaching and learning. What's more, last year's Georgia legislation indicated that staff development should focus on school improvement at the local level. Participation in professional development on-location via satellite allows Georgia educators to meet this directive easily without the inhibitive cost of some offsite seminars.

PeachStar Education Services has been approved by the Georgia Department of Education to offer staff development credit for certification renewal. Staff development credit is available through participating local agencies and RESAs to educators who complete workshop and time requirements. One series PeachStar offers for professional development for K-12 educators is Annenberg, educational videos with coordinated web and print materials. Through this series, you will increase your expertise in your field and learn tips for improving teaching methods.

Using the quality professional development programming that PeachStar offers free of charge will enable your school to extend your budget to other areas of need. Professional development offerings may be found every day on channel 430.

Tuesday, February 5, 2002

PeachStar Brings You Character Education for Elementary Grades

In Fall 2001, PeachStar joined forces with the Connecting With Kids Network (CWKN) to bring character into Georgia's middle and high school classrooms. This semester, we are pleased to offer Connect! For Elementary Grades, the same high-quality programming as before, only designed especially for students in grades 3-5.

In January 2002, PeachStar will roll out the first of six new elementary school character education programs. Each program focuses on three different character words, addressing their importance through vignettes about real students filmed in schools around Georgia. Episode #101 focuses on perseverance and overcoming obstacles, responsibility and safety, and tolerance of cultural differences. Episode #102 addresses the importance of helpfulness to others in need, kindness in situations of adversity, and loyalty to friends and teammates. Episode #103 discusses the importance of courage in difficult situations, diligence in pursuing goals, and caring/compassion for those less fortunate. Episode #104 looks at self-control and anger management, revisits perseverance in the face of adversity, and the meaning of togetherness. Episode #105 discusses the importance of honesty, the significance of freedom, and the need for courtesy. Finally, Episode #106 focuses on the art of patience, trustworthiness and dependability, and revisits the skills of caring/compassion.

As with the middle and high school programs aired in the Fall, the Connect! For Elementary Grades series has a companion curriculum to help teachers fully implement character education in the classroom. If you would like to find out more information about purchasing the companion curriculum to the Connect! programs that will air on PeachStar, contact CWKN directly at 888-891-6020. Training, conducted by both PeachStar and CWKN, on program implementation is available to those schools that purchase the curriculum materials. See page INSERT PAGE of the listings for air dates and times and be sure to check out this great new series for elementary students!

Friday, February 1, 2002

A letter from the Executive Director

Dear Educators:

One of the efforts of which we are most proud is the cutting-edge video streaming project we launched in the Fall. This resource reaches more and more Georgia classrooms every day, offering educational video assets via the Internet for the first time. Hundreds of Georgia schools have already taken advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Take a moment to visit the Education website and learn more about how PeachStar and video streaming can make a difference in your classroom.

In addition, we are continuing our efforts with Georgia teachers to correlate our video resources to the Quality Core Curriculum. More than 150 teachers have been trained in this process and at present work is focused on the correlation of reading, math, and science programming. You may recall that last year more than 500 educators came to Georgia Public Broadcasting to help choose the programming that would air over PeachStar for the coming year. We are already making plans for Spring programming acquisition. Check the website for information about opportunities to participate and have a voice in the decision-making process.

There are also excellent training opportunities available to help Georgia educators get a better understanding of the services PeachStar offers. PeachStar staff have developed special trainings for media specialists that deal with satellite usage, the broadcast schedule, and how to work with teachers on integrating multiple media in to classroom instruction. Information about training opportunities may also be found online.

As you settle into this second semester, I invite you to take an active role in the expansion of educational possibilities in your classroom by joining PeachStar and Georgia Public Broadcasting in our many efforts to support teaching and learning in Georgia. We look forward to continuing to work with you.

James. M. Lyle

Can You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street

Mark your calendars - February 4th is the big day!
It marks the launch of the 33rd season of the award winning children's show Sesame Street. Using a unique blend of excitement, humor, and compassion, Sesame Street engages young minds that are eager to acquire the tools and skills needed to thrive in a constantly changing, always challenging environment. The show's whimsy and zaniness have very practical foundations: a curriculum, geared to a preschool target audience, ages 3 to 5, that is always evolving to embrace new themes and stories from conflict resolution to computer awareness. The 33rd season offers new formats and elements. Big Bird's Greeting of the Day, Monster Clubhouse, Hero Guy, Journey to Ernie, Spanish Word of the Day, and of course, Elmo's World will help meet the educational and developmental needs of children each day.