Saturday, September 21, 2002

The 2002 Educator-In-Residence Program: PeachStar and GA Educators Spend the Summer Learning Together

This summer, PeachStar expanded on last year's Teacher-In-Residence program with the 2002 Educator-In-Residence program, a five-week undertaking designed to provide Georgia educators with the highest quality professional development at no cost. Drawing teachers from all across the state of Georgia, this program provided an opportunity for teachers affected by last year's professional development cutbacks to earn the SDU credits required to maintain their certification while learning about important topics such as:

* Media Specialist Skills;
* Beginning Multimedia Integration;
* Video Production;
* Advanced Multimedia Integration; and
* Annenberg Professional Development Facilitator Training

The program began in mid-June with a group of twenty media specialists with three years or less experience who came to PeachStar for the Institute for New Media Specialists to learn more about their changing roles and responsibilities. A second group of media specialists came in July, for a total of 40 new media specialists who received training at PeachStar this summer! While here, these new media specialists worked with experienced media specialists who served both as mentors for participants and discussion leaders. Using A Handbook for Georgia School Library Media Specialists as a guide, participants learned about standards and policies that affect Georgia media centers; professional organizations to be familiar with; the kind of equipment necessary in a cutting edge media center; program development; and the services and resources available to them as media specialists. By the time the workshop ended, each participant developed his or her own personal philosophy and mission statement to govern the media center, bringing shape to the way he or she approaches the task of being a media specialist.

PeachStar held two workshops about the integration of multimedia into the curriculum, one for beginners and one for more advanced learners. Skills covered ranged from Internet navigation skills and downloading to preparing dynamic multimedia lesson plans using PowerPoint. Participants also learned the ins and outs of video streaming and how to select curricula most appropriate for multimedia integration. By the end of the workshop, each participant had created his or her own PowerPoint lesson plan that demonstrated the effective integration of technology and curriculum to be used in the classroom!

Two lucky groups of educators got to come to the GPB facility to learn about video production under the tutelage of expert PeachStar and GPTV professionals. While here, participants worked with real equipment to learn the fundamentals of video production, including overviews of production, directing, set design, lighting, audio aspects, graphics, and editing. Participants concluded their learning experience by producing their own video using all of the skills learned throughout the workshop!

The final group to join PeachStar for our Educator-In-Residence program focused on the knowledge and skills needed to facilitate the Annenberg Professional Development Series we air for educator professional development. This group participated in lectures and website exploration, becoming familiar with the Annenberg program and learning how to use it most effectively for onsite school-focused professional development.

Every one of the participants we've heard from has had nothing but praise for PeachStar's 2002 Educator-In-Residence program. Here's what a few of them had to say:

Laurie Dawson, Thomas County - Beginning Multimedia Integration
Laurie expressed her thanks for all that PeachStar "staff did to make this possible" for Georgia educators like herself. She also said she "liked the fact that along with the wealth of information we received, there was ample time to work and explore what we learned on our own with assistance at hand if needed."

Leslie Nissen, Savannah-Chatham County - Advanced Multimedia Integration
Leslie was really "thrilled" to learn more about multimedia integration. She told us she "appreciated being able to spend time fleshing out an idea, and creating an activity for school that might have stayed on the backburner for months otherwise."

Ellen Murphy, Decatur County - Annenberg Professional Development
Ellen told us that her visit here to the GPB facility showed her "how powerfully" our mission to provide high quality educational resources matches the mission of Georgia teachers to "inform and educate Georgia's children." She went on to say that "what I really like is that you [PeachStar] listen and then you respond" to what Georgia educators say they need to support them in the classroom.

Betty Walden, Savannah-Chatham County
- Video Production
Betty told us that this was "one of the best workshops I've ever been to! The staff was wonderful" I got a ton of ideas for lighting, backdrops, props, etc. The most important thing, though, was that it regenerated my enthusiasm!"

Wayne Clark, Dublin City - Institute for New Media Specialists As a brand new media specialist, Wayne found this workshop particularly helpful. -This has really helped me know all of the aspects of the support that is available from GPTV and PeachStar."

Saturday, September 14, 2002

GPTV Brings The Civil War to Life

On September 22, 2002 Ken Burns' The Civil War will return to GPTV. This series, the most-watched on PBS ever, features narrator David McCullough; archival photographs and period paintings; newsreel footage of Civil War veterans; live cinematography of battle sites; interviews with eminent historians; and readings from diaries, letters, speeches, and newspapers of the era.

To complement this series and tell the story of the Civil War from a local perspective, Georgia Public Television has developed a companion series, Georgia's Civil War. This four-part series of thirty-minute programs tells the story of The Civil War through the eyes of the Georgians who lived through it and died fighting it. The series pays special attention to the first two years of the war, the Atlanta campaign, and Sherman's March to the Sea.

Georgia's Civil War uses first person accounts to tell the story of the war. Some of the people whose stories it shares are:

* Carrie Berry - the 10-year-old daughter of a Unionist sympathizer in Atlanta;
* William Daniel Dixon - a sergeant in the Republican Blues, a Savannah Regiment;
* Samuel Richard - an Atlanta bookseller; and
* The Jones Family - a family from Liberty County on the Georgia coast.

Present-day Georgians also tell their family stories, passed down through the generations. Archival photos, maps, drawings and paintings, creative reenactments, and footage of historic sites enrich each story and bring this period of Georgia's history to life.

Be sure to tune in to both The Civil War and Georgia's Civil War on GPTV in September. Check your local listings for air dates and times.

Sunday, September 8, 2002

A Letter from Georgia Public Broadcasting's Executive Director

Dear Educator:

As the new school year gets under way, we want you to know that all of us at Georgia Public Broadcasting are working hard to continue providing you with the highest quality resources for use in your classroom. The primary goal of all our efforts as well as our programs and services is to support you and the important work you do each day.

Over the summer GPB hosted our 2002 Educator-In-Residence program. This five-week initiative offered cost-free professional development to more than 170 educators here at our GPB facility in Atlanta. The article, The 2002 Educator-In-Residence Program: PeachStar adn GA Educators Spend the Summer Learning Together, gives some specific program information and has photographs of our participants. We had a great time hosting the program and learned a lot from our participants as well as sharing information with them. A special thanks to everyone who attended one of the sessions.

PeachStar's video streaming service, launched last year, continues to grow as a popular resource for Georgia teachers. We think you will be impressed with how easy video streaming is to use and how helpful it is when teaching specific concepts in the classroom.

We are pleased to announce the launch of our multimedia physics and chemistry courses as part of PeachStar Classroom, a new PeachStar offering of credit-bearing courses. The science courses are designed to meet the needs of Georgia high school students whose schools may not have certified physics and chemistry teachers on staff. Three Georgia systems are piloting the course for the 2002-2003 school year. It will be available to all Georgia schools beginning in fall 2003. Look for more information about this program in upcoming issues of Pipeline.

For educators seeking to continue their own educations, the Teacher Certification Program, which offers add-on certification in interrelated special education, is now available through a partnership between PeachStar and the Office of Graduate Studies of Armstrong Atlantic State University. Additional professional development opportunities will become available throughout the school year. Check the PeachStar website and future issues of Pipeline for more information about these and other PeachStar opportunities.

The staff of PeachStar and Georgia Public Broadcasting have great confidence that we will continue to make progress with our efforts to serve the Georgia learning community by providing the highest quality educational technology. We thank you for the opportunity to work with you to enhance learning experiences in Georgia classrooms. Please feel free to call us with your ideas and suggestions.


James M. Lyle
Executive Director

Friday, September 6, 2002

Fatal Addiction: Addressing Teenage Tobacco Use

Red Ribbon Week, part of a national campaign anti-drug and alcohol education and awareness, will be held from October 23-25. As part of the Red Ribbon Week observance, PeachStar will be airing Fatal Addiction: Tobacco's Deadly Grasp. This 30-minute program, developed by Georgia's Children and Youth Coordinating Council (CYCC), examines the emotional toll tobacco-related illness takes on families across America. The CYCC, the agency responsible for developing community programs for delinquent and at-risk youth, also bring you the following programs which can be seen on PeachStar: Multiple Choice, Ultimate Choice, Driving Ambition, and The Parenting Principle.

According to Fatal Addiction, tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States with more than 400,000 tobacco-related deaths each year. One of the goals of this video is to spread awareness and to outline community and government responses to the crisis of teenage tobacco use.

Please record this compelling video and use it to generate class discussion about the important issue of tobacco abuse. Fatal Addiction: Tobacco's Deadly Grasp will air on PeachStar's Channel 420 on the following dates and times:

* Tues., 10/01 2:30 AM;
* Tues., 10/08 at 1:30 AM; and
* Tuesday, 10/15 at 3:30 AM

Reading Rainbow Commemorates September 11

As the anniversary of the events September 11 comes nearer, PBS and Reading Rainbow recognize the need of America's children to explore the feelings and thoughts they have about this tragedy in our nation's history. In order to assist these young people as they approach this subject, Reading Rainbow has developed six touching and timely episodes that address the issues brought about by September 11.

"The Tin Forest"
Centering around The Tin Forest, by Helen Ward, this episode features LeVar Burton spending time with the children of an elementary school just blocks away from Ground Zero. They offer insight on how they have coped with the tragedy and offer their gratitude to those who have helped them rebuild their lives.

Centering around Max, by Bob Graham, this episode features LeVar Burton reflecting on heroes like firefighters and seeking to understand what inspires them. Songs and scenes from a real-life animal rescue remind young viewers that many different people are heroes everyday.

"Enemy Pie"
Centering around Enemy Pie, by Derek Munson, this episode features LeVar Burton talking with children about how they make friendships work. Children discuss the trials and hard work that go along with being a good friend.

"Our Big Home: An Earth Poem"
Centering around Our Big Home: An Earth Poem, by Linda Glaser, this episode features LeVar Burton as he visits the United Nations and discovers how the member countries come together to work out their problems. He also talks with Craig Kielburger, 2002 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, about how he thinks children can change the world for the better.

"My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States"
Centering around My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States, compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins, this episode features LeVar and a group of children as they share stories about their part of the country and explore America's beauty and diversity.

"Badger's Parting Gift"
Centering around Badger's Parting Gift, by Susan Varley, this episode features LeVar Burton sharing his memories and feelings about his late grandmother. Young children also share artwork they have creative in honor of loved ones they have lost.

PeachStar will be airing these programs on Channel 410 in September in order to help Georgia students to deal with last year's tragic events. Check the PeachStar website under News for broadcast dates and times.

Thursday, September 5, 2002

Galaxy Classroom Launches Seventh Season on PeachStar!

Galaxy Classroom, a member of the Riverdeep family, is proud to announce the launch of its seventh season on PeachStar! Galaxy is a complete science and language arts curriculum for Kindergarten through fifth grade. Correlated to the QCC's and packed with hands-on and technology integration activities, Galaxy Classroom is a great tool for developing authentic learning in your classroom. The Georgia State Legislature is generously funding site licenses for 550 elementary schools full participation. Site license funding includes training and hands-on materials kits at no cost for the first 500 teachers who apply. Two-day institutes are now forming in Athens (September 18th and 19th) or Atlanta (October 1st and 2nd.)

To find out more and register, go to or contact Christine Kane Perez @ or (404) 685-2480. (Spaces are limited. First come, first served.)

Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Online Learning with PBS KIds

As educators, it's important that you integrate technology into the learning experience. One great way to do that is by reinforcing learning with activities online. Let's look at the wealth of resources available to you and your students at one convenient location you can trust:

This website houses information about each of the great PBS shows you and your students watch each day on GPTV. Not only that, but each of the following shows has its very own website with activities, episode descriptions, tips for caregivers, and more:

* Arthur
* Barney
* Caillou
* Clifford
* Cyberchase
* Dragon Tales
* Jay Jay the Jet Plane
* Mister Rogers
* Sagwa
* Sesame Street
* Teletubbies
* Zoboomafoo
* Zoom

Let's go through just one of these sites as an example of the kind of resources you can expect to find on any of these PBS kids sites. Go to and click on Sagwa. This will bring you to the homepage for Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat, where you'll see icons the following areas: TV Sneak Peak; Caregivers; Characters; Games; Stories; Color and Draw; and Making the Show.

To find out more about Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat, click on the "TV Sneak Peak" icon on the homepage. This will take you to a screen with several options, including a brief narration by Sagwa explaining the show, a link to find out what episodes are airing this week on GPTV, and a sample of the Sagwa theme song. More information about Sagwa is located under the "Caregivers Area" at the bottom of the homepage. This area offers an overview of the series as well as "View and Do," a great feature that offers teachers specific activities to do with their students that extend the learning in the episode being aired. Your students can learn more about each of the characters by clicking on the icon labeled "Characters." Here they will find a picture of each character and a description that tells who each one is, plus a little bit of personal information.

Now that we know where to find information about the show itself, let's look at some of the other activities and information you can find on the site. Click on the icon that says "Games" to choose from an array of educational games related to Sagwa. The game entitled -Countdown to the New Year' teaches your students the cultural importance of the Chinese New Year through an interactive game that lets them go through all of the activities necessary to prepare for the celebration. The icon labeled "Musical Lanterns" offers the choice of two games: one allows your students to be creative by making their own songs and the other exercises their memorization skills by asking them to remember and recreate the patterns of music created by the musical lamps. "Tangrams" teaches your students this ancient Chinese puzzle game, where they need to use their analytical skills to match pieces to the completed puzzle in order to create the silhouette image of Sagwa characters. The "E-Cards" section allows your students to send special Sagwa post cards to other children electronically. Visit the "Year of The" section and enter your child's birthday and year to find out his or her Chinese sign! Finally, the icon labeled "Pictures as Words" allows your students to match Chinese pictograms, an early Chinese writing style, with pictures of everyday objects.

From the Sagwa homepage, click on "Stories." This feature allows your students to create their own stories using a cartoon scene of Sagwa's village plus various characters and objects from the show. First, they simply double click on a character or object to insert it into the picture. Second, they use the mouse to drag the character to where they want it placed in the scene. Finally, they place the cursor in the scroll beneath the picture to write a short story about the picture they made! Once they've finished, they can click on the print icon to print out the story and save it!

If your students like to draw, be sure to click on "Color and Draw." This section offers pages for you to print out and color as well as drawing lessons! The drawing lessons help young artists to draw their very own pictures of the Sagwa cast.

Finally, the section called "Making the Show" gives you a behind the scenes look at Sagwa, including interviews with the author Amy Tan and the show creators, as well as a photo gallery of the talented voices of Sagwa's cast.

Well, that's the kind of information you can plan on finding not only on the Sagwa website, but on sites for all of the shows listed above! If you're looking for ways to extend the learning your students get from the Ready to Learn programming on GPTV, visit any of these sites for a safe, reliable, and enjoyable online experience.