Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Using What You've Learned: The Teacher Conference

In Fall 2001, Forrest and Virginia Toelle, two of PeachStar's very own Teacher-In-Residence participants, developed a presentation to share with their fellow Georgia educators at the 2001 Annual Teacher Conference in Atlanta. The conference, whose theme for 2001 was "Spotlighting the Arts in Teaching," featured success stories and best practices offered first-hand by teachers around the state. We at PeachStar are proud to share with you the Toelles' suggestions for the integration of the arts via the use of multimedia in the classroom.

The Toelles' presentation, entitled "Captivate Your Audience: Using Technology to Spotlight the Arts," was given by Forrest, an educator in Muscogee County, and stressed the importance of a strong arts presence in the general curriculum. "The ways of thinking, connections to culture, and the general skills promoted by the arts help students to think independently, to judge the world around them, and to be creative and imaginative," he claimed; each of these skills is important to student success across curriculum areas. According to his presentation, one of the most effective ways to incorporate the arts into the classroom is through the use of technology.

Forrest then went on to share the secrets of Power Point as a tool for integrating arts and technology into classroom instruction. He offered websites that provide Power Point tutorials, places where teachers might find images to use in presentations, a primer on scanning and digital cameras as well as on the manipulation of images in a Power Point presentation, and tips on how to insert music over the final presentation. One of the highlights of the presentation was the new streaming project being offered by PeachStar and United Learning; through this effort, teachers and students may download video clips which they may then embed right into their own Power Points!

After demonstrating HOW to create a captivating presentation, Forrest presented some ideas of WHAT Power Points might be used for in the classroom:

* Make a test for students to identify famous artwork
* Let students make Power Point presentations set to music
* Make Interdisciplinary lessons
* Set up a program on how to draw an object using basic steps
* Write and illustrate stories and dramas
* Allow students to create multimedia presentations blending photographic images, text, sound, and animated graphics to teach their classmates what they know

We at PeachStar take our hats off to Forrest and Virginia for all of the hard work that made this presentation possible.

Saturday, December 7, 2002

PeachStar Brings JASON Back into Georgia Classrooms

Last year, for the first time ever, PeachStar brought you the JASON project, a National Science Center/Fort Discovery endeavor. Through a series of pre-recorded broadcasts, students and teachers across the country explored the rich wilderness of Hawaii right from their classrooms.

This year, PeachStar brings you JASON XIII: Frozen Worlds, an exploration of some of the colder regions of our planet and solar system that examines current research in geology, glaciology, biology, astrobiology, oceanography and climatology. Additionally, it will focus on amazing plants and animals that survive in these frigid environments, from the largest marine mammals to the smallest microbes.Alaska and the Polar Regions will serve as comparative venues, and the laboratory for examining JASON's three main research questions:

* What are the dynamic systems of Earth and Space?
* How do these systems affect life on Earth?
* What technologies do we use to study these systems, and why?

The JASON Project offers students and teachers in grades 4-9 a comprehensive, multimedia approach to enhance teaching and learning in science, technology, math, geography, and associated disciplines. The project delivers its educational content through a print curriculum, videos, fully interactive Internet programming, and satellite "telepresence" broadcasts.

The middle school, expedition-based curriculum is composed of core science and process skills. It is designed to guide teachers in presenting a science program that is inquiry-based and content rich. JASON XIII: Frozen Worlds addresses a variety of themes embedded in the Georgia science curriculum:

* Geography of polar and sub-arctic regions
* History of human exploration and adaptation
* Culture of Native People of Alaska
* Tools and methods of scientific research
* Marine and terrestrial ecosystems of polar and sub-arctic regions
* Life forms living in severe, typically non-life-supporting conditions on Earth
* Climatology and global climate change
* Watershed studies

JASON XIII goes even further than science curriculum. As you and your students travel through the wilderness of Alaska, you will also touch upon mathematics, geography, history and culture, language arts, and fine arts themes.

JASON XIII will air on PeachStar 1 PM weekdays from January 29 until February 8. Tune in with your class and experience the Alaskan countryside firsthand!

For more information about JASON XIII: Frozen Worlds, contact the National Science Center's Fort Discovery at 1-800-325-5445 ext. 5575 or visit the NSC website.

ZOOM Into SciTrek with PeachStar

Since 1988, over two and a half million visitors have had the opportunity to experience some of Atlanta's most engaging and innovative hands-on science exhibits at SciTrek. Located in downtown Atlanta and open seven days a week, SciTrek allows visitors to learn by engaging in experiential exhibits, as well as through workshops and programs hosted by professional educators. There are over 120 hands-on exhibits in the museum's Permanent Exhibits section, and these are supplemented by frequently changing Special Exhibits. Students can explore the principles of magnetic attraction and electrical currents in the Electric-Magnetic Junction; learn how to make work into child's play at Simple Machines: How Things Work; explore the properties of light and the science of optics at Light Reflections, Perceptions, and Illusions; and "explore" Mars using a custom-built robot at RoboMars. The staff also conducts hourly science demonstrations, and school groups can register to participate in special workshops when they visit SciTrek. Throughout the school year, SciTrek also hosts events for special occasions such as National Chemistry Week and National Engineering Week.

One of the many permanent exhibits at SciTrek is ZOOMzone, sponsored by Georgia Public Broadcasting and PeachStar. ZOOMzone recreates the look and feel of the PBS series ZOOM, which airs on GPTV (PeachStar Channel 400) weekdays at 3:30 PM. The idea behind ZOOM, which is a recreation of the popular 1970's children's show by the same name, is that students are inventive and creative enough to create their own daily television show. Students from five to eleven send in games, puzzles, activities, and experiments, and those submissions are included in upcoming programs. In the ZOOMzone, students and adults can try the interactive and educational activities seen on ZOOM, share their ideas, and even send their ideas to the producers of the show. Both the show and the exhibit are based on activities and ideas created by students across the country to challenge and entertain other students.

At SciTrek, students can see some of their favorite episodes of ZOOM playing at the first kiosk when they enter the exhibit. Additionally, they can learn about fractions using Burger Math, take the Cup Tower Challenge to build a stable structure using just cups, try solving the centuries-old puzzles of Tangrams, and even send in their own suggestions for activities to ZOOM producers via the Internet Kiosk. PeachStar and SciTrek are currently discussing the creation of several new and exciting ZOOMzone activities.

Visit the SciTrek website for more information about SciTrek exhibits, workshops, school group visits, summer camps, and classroom resources. You can also find out more about ZOOM by visiting the ZOOM website.

A Day of Love and Logic with PeachStar

PeachStar and Georgia Public Broadcasting are pleased to announce that we are bringing Jim Fay to Georgia parents and educators. On December 17 we will be hosting Fay, nationally-renowned parenting and teaching expert, for a live broadcast of A Day of Love and Logic. Fay draws on 31 years of experience in the American education system where he served as teacher, principal, and administrator. He is the cofounder of the Love and Logicâ Institute, an organization dedicated "to making parenting and teaching fun and rewarding, instead of stressful and chaotic." The institute is based on the Love and Logicâ philosophy:

Children learn the best lessons when they're given a task and allowed to make their own choices (and fail) when the cost of failure is still small. Children's failures must be coupled with love and empathy from their parents and teachers.

The benefits of this philosophy are clear: it provides children with tangible limits and teaches both consequences and healthy decision-making. The Love and Logicâ process involves four key concepts:
- shared control
- shared thinking/decision making
- equal shares of empathy and consequences
- maintenance of the child's self-concept

By giving children the latitude they need to make mistakes and then learn from them while at the same time providing a strong system of support, parents and teachers help children to learn to make more responsible choices. No matter what the issue is a child has to deal with, it is imperative that he be able to make good decisions based on his previous experiences, both successes and failures.

For more information about the program or to register to attend this ground-breaking PeachStar-sponsored event, visit the Love and Logicâ website.

Friday, December 6, 2002

PeachStar's Teacher Certification Project: Special Measures for Special Education

PeachStar Education Services, The Learning House, and Armstrong Atlantic State University have joined forces to bring Georgia educators the Teacher Certification Project (TCP) in response to the intense need for certified special education teachers who can provide appropriate classroom instruction for K-12 students.

The Teacher Certification Project, developed and produced by Peachstar with the help of The Learning House, is a distance learning program in Interrelated Special Education that allows educators with teaching certificates to pursue add-on certification in Special Education in as little as one year. The program is designed to accommodate working teachers' schedules without imposing additional personal expenses to meet job requirements. The TCP initiative, which comprises ten modules, offers a unique approach to distance learning through the integration of video, audio, CD-ROM, and Internet-based technologies.

Beginning in August 2001, Armstrong Atlantic State University began the implementation of the Teacher Certification Project in Georgia. AASU is responsible for recruiting, screening, and enrolling candidates for the program. In addition, AASU provides technical help desk support for students, arranges for student access to GALILEO, the state of Georgia's online library, for course readings and supplementary resources, and provides ongoing implementation support, including arranging for access to the University System of Georgia's WebCT Help Desk for both students and instructors. Once students have met the program requirements, AASU will confer the appropriate certification or college degree credit.

This pioneering project may be a model for using alternative certification processes to meet teacher shortages and improve the quality of education for all students. The TCP initiative was initially developed in conjunction with the Department of Junvenile Justice. For more information about how you can participate in PeachStar's alternative certification program for Special Education, contact AASU's Office of Admissions or the PeachStar Education Services Division.

Thursday, December 5, 2002

A Letter from PeachStar's Director

Dear Educator:

As the first semester of the 2002-2003 school year comes to a close PeachStar is proud to look back on what we have accomplished together with you so far this school year. We launched the pilot of PeachStar Classroom's physics and chemistry courses in three school systems across the state. Be sure to read the article for more information about how the implementation is progressing. We brought the Cobb County Alcohol and Drug Awareness program to middle schools across Georgia as well as hosting Congressman Johnny Isakson and the Youth Talkback Live program as they discussed important issues of concerns to Georgia students today. Be sure to check the January issue of Pipeline for photos and more information about both of these exciting events.

Even though the first semester is not yet over, PeachStar has already begun planning for the second and we are pleased to tell you that we have a great deal in store for you when you return in January. All fall we have been working to improve the way we broadcast programming in order to best meet the needs of classroom teachers. In January we will offer the culmination of our efforts in the form of a broadcast schedule arranged by course and a new online support resource that offers educators lesson plans and ideas for integrating the videos into classroom instruction.

We will be launching a new online menu of training options for Georgia Educators in January. This allows you to choose from a pre-scheduled list of PeachStar trainings to be held at locations around the state or to request to host a training at your school. PeachStar is dedicated to supporting the entire Georgia learning community regardless of geographic location and by offering a general menu of trainings in locations across the state, we will better be able to serve educators in outlying areas.

With these and other initiatives in progress, PeachStar staff feel confident that next semester will be a great success. Congratulations on successfully completing the first half of the school year; we look forward to working with you to make next semester an even greater success.


C. Blaine Carpenter, Ph.D.
Director, Education Services

Wednesday, December 4, 2002

PeachStar Tailors Training to Meet Your Needs

In response to numerous requests from teachers for training, PeachStar is developing an online menu of trainings to be offered on an ongoing basis. By providing educators with an online listing of regularly scheduled trainings to be held throughout the state, PeachStar is able to ensure that a greater number of educators have access to PeachStar training and that the content of the trainings educators receive is consistent.

The development of the online training menu also marks a shift in PeachStar's approach to training; we are now making a concentrated effort to offer trainings in a number of locations statewide so that assistance is more readily available to educators in remote geographic location. That means that rather than hold trainings exclusively in the metropolitan Atlanta area, PeachStar staff will make use of facilities in alternate locations around the state so that educators will not have to travel as far in order to take advantage of training opportunities.

The training menu, located on the PeachStar website under the News section, is arranged by training type:
- Satellite
- GED Connection/Workplace Essential Skills
- Video Streaming
- Integrating Multiple Media
- Ready to Learn
- Guidance

Simply click on the title of the training you wish to learn more about and your browser will take you to a page with details about that training as well a list of scheduled dates and the minimum number of participants required. Continue reading below for a brief description of each of the trainings PeachStar offers and the number of participants who may participate in each session.

Satellite Training - 101
This training is designed to provide participants with answers to the most frequently asked questions about PeachStar Satellite Equipment. Participation in this training is limited to 15 educators per session.

Satellite Training - Advanced

This training is designed to provide participants with extended knowledge and skills beyond the basic training by troubleshooting more advanced satellite problems. Participation in this training is limited to 15 educators per session.

GED Connection/Workplace Essential Skills Training

This training is designed to provide participants with information about how GED Connection and Workplace Essential Skills can be used in public libraries to support adults preparing for their GED exam. Participants received a complete introduction to both series, including a preview of video clips and an overview of components of the programs.

Video Streaming Training - Introductory

The introductory video streaming training is designed to introduce educators to PeachStar's video streaming service. Participation in this training is limited to 20 educators per session.

Video Streaming Training - Advanced
This training will give a brief overview of video streaming and will offer participants suggestions on how to overcome common barriers to successful implementation. Participation in this training is limited to 20 educators per session.

Integrating Multiple Media Training
This training will allow participants to gather and share ideas for integrating multiple media into your classroom teaching. Participation in this training is limited to 20 educators per session.

Ready To Learn Training
Ready To Learn trainings are designed to introduce PBS Kids programming and to illustrate ways in which the programming can be used as a teaching tool for pre-school aged children. Participation in this training is limited to 20 educators per session.

Guidance Training
This training will allow participants to gather and share ideas for integrating multiple media into guidance counseling. Participation in this training is limited to 20 educators per session.

One of the most important aspects of PeachStar trainings is that each one offers participants a hands-on learning experience that helps them to retain all of the knowledge they gain during each session. Visit www.gpb.org/education in January to learn more about the training options that are available to you through PeachStar. If you do not find a date and location that are convenient for you under the already scheduled trainings, you may choose to request that PeachStar conduct training at your school. Should you choose to schedule a training at your school, you will be responsible for ensuring that the minimum number of participants is present as well as meeting technical requirements and facilitating communication with participants. If you choose to attend an already scheduled training, simply click on the link to apply online and await notification of your acceptance in the training.

We look forward to working with you to meet your training needs. Please let us know of your suggestions for improvement to the format of this new online training menu by emailing at education@gpb.org.

Type of Training Target Audience

Satellite 101

Public Librarians; Public and Private School Library Media Specialists; Media Paraprofessionals; System-Level Staff who provide support to Media Specialists

Satellite - Advanced
Public Librarians; Public and Private School Library Media Specialists; Media Paraprofessionals; System-Level Staff who provide support to Media Specialists

GED/ Workplace Essential Skills
Educators of Adult Literacy; School-to-Work Staff; DTAE; Regional Service Agencies in Public Libraries

Ready To Learn

Parents; Daycare Caregivers; In-home Caregivers; Librarians; Caregiver Certification Providers; DHR; Home School Teachers

Video Streaming - Introductory

Teachers; Media Specialists; Building-Level Technology Specialists; System-Level Technology Coordinators

Video Streaming - Advanced
Teachers; Media Specialists; Building-Level Technology Specialists; System-Level Technology Coordinators

Integrating Multiple Media
Teachers; Curriculum Directors; Principals; Assistant Principals Guidance; School Guidance Counselors; Classroom Teachers; Curriculum Specialists

GLC Is Making the Jump!!

By Sara Pitts

Georgia Learning Connections (GLC) is making the jump from the computer screen to the video screen. The PeachStar Education Services Division of Georgia Public Broadcasting recently worked with GLC to produce a professional development video about the new GLC website. The video, entitled Georgia Learning Connections Video Site Guide, is 25 minutes in length and presents a general overview of the GLC website, how to use it, and what additional resources are available. The video can be accessed via streaming media on GLC and also via satellite on all three of PeachStar's satellite channels.

The video can be viewed in one 25-minute block, or in three shorter segments of nine minutes, seven minutes, and eight minutes respectively. Each segment highlights a different area of the site. Scavenger hunt activities will accompany the shorter streamed segments, while a WebQuest will be available for use in conjunction with entire video online.

Tuesday, December 3, 2002

Making the Grade: PeachStar Classroom

The pilot year for PeachStar Classroom, PeachStar's distance-learning course for high school physics and chemistry, is off to a good beginning. Seven teachers are using PeachStar Classroom materials in a variety of classroom settings and student populations, from large counties to small rural areas. Here's a little bit about the teachers who are using PeachStar Classroom right now, and how they're doing.

Marcie Dennis is a Chemistry and Physics teacher at Dodge County High School, and is one of the teachers who originally joined the project when PeachStar conducted training in July. She has her teaching certification in Broad Field Science, and taught Chemistry and Physics last year. "I live in a rural area where there are no teachers certified in Physics or Chemistry, so my principal came to me and asked me about teaching these classes," says Marcie. "I had prior experience facilitating other distance learning classes. Also, as a beginning teacher it would provide me more experience with teaching some of the difficult content."

Marcie was also hoping that PeachStar Classroom would spark the interest in her students about science. According to Marcie, the interest was certainly there: while she started her school year with only 2 students enrolled in PeachStar Classroom, through word of mouth that enrollment increased to 12. She says her students often come into class asking if they'll be watching a video that day, but take it very seriously when they do. Marcie is teaching on a traditional schedule, for which PeachStar Classroom was designed, and her teaching calendar has followed the curriculum calendar quite closely. She frequently participates in Friday afternoon phone conferences with PeachStar staff, discussing problems with the materials, issues with using it in the classroom, and the pace of the programs.

Melanie Peacock is a colleague of Marcie's at Dodge County High School. She has been a science teacher for 14 years, and this year teaches five different classes. In addition, she is currently working on her National Board Certification. With so much on her plate, Melanie is very excited to be using the PeachStar Classroom materials with her students. Having both a veteran teacher and a newcomer not only offers students a choice, but also helps to validate the program. "The materials are really covering what they need; there's not a lot of fluff in the program," says Melanie. Having taught science for so long, Melanie has plenty of materials and experience of her own to draw from.

Principal Don Robinson of Calhoun County High School was concerned about two of his science faculty teaching in areas that were not their strongest. So teachers Mary Alice Hilton and David Crowdis joined in August as PeachStar Classroom teachers. David is a certified Biology teacher, and Mary has her certification in Secondary Math; because of the constraints of the CCHS school schedule this year, David was asked to teach Chemistry, and Mary asked to teach Physics. Principal Robinson had heard of PeachStar Classroom through Sara Erwin at the Southwest Georgia RESA, and contacted PeachStar about getting his teachers involved. Now that both of them are using PeachStar Classroom, they feel a little more confident in their classes, their students are enjoying learning, and Mary and David are learning a little themselves.

Al Strom teaches Chemistry and Physical Science on a block schedule at Fitzgerald High School in Ben Hill County. A forty-one year veteran teacher, Al holds a Chemistry degree from the University of Tennessee, as well as a Bachelor's degree in Education and a Master's in Curriculum and Instruction. Initially he was asked by his superintendent to attend the PeachStar Classroom training, having no idea what the curriculum was like. Since being introduced to the program, and having an opportunity to use it in the classroom, Al is very pleased with both the content of the course, and the way it has been received by his students. "At first they thought we were going to spend all our time watching videos," Al says of his students' reaction. "They were pleased with the organization and soon discovered that what we were doing fit into the text we were using."

Fred Whitaker teaches Chemistry at the newly built Taliaferro County High School. TCHS is operating on a block schedule, and because the PeachStar Classroom programs are being rolled out on a gradual basis, Fred has been using the videos as a classroom supplement this semester, and hopes to use it fully next semester. Taliaferro County is a very rural county west of Augusta, and Fred wants classroom materials that can hold his students' interests and attention in subjects that otherwise would hold no appeal to them. He finds that because most of the content is delivered by video, the students find it a little more engaging to watch, and retain the content more effectively.

Carol Cort teachers for the Gwinnett County Public School system in the Teleclass Program, which serves homebound and medically disabled students. Because Carol does not teach in a traditional classroom, her use of PeachStar Classroom will be radically different than that of the other teachers involved. The materials will mainly serve to supplement the textbooks and other materials already issued to her students. Because PeachStar Classroom is delivered via satellite to Georgia schools, but many of Carol's students are not regularly in the school setting, she has had trouble getting the videos to her students. She has used some of the print materials to cover topics, such as scientific notation and the metric system, with which her students needed more reinforcement, and the reaction was positive. Over the summer, however, while Gwinnett County prepares for its fall textbook adoption, Carol will look over the whole curriculum and decide how best to integrate it into her teaching next year.

Sunday, December 1, 2002

Read to Succeed:GPB Advocates Adult Literacy

Georgia Public Broadcasting knows that literacy is a quality of life issue for every Georgian. In hopes of heightening awareness of the literacy issue across the state, PeachStar is bringing you Read to Succeed, an inspiring Georgia Public Television original program, first developed in 1999 and updated in 2001 to report on the progress of three individuals who were profiled in the original documentary.

Read to Succeed, developed as part of the Georgia Reads! campaign, is an inspiring documentary about new adult readers Ahn Totton, Iva Green, and David "Daw-u" Smith. In addition to following the improvement of these adult learners, Read to Succeed also showcases the Read to Succeed Literacy Volunteer-a-Thon, a GPTV pledge event where Georgians from all walks of life pledge their time rather than money, to help adult learners to read. Georgia Public Broadcasting partners with a variety of literacy organizations, including Literacy Action, Inc., Literacy Volunteers of America, Project Read, and the Department of Technical and Adult Education (DTAE) in order to raise community consciousness about the serious problem of adult illiteracy in Georgia.

For more information about how you can become involved in the adult literacy movement, visit www.georgiareads.org.