Monday, January 20, 2003

Georgia Students Talk Back

On November 18, 2002, Georgia Public Broadcasting was pleased to bring you Youth Talk Back - Rebuilding American Pride, a bi-annual event featuring the exchange of ideas between Congressman Johnny Isakson and high school students in his constituency. This year's program included more than 100 Georgia high school students and addressed the important issues of voter apathy, national citizen ID cards, and United States Middle Eastern relations.

The day began with the presentation of the colors by the Etowah High School color guard and the pledge of allegiance led by Congressman Isakson. Georgia Public Broadcasting Executive Director James Lyle then welcomed the students and discussion leaders to the GPB facility and commenced the program.

Before the actual Talk Back discussion got underway, an important presentation was made by student achiever Sam Scott. Sam shared shocking statistics about voter apathy among America's youth and offered a solution through the Kids Voting Georgia program. Congressman Isakson then announced the topic of this year's essay competition: Why did Georgia elect the first Republican governor since Reconstruction?

The Talk Back breakout sessions were led by a variety of qualified individuals, including members of Congressman Isakson's staff, officials from the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, and school counselors and teachers. Key points were discussed regarding each of the three main issues:
- Voter Apathy
- Are voters disenchanted?
- What are the reasons people don't vote?
- What can be done to increase turnout?
- National Identification Cards
- Security vs. privacy
- Social security cards
- National driver's license and a Bio-Identifier
- United States Middle Eastern Relations
- The War on Terrorism
- U.N. resolution on Iraq/weapons Inspection
- Arab/Israeli relations

After an hour of discussion in their smaller breakout groups, the students were ready to discuss their views with Congressman Isakson. The comments made by the students, who represented 23 metro-Atlanta high schools, were impressively sophisticated and engendered a very serious and much-needed dialogue with their elected representative in Congress.

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Fine Programming for Fine Arts

PeachStar and Georgia Public Broadcasting are pleased to be one of the public television stations chosen to air the excellent lineup of performing arts programming offered by the Kennedy Center and the Prince William Network. The Education Department of the Kennedy Center "develops model programs for use by other performing arts centers and schools, creates and encourages national and community outreach programs, and serves as a clearinghouse for arts education on a national level." At a time when funding for fine arts is not a priority for education, PeachStar is proud to bring you the following quality programs that address not only music, but also theatre, storytelling, and more.

Connections - Science and Music with the National Symphony Orchestra
What exactly is music, scientifically speaking? Find out by watching this program, which teaches viewers exactly what science and music have in common. With the help of members of the National Symphony Orchestra, Connections explains how musicians use science and why scientists use music in their studies.

History In the Theater: Copenhagen
Centered around Copenhagen, a Tony-Award-winning play about the international intrigue that surrounded the development of the atom bomb circa World War II. Actors discuss the important role the theater plays in communicating this period of history to audiences around the world.

It's All Music
Features renowned pianist and teacher Dr. Billy Taylor and famous pianist Estela Olevsky as they explain the similarities and difference between classical music and jazz.

Jazz: A Celebration of Ella Fitzgerald
Dr. Billy Taylor and his trio bring the history of jazz to life in this examination of Ella Fitzgerald, one of the most well-known jazz artists in history. The program features performances of some of jazz's greatest hits.

Jazz and the New Generation

Dr. Billy Taylor hosts this program featuring young artists in a discussion about the future of jazz. Several styles of jazz music will be performed, including New Orleans jazz, Swing, Latin jazz, and Rhythm and Blues.

Telling Stories - Joseph Bruchac

Native American author Joseph Bruchac talks about growing up in the Adirondacks and discusses the impact that his life experiences and the Abenaki culture he was raised in have affected his work as a writer and storyteller.

Telling Tales - Laurence Yep

Laurence Yep, author of numerous books, short stories, and plays, discusses the way his family history and the history of both China and America have influenced his work. Also offers suggestions about techniques that aspiring writers may find useful to map, research, and select family stories.

Be sure to take advantage of these high quality fine arts programs in your classroom. Check the program guide for air dates and times.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

The Atlanta History Center Offers Key Courses for Educators

The Atlanta History Center recently offered Georgia teachers a new symposium, Documenting Stories: World War II and Civil Rights Oral Histories. This project, which took place in October at the Atlanta History Center, was designed to introduce teachers to methods of teaching and recording oral history.

Gary Rowe of InSitelearning, Inc. shared interview techniques and assisted teachers in discovering the methods of preparing students to produce their own video documentaries on the Civil Rights Movement and World War II. Both themes satisfy Georgia QCC goals for social studies and language arts, and will result in student-researched, student-produced interviews with Georgians who participated in these two important historical periods.

Teachers attending the course practiced methods of recording interviews, received lists of interview subjects and guidance on storyboarding, camera operating, and film editing. The course was designed to put teachers in contact with others in their field and to update their knowledge base in new technologies and resources.

By absorbing their teachers' instruction on these two important 20th century periods, student's benefit from this course as well. Guided by specialized classroom applications, students will discover members of the community who participated in the Civil Rights Movement and World War II in activist, political, service, and civilian roles, and record conversations with them about their experiences. Students will learn to utilize a wealth of resources, including PeachStar , The Youth Channel (a new public access television project within People TV), museum exhibitions, artifacts, audio, video and the Internet that can be used in conjunction with the Recording Oral Histories curriculum.

For more information on this course or other educational courses from the Atlanta History Center, please contact Laura Bendoly, Distance Learning Manager at For more information on the Atlanta History Center, visit The Atlanta History Center.

Wednesday, January 8, 2003

PeachStar Brings Drug and Alcohol Awareness to Georgia Middle Schoolers

PeachStar recently brought you the 2002 Cobb County Drug and Alcohol Awareness Day for Middle Schools and we wanted to share a little bit more information about the event with you. As you know, the program was hosted by Durham Middle School in Acworth. For the first time this year, PeachStar hosted a studio audience of middle schoolers here at the Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta. We also had our own panel of experts in-house who took part in the program via satellite:

* Judge Russell Carlisle, Cobb State Court
* Chief Judge Gregory Adams, DeKalb County Juvenile Court
* Solicitor General Carmen Smith, Fulton County
* Chief Kenny Smith, City of Morrow Police Department and current President of the Georgia Association of Police Chiefs
* Lt. Ken Malcolm, City of Covington Police Department

These experts joined those being taped at Durham Middle for the day of awareness that featured famous key-note speakers, roundtable discussions, interviews with current inmates, a frank discussion with a school superintendent, a presentation by a drug dog, and more.

In addition to interacting formally with panelists via question and answer sessions, the students who made up the studio audience here at the GPB facility also had an opportunity to address the officials more freely and informally over lunch.

PeachStar was pleased to have the opportunity once again to share important information about drug and alcohol use with students, not only in Cobb County, but across the state as well. Look for the Cobb County Drug and Alcohol Awareness Day program for high school students to air over PeachStar in the spring.

Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Educator:

We begin this calendar year filled with promising new changes. With a newly elected Governor and State School Superintendent who prize education, Georgia Public Broadcasting's PeachStar Education Services and Georgia schools have a great deal to look forward to in the coming year. It's important that we take advantage of every opportunity to improve education at all levels as the pace of the school year is always increasing and the year's end will be upon us before we know it.

Georgia Public Broadcasting is preparing for another important session of the General Assembly as we look forward to working with our new Governor, newly elected members of the legislature, and many returning legislative friends who support the work of this organization. We will again be providing television coverage on Lawmakers, a locally-produced program that brings the news about state government to both students and adult viewers. In addition to the daily coverage of the activities of the State Legislature, this year GPB will also bring viewers special coverage of the inauguration of our 81st governor, which will air live on GPTV and PeachStar, as well as the State of the State Address and the upcoming budget address, which will be broadcast on GPTV, over Georgia Public Radio, and online.

We are pleased to announce that the use of PeachStar's video streaming resource continues to grow as more and more classrooms across the state use the Internet to complement teaching and learning. Of the 181 school systems in Georgia, 176 are currently utilizing the service, which allows teachers and students to easily access video clips in the classroom.

To learn more about how you can use video streaming and other media to enhance your classroom instruction, plan to attend PeachStar's 2003 Educator-In-Residence program as well as other ongoing professional development trainings we offer around the state.

As always, Georgia Public Broadcasting and PeachStar value your input and welcome any suggestions you may have for improvement of our programs and services. Send an email with your comments and concerns and help us serve you better. We look forward to hearing from you and using your feedback to improve our services to the Georgia learning community.


James M. Lyle
Executive Director

Monday, January 6, 2003

PeachStar Makes Using Satellite-Delivered Video In the Classroom Even Easier!

Over the years, as PeachStar staff have traveled around the state conducting trainings and presenting at conferences, we have received a great deal of helpful feedback from the teachers and media specialists we've encountered. One of the biggest issues that has been brought to our attention is educators' need for assistance in finding ways to use PeachStar's satellite-delivered video resources in the classroom setting.

In April 2001, we brought you "Using Video in the Classroom," an article that addressed three important questions about using video resources to supplement video instruction: Why Video? Which Video? How Do I Integrate Video Into My Lesson Plan? In brief, here were the answers we gave you then:

* Why Video? -
Video can enhance classroom instruction by visually demonstrating an abstract mathematics concept, bringing relevance to a lesson on conservation by giving students an opportunity to see the animals and communities that are affected, or bringing history and literature to life through dramatic reenactments. Video does not have to dominate your lesson plan; well-chosen segments can be worked into your lessons to supplement and enrich the resources you already have.

* Which Video? -
It's important that you find the right pieces of video to use in conjunction with the lessons that you teach, and traditionally the responsibility for researching and selecting video resources has been left to the classroom teacher. Check Pipeline each month as well as the online program guide for descriptions about the programs PeachStar offers.

* How Do I Integrate Video Into My Lesson Plan? -
There are a few important steps you should follow to effectively integrate video into your teaching:
1. Plan your lesson first and then choose a video that supports your objective.
2. View the video BEFORE sharing it with the class to ensure it meets your needs and to determine where in the lesson plan the video should be inserted; cue the tape to the exact point you intend to show.
3. Discuss the video with your class before viewing it and go over any advanced concepts and vocabulary the video will cover. Let them know what to look for in the video by offering them a listening/viewing guide to complete as they follow along.
4. Stop the tape and explain key points and make sure that the class understands the information they are seeing in the video AND how it relates to what you are doing in the lesson.
5. Ask and answer questions about the video once it has ended to reinforce what the students have just seen and relate it to the lesson as a whole.

Since "Using Video in the Classroom" was first published, PeachStar has had an opportunity to get more feedback from Georgia educators and refine the ways in which we can assist you with this important task. The reasons WHY to use video remain the same, but we have taken steps to make the question of WHICH video to use much simpler. PeachStar understands that as teachers you have an inordinate number of demands on your time that may not allow for the addition of another task such as searching for relevant video materials to integrate into your teaching, so we've taken care of that for you!

PeachStar staff, in conjunction with teachers, media specialists, and curriculum directors, have identified programming that meets the core standards for courses that are taught in Georgia schools. Rather than trying to identify whole series that meet course objectives, PeachStar has concentrated on the narrower level of episodes, choosing episodes across a number of series that may be used together to support academic courses. PeachStar's new programming listings by course may be found online at under Teacher Toolbox. Simply click on the name of the course you teach, for example drama, and this will bring up a screen with a sequenced listing of all of the episodes across series that are related to that course. That means that the episodes from various series will be listed in the order in which the topics they cover are taught in Georgia classrooms rather than in the order they appear in the series. This will allow you to know exactly which episodes you need to record for use in your course.

Once you've gotten the list of episodes that pertain to the course you teach, you can rely on Pipeline to find the broadcast dates and times for each. We will continue to arrange the listings in Pipeline by series and will air series in blockfeed format to make planning and recording easier for you. Once you have the complete series in your video library, simply select the specific episodes that relate to your course for use in the classroom. We at PeachStar hope that this latest effort to facilitate your use of educational video really makes a difference in your classroom. Email us and let us know what you think!