Saturday, January 31, 2004

If You're Missing our E-Lerts, Your're Missing Out!

Every month you receive Pipeline Magazine, a great source for broadcast schedule information AND important information about PeachStar initiatives and resources. In addition to Pipeline, PeachStar is now offering E-lerts, electronic updates containing a variety of resources whose time-sensitive nature demands that they reach educators across the state more quickly than the monthly delivery of Pipeline allows. Sent out as emails, E-lerts may include:

* Descriptions and copyright information for new PeachStar programs airing during the current month
* Information about upcoming professional development opportunities for teachers and media specialists
* Information about upcoming opportunities for students to participate in PeachStar/Georgia Public Broadcasting-sponsored activities
* Important information about interruptions or failures of satellite and other services
* Tutorials for how to utilize PeachStar services such as video on request, video streaming, etc.
* Updates to the broadcast schedule published in Pipeline

Signing up to receive E-lerts is easy and is a good investment of a few minutes of your time. Go to the PeachStar homepage at and click on the link that says "Stay Informed of PeachStar Initiatives" under the News Column. This will take you to an online sign up sheet that will ask you for basic information such as your name, school and school district, and email address. Be VERY careful to make sure you enter the correct email address to ensure that we are able to reach you - even the tiniest typing error in this field will prevent us from being able to deliver E-lert messages to you. Once you've filled out all of the fields on the sign up sheet, click on the Submit button - it's as easy as that to get on the distribution list for the most up-to-date PeachStar information available. Take a moment today to sign up and make sure that you don't miss out on important information you need to use PeachStar most effectively in the classroom.

The JASON Project Takes Georgia Students to the Rainforest

The JASON Project is currently engaging students in exciting science, math, geography and reading lessons with JASON XV: Rainforests at the Crossroads. This year's curriculum takes students and teachers on an exciting journey of discovery to explore the Isthmus of Panama region and its fascinating tropical rainforests. The broadcasts will examine such topics as:

* Human history of the Isthmus of Panama
* Tropical rainforest ecosystems of Panama
* Tools and methods of scientific research
* Geology and geologic history
* Watershed and Terrestrial studies
* Interrelationships of local, regional, and global systems
* Management and monitoring of natural resources
* Comparative forest studies

Again this year, PeachStar will assist JASON teachers in sharing with their students the onsite broadcasts with scientists, student Argonauts, and the Project's founder, Dr. Robert Ballard. Rainforests at the Crossroads will air live at the National Science Center at Fort Discovery in Augusta from Tuesday, January 27th until Monday, February 9th. PeachStar will rebroadcast the live feeds from Panama one day later for those classes unable to make the trip to Augusta. Two different, hour-long JASON Project feeds will air at 10 AM and at 1 PM.

If you are not currently using the JASON Project in your classroom and would like to learn more about it, visit for information about training and materials for Georgia JASON Project teachers. You can also learn more about the project by visiting

Lawmakers: Bringing the Capitol into Your Classroom

January 2004 marks the beginning of the Georgia legislative session for the new year and Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) wants to help you and your students stay on top of the latest news. For more than 30 years, GPB has aired Lawmakers over Georgia Public Television, offering all Georgia residents the most up-to-date information about the goings on in the capitol building. Lawmakers serves more than just a general audience, though; in fact, the up-close view of Georgia Lawmakers that this program affords is very well suited to students in both the 11th and 12th grades. Advanced Placement students especially might find the information in Lawmakers to be useful.

Presented in a news-style format, Lawmakers weaves live footage from the House and Senate floors, interviews with policy makers, citizen reactions, and newsroom discussion together into a complete hour of current events education. Since Lawmakers airs every evening throughout the legislative session, it offers your students the most up-to-the-minute and in-depth coverage of state legislative activity. This program would prove most beneficial in specialized courses on government and policy as it demands a certain amount of knowledgeability about legislative terminology and current legislation.

In addition to airing weekdays from INSERT on GPTV, Lawmakers is now streamed live online at All shows for the upcoming legislative session will be archived online. This technology will allow students to call the video programs up on demand by date, making detailed information about legislative events available 24 hours a day. The Lawmakers website also offers several links to other Internet sites that your students will find useful for exploring state government.

Take a moment to watch an episode of Lawmakers and discover how much GPB has to share with your students. Ask your media specialist to record Lawmakers for your class everyday or make special arrangements to record the show on days when key pieces of legislation are being discussed.

Saturday, January 3, 2004

Deletion List 2003

Many of you have contacted us requesting information about our most recent deletion list of programs whose copyright privileges have expired. This information is posted on the PeachStar website under the Alerts section, but we have reprinted it below for your convenience.

* American Cinema
* Art Journeys
* ArtShow
* Brighter Futures Through Partnerships
* Campus Live: Daring to Drive
* Center Stage with the Texas Performing Arts
* Developing Support From School Administrators
* Driving Ambition (Teen Choices #103)
* Food For Thought
* History Through Theater: Copenhagen
* Images of Germany I and II
* Monet at the High
* Money Maze
* Munch at the High
* Science Aboard Ship
* Science Images (expires 2/2004)
* Timely Topics in Education
* World's Largest Concert 2002

Thursday, January 1, 2004

Annenberg/CPB Supplements PeachStar's Video Streaming Holdings

As you know, PeachStar continues to build our digital video repository by expanding both our K-12 and our educator professional development holdings. We are pleased to announce huge gains in that endeavor through our mirror site agreement with the Annenberg/CPB (A/CPB) Channel.

A/CPB is a recognized leader in providing high quality educational content to learners of all ages on a national scale. In an effort to expand the reach of its programming, A/CPB is creating an educational content distribution network by allowing local and regional content providers such as PeachStar and Georgia Public Broadcasting to house A/CPB programs on their own servers. The content will in effect mirror the content on the main A/CPB server.

The benefits of this arrangement are many. The storing of this digital content on numerous servers nationwide will effectively increase the speed of Internet streaming access by reducing the number of users accessing any one server at any given time. Additionally, this agreement will provide PeachStar users with access to as much as 900 hours of digital programming in addition to and separate from the more than INSERT hours of programming currently available on the PeachStar/United Streaming site.

Take a look at the list below of some of the programs that are available to you online through this agreement. Note that these programs may be used at no cost on the K-12 level or for professional development, but may not be used for college credit through this agreement.

* Against All Odds
* American Cinema
* American Passages: A Literary Survey
* Connect with English
* The constitution
* Death: A Personal Understanding
* Destinos
* Discovering Psychology
* Dragon's Tongue
* Economics U$A
* Ethics in America
* Exploring the World of Music
* Fokus Deutsch
* For all Practical Purposes
* French in Action
* Growing Old in a New Age
* Inside the Global Economy
* Human Geography
* The Mechanical Universe
* The Mechanical Universe and Beyond
* News Writing
* Out of the Past
* Planet Earth
* Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century
* Rural Communities
* Seasons of Life
* Unseen Life on Earth
* Voices & Visions
* The Western Tradition
* The Whole Child
* The World of Abnormal Psychology
* A World of Art
* The World of Chemistry

You can click on the Annenberg/CPB link on the PeachStar homepage at On the A/CPB homepage, click on the Video On Demand logo on the left-hand toolbar, then scroll down and click on the active link "program" under the section entitled "Online via video on demand." This will take you to a screen with a list of all of the available programs that may be viewed on demand.

The first time you visit the A/CPB site to utilize these video streaming resources you will have to register for a username and password. Remember your username and password so that when you return to the site you easily access the programs at your convenience and at no cost!

Letter from the Executive Director

Welcome back for what promises to be a productive second semester for PeachStar and Georgia Public Broadcasting. As you know, GPB experienced the failure of our satellite in September, which necessitated our looking for a new satellite. Fortunately, we were able to secure space on AMC-3, and once situated, we immediately began the task of repointing the more than 2,400 satellite receiving sites operated by our users statewide.

GPB worked with Convergent Media Systems (CMS) to contact schools and libraries in an effort to repoint each site's satellite receiving equipment as well as reauthorize the IRDs. CMS has been dispatching technicians to sites unable to successfully repoint the equipment, and this work is nearing completion. If for any reason you are still not receiving our signal, please contact the Convergent Helpdesk immediately at 800-877-7805. They are on call to assist our users and will be happy to work with you to restore your satellite service.

As we begin the new year, we are well on our way to restoring service to all of our users. We have resumed the broadcast of our regularly scheduled programming and will continue our Video On Request service to give you access to the programming you need in a timely manner.

All of us at Georgia Public Broadcasting thank you for your patience during this trying time. We appreciate your understanding and your support. Also, I want to remind you that we want to hear from you've want your ideas and suggestions on ways that we can enhance and improve our programs and services for you and your school.

I also want to thank you for your positive reaction to our video streaming services. Your extraordinary response "we had 90,000 successful transactions last month alone" is a strong indicator that you find this service useful and valuable to your classrooms. And it confirms our decision to provide this important service to Georgia's education community. We will continue to expand the resources available by streaming and, as always, want your feedback to ensure that we meeting your needs.

Best wishes for a wonderful New Year filled with happiness and prosperity for you, your family, your students and colleagues.

James M. Lyle