Sunday, February 6, 2005

Earn PLUS Through GPB and TeacherLine

Georgia educators have become familiar with the high quality originally produced and Annenberg/CPB professional development programming GPB provides. We are pleased to announce that we now offer access to PLU (professional learning unit) credit-bearing courses through our partnership with PBS TeacherLine, which offers online solutions for teacher professional development.

TeacherLine, developed through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, offers more than 80 research-based courses at every grade level from Pre-K through 12. The No Child Left Behind Act's standards for highly qualified teachers makes these courses: which include math, reading, technology integration, teaching strategies, science, and curriculum mapping: a necessary component of every responsible educator's professional development plan.

TeacherLine courses stand apart from other online courses not only because they are approved for PLU credit by the U.S. DOE, but also because they:
- Assure research-based instructional design
- Deliver standards-based content from recognized experts in the field
- Blend in-person and online instruction geared towards educators in the classroom
- Create learning communities
- Model best teaching practices with classroom video segments
- Provide authentic tasks with real-world applications
- Select best teacher resources such as lesson plans and essential questions.

TeacherLine courses are available online, and are facilitated either locally or nationally by teachers holding Master's Degrees or higher. Courses are developed to fit in with teachers' individual needs. Assignments are due weekly, but you can choose when you go online to do them. You need to log into your course at least three(3) times a week to read articles, read, and respond to discussion boards.

The decision to include TeacherLine in your professional development plan will have tangible results beyond your own increased knowledge of content and teaching strategies. A recent study from Hezel Associates and the Education Alliance at Brown University showed that schools in which at least ten percent of the teachers participated in TeacherLine courses had statistically significant achievement gains over schools that did not use TeacherLine. These gains were measured both in state report cards and standardized test scores.

Tuition for each course is $150, which covers facilitation and online course materials. Each course is worth three PLUs, which must be granted through your local school district. National courses may be taken for 2 hours of graduate credit, awarded by Adams State College, for an additional $90 fee per course.

Courses currently scheduled for March include:
- The Smart Chalkboard: Using the Computer for Dynamic Presentations K-12
- Data Analysis and Probability for Grades K-5
- Curriculum Mapping II: Intermediate Curriculum Mapping K-12
- Fostering Cooperative Learning, Discussion, and Critical Thinking in Elementary Math (Grades 1-5)
- Integrating the Internet into the K-2 Language Arts Curriculum
- Using Multimedia to Develop Understanding