Wednesday, March 30, 2005

GPB + ASO = Historic Duo

From September through December 2004, Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra engaged in a special project called "Instrumental Achievement." The project, which culminated in a video program available via satellite and the Internet, documents the instructional journey of a middle school music student and a master teacher over a six-month period of time.

The program features student violinist Chelsea Sharpe and her teacher, ASO violinist Ronda Respess in a series of lessons that provide insight into the:
- Process/progress of learning over time
- Importance of the relationship between a student and a teacher
- Selection of a teacher and the complex responsibility of the teacher's role
- Selection of a student and the guidance young musicians require
- Qualities and best practices that lead to efficient and effective learning experiences
- Preparation for the audition process
- Relationship between the student's private and public school music teachers
- Preparation of the student for the pressures of failure and success

Chelsea, a sixth-grader at Duluth Middle School, has been playing the violin for six years, the last two under the guidance of Ms. Respess.

GPB taped a total of six lessons for the project, beginning with Chelsea's introduction to the material she would need to learn for her All-State audition, and culminating with her performance of those pieces before a live audience. The progression of lessons captures Chelsea's musical development as well as the process of teaching and learning in the world of music. Interviews with Chelsea, her family, Ms Respess, and education experts about the audition preparation process are included in the documentary, giving viewers a greater understanding of the immense amount of time, effort, and discipline required to become a successful musician.

The final video, which will include selections from each of the lessons organized around specific learning themes, will be available to be recorded from satellite or downloaded via the Internet in the coming months. The video can be used by music teachers in both the public and private sectors, college and university faculty preparing pre-service teachers, students preparing for auditions, AND students and their parents discerning the possibility of a career as a professional musician.

The partnership between the ASO and GPB is generating a lot of excitement. "This collaboration... enables the ASO to extend its education reach beyond the Atlanta area to include all instrumental music teachers in Georgia and their students. We look forward to many more opportunities to work together," says Susan Merritt, Director of Education for the ASO.

In addition to the "Instrumental Achievement" project, GPB has also partnered with the ASO to make symphony performances available to listeners statewide through the GPB radio network. Tune in to GPB radio every Thursday at 8 PM and again Sunday at 10 PM to hear the world-class Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and interviews with renowned conductors, solo performers, and members of the orchestra.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Become a Regional Trainer

Regional Trainer Application PDF | DOC

GPB Education has been conducting professional development training for ten years now, and the number of educators we train continues to increase. In order to expand training capacity, we are seeking experienced educators - active or retired - to join our team of Regional Trainers. Regional trainers will be responsible for conducting and designing face-to-face and online trainings to be offered beginning in the 2005-2006 school year.

In order to become a Regional Trainer for GPB, you must meet the following criteria:
- Hold a valid Georgia teaching certificate, or have held one in the past five years (for retired educators)
- Have reliable transportation
- Be available to travel as necessary to satisfy training needs
- Participate in a Regional Trainer orientation to be held at Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta during the summer of 2005

Regional Trainers will cover such topics as GPB Products and Services; Video Streaming; Multimedia Use in the Classroom (may be subject-specific trainings); Technology in the Classroom; and the use of original GPB programs (Georgia Stories, SALSA, Count On It, Georgia Outdoors, etc.) in the classroom. Trainers may suggest additional topics, which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the GPB Training Coordinator.

Each trainer will be responsible for the training needs of a designated region, which may be a school district, select schools within a district, or multiple districts. As a Regional Trainer, you will have three training delivery methods through which to serve the educators within your designated region: onsite trainings, advance-scheduled training, and webcasts.

Onsite Face-to-Face Trainings -
As the designated trainer for your region, it will be your job to field any onsite training requests from the schools that fall within your area of responsibility, so you must be available to travel to accommodate those requests. Trainers will receive $30 per hour for each onsite training you conduct at a school, as well as reimbursement for travel* according to State of Georgia policies. Collateral materials such as handouts, pens, pencils, and calendars will be provided to the trainer by GPB.

Advance-Scheduled Trainings at State RESAs and ETTCs
Trainers may coordinate with a local RESA or ETTC to host a GPB training. This will encompass contacting the local training facility, setting a date, and then communicating that date to the GPB Training Coordinator, who will post the training information on the GPB website. Interested educators will register online and the GPB staff will pass the registrants' information on to the responsible trainer. Each Regional Trainer will be expected to conduct a minimum of three advance-scheduled trainings during the 2005-2006 school year; GPB would like trainers to offer additional dates over the summer if your availability permits. Trainers will receive a stipend of $200 for each advanced scheduled training conducted; these trainings will last 2 hours, plus the time it takes to setup and breakdown training materials. As with onsite trainings, travel costs* will be reimbursed and collateral materials such as handouts, pens, pencils, and calendars will be provided to the trainer by GPB.

Interactive Webcasts
- >
Regional Trainers will also be required to develop and conduct an interactive webcast training, to be included in the GPB Webcasting catalog.

Trainers will be asked to develop the training content, which will include a PowerPoint presentation and related electronic documents - handouts, images, websites, etc. Trainers will also be asked to conduct the training itself on-camera at the GPB studios in Atlanta. Scheduling of the taping is at the trainer's discretion, dependent upon your availability to travel to Atlanta. Trainers will receive a stipend of $150 for each interactive webcast produced, and will be reimbursed for travel expenses.* Additional stipends may be available for operating scheduled webcasts that have already been produced.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Regional Trainer, contact Jeff White at (404) 685-2555 or

Regional Trainer Application PDF | DOC

* Travel reimbursement does not include overnight stays.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Practice Science Acrobatics with the Georgia Science Olympiad!

The new Georgia Performance Standards challenge Georgia teachers to make student learning more engaging and meaningful. For science teachers, activities like inquiry investigations and project-based assessment are important tools toward this end. There is now a special resource available to help Georgia science teachers develop lessons that draw on those tools: Georgia Science Olympiad (GSO).

Georgia Science Olympiad is an annual competition in which teams consisting of up to 15 students compete in 23 different events covering all fields of science, as well as some engineering and communication skills. Georgia's Science Olympiad program, the sixth largest state program in the National Science Olympiad, is divided into divisions for grades K-3, 3-5, 6-9 and 9-12. Activities vary depending on the division:
- K-3 division has in-school "fun days"
- 3-5 division has local tournaments
- 6-9 (B) division competes at regional, state and national tournaments.
- 9-12 (C) division competes at regional, state and national tournaments.

Currently, approximately 30% of Georgia middle and high schools participate in Georgia Science Olympiad. At the 2004 National Tournament at Juniata College in Pennsylvania, Georgia schools finished 1st and 4th out of 54 teams in the B Division and 22nd and 25th out of 54 teams in the C Division. This was the ninth consecutive year that Georgia produced a team that went on to win the national championship.

The National Science Foundation recently funded an evaluation of Georgia Science Olympiad to collect data and to determine its impact on students and teachers. Evidence showed that use of, or participation in, Science Olympiad events improved students' collaboration with peers, problem-solving abilities, ability to use scientific and technical equipment, self-confidence and self-esteem, scientific knowledge, and appreciation and understanding of the processes of scientific discovery and investigation. These results were observed both in students participating in the full competition and in students engaging in events used to supplement classroom instruction. More information about this research can be found at the Georgia Science Olympiad website.

Georgia Public Broadcasting is partnering with Georgia Science Olympiad to offer interactive webcasts for teachers interested in becoming GSO coaches. Recently, we produced webcast trainings on the Storm the Castle, Bridge Building, and Forestry events - and additional events are added regularly. Georgia Public Broadcasting's interactive webcasting allows teachers from all corners of the state to access high quality training on-demand.

Visit the Georgia Science Olympiad website or the GPB website to access the webcasts. For more information about getting involved in Georgia Science Olympiad, contact Dr. Milton Stombler of Georgia State University at (404) 463-9620 or

Monday, March 7, 2005

Become a TeacherLine Facilitator

Georgia Public Broadcasting has an immediate opportunity for teachers to help build Georgia's learning communities. GPB and PBS TeacherLine, an online professional development program for educators, are looking for qualified Georgia teachers with Master's Degrees in Math, Language Arts and Technology to facilitate online courses - and earn $1000 for it.

Are you interested in becoming a GPB TeacherLine Facilitator? Here's what you need to know before you sign up:

- TeacherLine facilitator trainees participate in a comprehensive three-step training program, which offers them different perspectives, helpful resources and unique methods for facilitating courses.
- All potential facilitators must attend a face-to-face one-day workshop, which will take place in Georgia and in some cases by phone. Goals of the Workshop are:
- Meet other facilitators trainees from Georgia
- Become familiar with the TeacherLine program and its components
- Address navigation and usability issues within:
- TeacherLine Web site
- TeacherLine courses and Blackboard software
- Begin discussion of online learning and facilitation
- Upon completion of the Orientation Workshop, facilitator candidates enroll in the six-week Online Facilitator Training (OFT) course where you will work with an experienced online facilitator trainer to learn more about online facilitation. Goals of the course:
- You will be able to explain, interpret and apply strategies for initiating and supporting the development of an online community, and for delivering content online.
- You will invest 5-7 hours per week for 6 weeks in this course.
- The OFT is based on the Concord e-Learning model. For more information please visit
- Facilitator support does not end after the six-week course. You can participate in a support course made just for you- the Facilitators United Network (FUN) course. Facilitators can go to the FUN for ongoing support, resources, new ideas and discussions, how-to tips, a Mentoring program for newly trained graduates, an annual online event, and newsletters with updates from PBS TeacherLine.

To register for the next Online Facilitator Training and start earning money for helping your fellow teachers, contact Monica Thornton at 404-685-2418 or

Letter from the Interim Executive Director:

A new conversation about education has begun in Georgia. In late January at Georgia Public Broadcasting and in schools across the state, parents, students, educators, civic leaders, business leaders, and politicians gathered to talk about student achievement and how we define education excellence. GPB is proud to be a partner with Governor Perdue, Superintendent Cox, the State Board of Education, and the state's education organizations in facilitating this important dialogue about education, accountability, and outcomes. The energy and excitement here at GPB was clearly evident, and I hope infectious. We need every citizen, and especially every educator and every parent, thinking about and working toward education improvement in the state.

The conversation is continuing with additional statewide discussions as well as local and regional discussions planned with the Governor's Education Finance Task Force, chaired by State School Board Member Dean Alford. However, your input is important. You can be a part of the discussion by visiting the Investing in Education Excellence web site (IE Squared - IE2) and emailing your comments. Your comments will be shared with the Governor's staff, the Board of Education, and the Superintendent.

Georgia Public Broadcasting is committed to meeting our mandate to be a partner with the education entities in our state. We strive to meet your needs and support your efforts with our extensive resources. Of course, to be successful, GPB needs your feedback on our current services, and we need your ideas about how we can support educators and students in the future as technology becomes even more important in the delivery of education - - anytime, anywhere.

Over the past 10 years, our efforts have been focused primarily on elementary and secondary education. We are beginning to reach out to the higher education community through focus groups, surveys, meetings, and other tools to identify ways that we can support and promote higher education. We also want to build on higher education's efforts to work with PreK - 12 educators in the state. By making our resources available to them and sharing their valuable content with schools statewide, we can continue to grow the resources available to teachers and students of all ages and achievement levels.

Please feel free to contact us with your comments and suggestions about our programs and services. We value your feedback, and we need your ideas to be an effective resource and advocate for you. Thank you for your support and your work on behalf of the students of our state.

Friday, March 4, 2005

Three Cheers for Cheerleading

GPB and Prep Sports Plus are pleased to bring you the 12th Annual Georgia High School Association Cheerleading Championships. Since its inception in 1994, the State Cheerleading Championships has continued to garner increased participation across Georgia, with more than 200 schools currently vying for the state title. The 2005 competition was held on February 5 at the Columbus Civic Center, and Prep Sports Plus was there to tape it! The program, entitled Prep Sports Cheerleading 2005, is broken into 6 episodes - one for each classification:
- Episode 101 - Class A
- Episode 102 - Class AA
- Episode 103 - Class AAA
- Episode 104 - Class AAAA
- Episode 105 - Class AAAAA
- Episode 106 - Co-Ed Classification

Each 45-minute episode features the full 2 and a half minute performance from every one of the 16 schools per classification. This is the first time EVER that viewers around the state have had the opportunity to see their team's full performance on screen! Tune in to see any of the following three presentations on Channel 430:
4 PM, Wed., 03/02
1 PM, Thurs., 03/03
2 PM, Fri., 03/04

Look for other great Prep Sports Plus programs featuring Georgia high school athletics to begin airing on Channel 430.

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Bright Beginnings... Promising Futures

On behalf of Bright From the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning and its partners, you are cordially invited to participate in a premiere early childhood education event, Bright Beginnings... Promising Futures. This exciting conference will be held at the Hilton Atlanta from March 21-23, 2005, and is designed to build upon the vision of last year's Southern Stories Conference.

Concurrent workshops will address issues within each of the following areas:
- Physical development, health, and nutrition
- Strengthening families
- Parent involvement
- Early intervention, special needs, and inclusion
- Social-emotional development
- Professional development
- Research and collaboration

The conference is open to all early education professions working in State pre-K programs, Head Start, child care centers, family child care homes, child care resource and referral agencies, academic settings, and other agencies designed to serve children and families. For more information about Bright Beginnings... Promising Futures or to register, please visit

World's Largest Concert Celebrates Education with Heart

As you know, March is Music in our Schools Month (MIOSM) - and Georgia Public Broadcasting is kicking it off with the LIVE broadcast of the 2005 World's Largest Concert on March 10 at 1 PM. For 21 years, the World's Largest Concert has been one of the highlights of MIOSM. Since 1985, the WLC has reached viewers worldwide with a powerful message from young musicians about the importance of music education.

The theme of the 2005 World's Largest Concert is "Music: The Heart of Education," and the concert program is filled with familiar favorites of school children across the country:
# "Cross the Wide Missouri," a traditional American folksong
# "Down by the Riverside," an African-American spiritual
# "Home on the Range," a traditional cowboy song
# "Music of My Heart," a ballad by Diane Warren
# "The Start Spangled Banner," our national anthem
# "This Land is Your Land," an old favorite by Woody Guthrie
# "Younger Generation," a special tune by Ira Gershwin and Aaron Copland

The program will be performed at the Moran Theater in Jacksonville, Florida, and will feature the Jacksonville Children's Chorus and the St. John's River City Band. To assist teachers in preparing your students to participate, the National Association for Music Education (MENC), the sponsor of the WLC, has created The World' s Largest Concert Teachers' Guide with reproducible students music and piano accompaniments, lesson plans, and activities. The guide may be downloaded from the MENC website and may be reproduced and shared with your students. If you'd like printed music and a rehearsal CD complete with orchestral arrangements, you may purchase those directly from MENC at the site above.

Spend time with your students this month exploring all of the ways that music has touched their lives and enriched their learning experiences. And don't forget to tune in the World's Largest Concert on Channel 420 on March 10!

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Special Offer for Teachers

Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust have joined together to share lessons from the Holocaust with the 21st century students and teachers in Georgia. As part of this collaboration, GPB recently aired an outstanding new PBS program entitled Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State. In order to help Georgia teachers to use this program in the classroom and to provide a meaningful context in which to set discussions about the Holocaust, GPB and the Georgia Commission are offering free copies of a special discussion and resource guide. The guide for Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State provides background on the series, suggestions for using the series in the classroom, discussion questions, guidelines for teaching about the Holocaust, and a timeline complete with historic photographs. If you would like to receive copies of this guide to use with your students, please contact Jascenda Pasley at and provide her with your name, school name and mailing address, and the number of copies you require.