Friday, August 5, 2005

GPB Honors Winners of 2005 Georgia Reading Rainbow Young Writers & Illustrators

Winners from of the 11th Annual Georgia Reading Rainbow Young Writers & Illustrators Contest were recently honored for their storytelling skills at a special ceremony held at Georgia Public Broadcasting's studios in Atlanta.

Twelve of the over 850 Georgia students, ranging from kindergarten to third grade, who entered their original illustrated stories were recognized. The four first place entries will move on to the National 11th Annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers & Illustrators competition. The contest is designed to challenge students to use their creative abilities to write and illustrate their own storybooks.

Georgia Public Broadcasting coordinated the Georgia regional contest in partnership with Reading Rainbow, Barnes & Noble, Innotrac and Holiday Inn. First place winners received free accommodations at Holiday Inn SunSpree Resorts. All winners received a book and VHS set from Reading Rainbow and a gift cards from Barnes & Noble; $50 for first place; $20 for second place; $10 for third place.

Nearly 250 contest participants, family members and friends attended Georgia Public Broadcasting's ceremony honoring participants of the Georgia regional contest where winners read their stories and were presented with prizes. After the ceremony was complete, children and their families were treated to lunch and an afternoon of fun and educational activities that included a special visit from Clifford The Big Red Dog.

The complete list of contest winners and story titles are as follows:

First Place:
Kindergarten: Raven Rose Balakonis, Eastman, "A Big Mess"
First Grade: Savannah Hillman, Hephzibah, "Sarah's Rainbow"
Second Grade: Emma Button, Lilburn, "Get Ready to ...Rumble"
Third Grade: Alex Buter, Marietta, "Never Run Away From Your Babysitter"

Second Place:
Kindergarten: Erin Machado, Roswell, "The Fight Over the Red Rose"
First Grade: Moriah Gibson, Stone Mountain, "Emma Goes to the Moon"
Second Grade: Hanna Geil, Kennesaw, "The Magic Closet"
Third Grade: Carlisle Vidourek, Fayetteville, "Animal School"

Third Place:
Kindergarten: Ramya Srinivasan, Roswell, "Sharing"
First Grade: Claudia Gaither, Athens, "Snowshine, The Snowfriend"
Second Grade: Blake Manuel, Stone Mountain, "Slow Poke the Turtle
Third Grade: Sarah Dobson, Ballground, "The Little Penny"

GPB: High Quality Resources, High Quality People

Since we began serving the Georgia learning community in 1994, the Education division of Georgia Public Broadcasting has continued to expand the programs and services we provide. We have grown from a small department operating a single ITV channel to a resource-rich organization providing programming and training through multiple satellite channels, open air television, and the Internet. In order to ensure that we are meeting the needs of teachers and students, GPB has assembled a team of professionals with the experience and expertise required to understand those needs and provide solutions. Take a moment to read about each member of our staff below and learn who can assist you with specific questions you may have about GPB programs and services.

The Leadership

Mike Nixon - Director GPB Education
Mike served as the Director of GPB's Information Technology Division for four years before assuming the directorship of GPB Education. His background in information systems and distance learning technology enables him to develop unique solutions for Georgia educators that maximize GPB's technological infrastructure while providing high quality resources for use in the classroom. Under his leadership, GPB Education has continued to expand our video streaming and webcasting capabilities, which provide video resources to schools via the Internet without the need for a television or VCR. Additionally, he has solidified partnerships with the Georgia Department of Education and a number of other education entities that have resulted in the development of programs and resources that impact not only classroom teaching, but also professional development for educators. You may contact Mike at or 404-685-2256.

Patrice Weaver - Operations Manager, Social Studies
Patrice came to GPB after 15 years in the classroom. Before getting her Masters Degree in Instructional Design and becoming an award winning social studies teacher, Patrice worked as a Chief Executive Officer and Fiduciary Accountant for 10 years. Both of these skill sets serve her well as the Operations Manager of GPB Education, where she is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the division, including the budget, broadcast and streaming services, and client services. In addition to supervising the division's other project managers, Patrice herself serves as the social studies project manager, responsible for evaluating social studies content for broadcast and maintaining the extensive Georgia Stories website. She has been Executive Producer on a variety of education multi-media projects and continues to conduct professional development trainings statewide. Patrice actively cultivates partnerships with other state organizations in order to serve the needs of Georgia educators. You may contact Patrice at or 404-685-2563.

The Administrative Staff

Gwendolyn Clayton - Administrative Assistant
Gwendolyn came to GPB from Atlanta Public Schools after managing a multifaceted computer lab with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Oglethorpe University. She is responsible for vital internal tasks that enable the project managers to most effectively serve our external clients. She supports the GPB Education staff logistically with all project needs, including purchasing, conference planning and preparation, and organization of internal meetings. Gwendolyn also manages required departmental documentation that allows staff to travel across the state and purchase supplies to meet the training needs of educators. You may contact Gwen at or 404-685-2548.

Jascenda Pasley - Administrative Assistant
Jascenda has been with GPB Education for four years, during which time she has become an indispensable part of our team. She is the person you speak with when you call the main GPB Education phone number, and she can assist you with placing orders for GPB original programs, finding the technical assistance you need for your satellite or video streaming equipment, and locating the appropriate GPB staff person to answer your content-specific questions. Jascenda also inputs all of the program information you find in our online program guide and assists the project managers in preparation for conferences and trainings. You may contact Jascenda at or 404-685-2413.

The Project Managers

Katherine Aiken - Language Arts, Foreign Language, ESOL
Before joining GPB, Katherine taught middle and high school for seven years in DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties. Outside of the classroom, she continued work in the educational arena by facilitating workshops, developing educational programming, and working with school districts across the country to deliver community-based initiatives. Katherine's combination of teaching experience and business savvy make her a unique asset to GPB Education, where she serves the language arts, foreign language, and ESOL communities. She is responsible for locating and evaluating programming in these subject areas as well as developing partnerships with outside organizations that benefit learners across Georgia. Additionally, Katherine helps to oversee GPB's TeacherLine professional development initiative and provides video streaming training to teachers, media specialists, and administrators. You may contact Katherine at or 404-685-2743.

Jeanne Allen
Jeanne joined the GPB team in 2005 after graduating from the University of Washington with a double degree in Communications and Psychology. Jeanne serves as the Digital Communications Project Manager and is responsible for producing the monthly Pipeline E-Zine, coordinating design and production marketing materials, producing digital images, and creating other communications for GPB. Jeanne also works to educate and create awareness among teachers, media specialists, and administrators across the state about video streaming, programming, and other educational resources GPB has to offer. You may contact Jeanne at or 404-685-2418.

Rod Berry - Programming
Rod came to GPB Education from the world of database maintenance, where he worked to keep track of GPB's membership database for five years. Now that he's part of the Education team, Rod serves the crucial function of scheduling the programming that airs on Channels 410, 420, and 430. Rod is also in charge of seeking out new programming from vendors across the nation. If you have questions or concerns about the broadcast schedule, you can contact Rod. Also, if you would like to see more programming in a particular subject area, please let Rod know and he will do his best to acquire it for broadcast. You may contact Rod at or 404-685-2649.

Linda Johnson
- Elementary Education Project Manager
Before joining GPB, Linda was a teacher for six and a half years. She most recently taught fourth grade in Cobb County for two and a half years. Prior to that, she spent a year in Mexico teaching English as a second language to middle school and high school students. She is a graduate of the College of Charleston and is currently working on her masters in middle childhood education with a concentration in mathematics at Georgia State University. Linda is the Elementary Education Project Manager, concentrating on science and mathematics initiatives. She can assist you with any questions you might have regarding science and math programming and professional development offerings. She can also provide you with information about the "COUNT ON IT!" math series for grades K-3 as well as the "Georgia Outdoors" program. Linda provides professional development training on using video streaming and multimedia in the classroom. In addition, she facilitates partnerships with other entities throughout the state that can serve Georgia educators and learners. You may contact Linda at or 404-685-2555.

Laura Miller - Family Literacy, Ready to Learn
Laura came to GPB from WGBH in Boston, where she served as a member of the team that piloted Ready To Learn (RTL), public broadcasting's answer to the call for all children to begin school ready to learn. Laura has a Master's Degree in Education, with an emphasis in English, and experience working in various educational settings within the K-12 arena. Since joining GPB, Laura has served the Ready To Learn needs of the entire state through workshops for educators, parents, and caregivers. Additionally, she evaluates programming and oversees professional development in the areas of early childhood education, adult literacy, and family literacy. Laura further serves the needs of these communities through the facilitation of partnerships with other organizations to develop initiatives such as the Department of Education's Reading First project. You may contact her at or 404-685-2521.

Barbara O'Brien - Fine Arts
Barbara has been working in the fine arts community for her entire career. In addition to a wealth of personal experience as a dancer and choreographer, Barbara has an M.Ed. in education with an emphasis in dance. She has taught fine arts in classrooms from the pre-K through postsecondary levels, served as an artist-in-residence for various educational programs, and worked with such noteworthy Georgia organizations as the Fulton County Arts Council, the High Museum of Art, and Young Audiences of Atlanta. Since joining GPB as an Education Project Manager in 2003, Barbara has shared her fine arts knowledge with the larger Georgia learning community through the selection of fine arts education programming. She also provides professional development training for educators who want to integrate multimedia into classroom teaching of fine arts subjects. Additionally, Barbara facilitates partnerships between GPB and other organizations that further the cause of arts education in the state. You may contact Barbara at or 404-685-2545.


Lisa Hannabach
- Administrative Assistant for Irasshai
When you call the Irasshai Hotline (1-800-883-7444 or (404) 865-2811 in the Atlanta area), chances are Lisa's will be the first voice you hear. Although she has a B.A. in Japanese Language and Culture from the University of Hawaii and has lived in Japan for ten years, she promises to answer your Irasshai-related questions in English. As the administrative assistant for GPB's Japanese language and culture distance learning program, Lisa provides support to the Irasshai staff, acts as liaison between staff and enrolled schools, and facilitates the day to day operations of the Irasshai office.

Kathy Negrelli - Program Manager
Kathy comes to GPB with a Ph.D. in foreign language education from The University of Georgia and more than 20 years of teaching experience in Japan and in the U.S. ranging from elementary to university level. She has served on the team of Irasshai - GPB's high school distance learning course in Japanese language and culture - since its inception in 1995. She was an integral member in helping develop the Audio Interaction component of the course, as well as playing critical roles in the creation of Irasshai Explorer, the middle school course and i-irasshai, an interactive CD-Rom supplement to Irasshai. She currently acts as liaison between GPB and Irasshai subscribers across the nation, and is editor of the Irasshai Shinbun, a newsletter devoted to providing information and activities to facilitators and students of Irasshai.

Katsumi Suzuki- Program Coordinator of Irasshai
Katsumi came to the U.S. as a college student to major in English at Shorter College (Rome, GA). Her original plan was to stay in the U.S. for a few years until she graduated. During her last year of college, she went to visit a Japanese class at The University of Georgia. She was so excited to see American students learning Japanese, and she dreamed about becoming a teacher herself. She was encouraged to go to graduate school at UGA, where she studied foreign language education and taught Japanese in undergraduate classes for six years. She is one of the original staff who has been working for the Japanese distance course, Irasshai, since it piloted in 1996. She completed her Ph.D. in 2001 and is still enjoying teaching Japanese and coordinating the Irasshai program.

Sakiko Suzuki- Program Coordinator of Irasshai
Sakiko is originally from Kyoto, Japan and moved to the U.S. in 1997. She earned her Master's degrees in languages and cultures from Kansai Gaidai University and in comparative literature from The University of Georgia. She has been serving as a program coordinator of Irasshai since 2000 after having taught elementary school, middle school, and university both in Japan and in the U.S. Since 2000, she has been helping high students across the nation learn Japanese language and culture. Her 13 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings make her unique in her role as Distance Education Specialist in GPB's Education and Technology Division. She hopes that more students in the U.S. will broaden their worldview through learning the Japanese language and culture.

Even though the school year is coming to a close, the staff at Georgia Public Broadcasting is available to work with you on integrating technology into your classroom teaching practices. Contact any one of us to learn more about the resources we provide or to schedule training over the summer so that you can begin the 2005-2006 school year even better prepared to offer your students the meaningful learning experience they deserve.

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Letter from the Interim Executive Director:

Dear Educators,

As summer break comes to an end and back-to-school sales start, I find it hard to resist the urge to run to the store and buy some crayons, notebook paper and a cute new backpack. (I should mention that my daughter is now 27.) It just doesn't seem right for a school year to begin without brand new Crayolas.

At Georgia Public Broadcasting, we are excited to begin the 2005-2006 school year with our first exclusively digital issue of Pipeline. This new format will allow us to bring you the most up-to-date educational information without the limitations of a print format and save money to put into programs.

We value your input and want to remind you that your feedback is crucial to shaping the resources we provide to best fit your needs. If you have any suggestions or comments as to how this new format of Pipeline can be most useful to you, please e-mail Jeanne Allen, our Communications Project Manager, at She will be happy to hear from you!

As always, we will continue to work with you throughout the school year to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom through technology integration. GPB Education brings you resources like video streaming, sample lesson plans, and professional development tools to supplement the important work you are doing in the classroom. We also provide tutorials on how to use the resources effectively such as topics like How to integrate video into the classroom. GPB Education has developed online course listings that comprise sequenced lists of video resources organized by course and relevance. Visit the online course listings located on the GPB Education homepage in the Teacher Toolbox to find the excellent resources to compliment your lessons.

All of us at GPB wish you a wonderfully successful school year for 2005-2006 and hope that our ongoing efforts to provide Georgia students and teachers with the highest level of educational resources will help you to make this school year one to remember fondly.

Nancy G. Hall

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Satellite Startup Tips

1. If you've lost power to the Chaparral unit over the holidays:

* Power the Chaparral back on and tune the television to the channel used to view the Chaparral output.
* Ensure the satellite channel chosen is R7 AMC-3, Channel 14.
* Press the SAT/TV button on your Digicipher so that the SAT/TV light is lit in the display.
* The green Signal light should lit in the display.
* GPB Education programming will now be visible on the television set.

2. If your dish has been moved from AMC-3:

* Press the satellite selection button on the Chaparral remote.
* Scroll up or down using the up and down arrows in the center of the remote until R7 AMC-3 is located.
* Ensure that R7 AMC-3 is highlighted and press enter.
* When the "dish is motion" display disappears, press the time button on the remote and confirm that the dish is pointed to R7-14.
* Select channel 14 if it is not the channel displayed.
* See instructions above to receive GPB Education programming.

3. If the site has a green signal light and NO video:

* Contact the Convergent Media Systems Helpdesk at 800 877 -7805.

Additional Help:

If you have any additional problems operating your equipment, consult the satellite tutorial on the GPB Education website. If you still have questions, contact the help desk at (800) 877-7805.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Updates to GPB Education's Video Streaming

As the 2005-2006 school year begins, we want to remind you of a dynamic teaching tool you have at your fingertips - GPB Education's video streaming service.

The site contains:

* 40,000 + Video Clips
* 20,000+ Images
* Clip Art Gallery
* Blackline Masters
* Writing Prompts
* Teacher Features
* Calendar
* Quiz Center and more.

In the past, each school in Georgia used a generic username and password to access the unitedstreaming video content. Now we want to encourage you to use a unique passcode to create your personal username and password. Your personal account will automatically link to the larger school account.

The benefits of creating an individual account include:

* Chances to participate in self-paced interactive training modules
* Added ease when using the Quiz Center feature
* Ability to generate reports on individual video streaming use in addition to school and district use
* Opportunity to access existing product features and be prepared for new product enhancements in the future

You will still be able to

* Share Playlists with other members of your department, grade level and school
* Access downloaded video clips and images stored on your school's server
* Use all of the existing unitedstreaming features

We urge all schools to use their assigned passcodes so that GPB Education can keep accurate records of who is using the video streaming service and how often. This provides feedback on our training initiatives, allows us to troubleshoot problems at the system and building levels, and provides us with accurate data to justify continued support for offering video streaming to Georgia teachers.

At this time, we do not issue passwords to Georgia students. Please do not print the GPB video streaming login information on a course syllabus or post it on your school website or your individual web page. Sharing your personal login information with anyone who is not a Georgia educator violates the unitedstreaming user agreement. If you would like your school's passcode so that you can create your own individual username and password, please contact us at 1-888-501-8960.

Look for more video streaming information from GPB Education staff members as we host workshops at the following state conferences:

* COMO in October
* GaETC in November
* Other discipline-specific conferences.

If you would like to explore the GPB Education video streaming content, please contact us at 1-888-501-8960 to schedule training. GPB Education staff will be happy to conduct an orientation and offer ideas on integrating this powerful tool into your schools and classrooms.