The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) recently announced a nearly $2 million grant to expand middle school math content available through PBS LearningMedia, a free digital media service with more than 30,000 resources, including videos, games, images, audio files and lesson plans to help teachers enhance learning in classrooms nationwide. The grant was awarded to public television station WGBH in Boston; and KET is one of four total producing partners for the grant, along with WGBH, WNET in New York City and KQED in San Francisco.
The grant allows these stations to address a critical need in middle school math education and provide new teaching tools for educators who use PBS LearningMedia resources. KET and the other public television producing partners will contribute and oversee the development of more than 400 new and repurposed digital resources focused on math at the middle school level.
KET, which already has a large collection of resources available on PBS LearningMedia, will be the second-largest contributor to this project by creating 50 pieces of content devoted to middle school math. Mary Duncan, director of K-12 instructional resources at KET, said that all resources will be created with a strong focus on how a conceptual approach to math through digital learning can benefit students.
“The traditional approach to math education often doesn’t explain to students the ‘why’ behind the formula,” Duncan said. “With these new PBS LearningMedia resources, it’s the ‘why’ we’re trying to help students discover.”
Many of the 50 resources KET will create for PBS LearningMedia will be designed with a diverse student audience in mind. Duncan said there will be different “entry points” for the resources, allowing students of varying skills and abilities to benefit.
The main content adviser for the project is Dr. Linda Sheffield, professor emeritus from Northern Kentucky University and a nationally known math education expert. An advisory group has also been formed to help KET develop the resources. This group includes a Kentucky Department of Education consultant and three Kentucky classroom teachers. KET plans to complete all 50 resources by spring 2014.
All of the new math tools on PBS LearningMedia will be aligned to Common Core State Standards, which provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn so that teachers and parents know how best to support their academic achievement.
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