Making a Difference:
I believe you should look for more than one way to present information. Kids learn in so many different ways. KET EncycloMedia helps meet that need.
“It was a very good class day.”
That’s how middle school science teacher Rebecca Schwab described her experience in the classroom when she saw on her students’ faces what every teacher wants to see: engagement.
Schwab had presented information downloaded from KET EncycloMedia regarding stem cells—a factual, scientific clip that didn’t address the moral implications of the experimental procedure. But because it was in the news, her students were very interested in the subject. So she organized a debate.
“Students who never talk were volunteering to participate in the debate,” says Schwab, who teaches at Madison County’s Foley Middle School in Berea. “It was a very good class day.”
For a creative teacher like Schwab, who is always looking for new ways to present information to a variety of learners, KET EncycloMedia provides yet another avenue to approach today’s technologically savvy students.
“It’s hard to do a traditional science classroom where ‘I teach and you take notes’ to this society of children who play on computers ... They do video games, they watch movies and TV.”
Provided to Kentucky public schools free of charge through a partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education, KET EncycloMedia provides indexed video and images on a wide variety of subjects in an easy-to-use format. Its resources are easily imported into other computer programs like PowerPoint, allowing teachers—and even students—to create exciting demonstrations. The more than 5,000 videos, 50,000 video clips, and thousands of digital images are all searchable by keyword, content area, and grade level, and they’re aligned with Kentucky academic standards. KET EncycloMedia even includes 50 hours of KET-produced video, with much more on the way.
The visual component of KET EncycloMedia provides an important tool in a teacher’s bag of tricks to ensure student engagement, Schwab says.
“I believe you should look for more than one way to present information. Kids learn in so many different ways,” she explains. “KET EncycloMedia helps meet that need.”
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Teachers across the Commonwealth are echoing Schwab, says Cynthia Warner, a KET education consultant who helps teachers make effective use of KET’s resources in classrooms. “Teachers have told me that KET EncycloMedia is the single most engaging instructional resource ever,” she says. “Teachers applaud the efficiency and ease of accessing the high-quality content within the service. Students applaud the ability to access current media and resources with such modern technology. If there ever was a service that’s malleable to any given teacher’s style, time, and subject, this is it.”
Another favorite lesson of Schwab’s—one that also readily gets her students’ attention—is to visit, via KET EncycloMedia, the Galápagos Islands, famed for their vast array of unique species.
“They’ve studied the fossil record, and in the Galápagos Islands, there is no evidence of any extinction until we showed up there. So it shows we have an impact on our environment and on the species that are surviving here. It brings it home to students more.”
Which, after all, is this dynamic teacher’s goal.
“I’m thankful KET EncycloMedia is available to me as a resource,” Schwab says. “It helps spice up instruction. In an ideal science classroom, it would be great to have a lab every day. But that’s just not practical in the real world. KET EncycloMedia gives me another avenue for instruction.”