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Making a Difference: A Resourceful Year in Education

Students in Donnie Piercey’s classroom.

High-quality, trusted educational resources like the ones KET provides to Kentucky educators are invaluable to any classroom, no matter where that classroom is. In this particularly challenging year, educators have turned to KET more than ever.“If it comes from KET, I already know it’ll be good,” said Erin Weaver, library media specialist at Ft. Wright Elementary School in Kenton County. “I recommend KET to everybody I know actually because not only are KET’s resources easy to find and use, they’re also free, which is the best thing ever.”
In Kenton County, where students customarily went on a spring field trip, Weaver said that teachers were able to continue the practice this past spring thanks to the virtual field trips available through KET’s PBS LearningMedia, which offers an assortment of video tours — everything from the U.S. Capitol to a butterfly park to the International Space Station.
“Even though students were stuck in their homes, they were still able to choose where they wanted to go,” Weaver said. “So the virtual field trips were priceless to them.”

Donnie Piercey
Donnie Piercey

Easy to use

In Fayette County, Donnie Piercey, a fifth-grade teacher at Stonewall Elementary and the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, said KET is one of his routine stops when looking for educational resources to supplement his classroom explorations.
“KET’s resources are always so easy to find and use,” Piercey said. “And they’re vetted for actual classroom use, so they make remote learning a lot easier.”
Each year, he asks his students to create a made-to-scale solar system, and he uses videos and other resources found on PBS LearningMedia to help them get their projects off the ground.

Clicks with lesson plans

Alice Lamb, a kindergarten teacher at Pembroke Elementary in Christian County, said she’s relied on KET’s educational resources for their easy integration with Google Classroom. Every resource found on PBS LearningMedia includes a link that automatically loads the video or interactive game into the day’s lesson plan.
“The students absolutely love this feature because it gives them so much independence,” Lamb said. “Plus, it’s so easy for kids and parents to navigate. It really is an amazing tool that we’re very grateful to have.”

Johnnie Bishop

Free from distractions

Johnnie Bishop, a music teacher at Veterans Park Elementary School in Fayette County, said she routinely incorporates performance videos from KET’s Music Arts Toolkit into her lesson plans, noting that her students love the explanations the performers include about their instruments.
“We really appreciate the detail that’s layered into the videos,” she adds.
Bishop said she’s experimented with other online resources, but continually finds herself returning to KET.
“Having so many trusted resources in one spot is a huge time saver for me and my colleagues,” Bishop said. “And when I include links for students or parents to use, it takes them straight to the resource without any ads or other interruptions.”

Ally Sparks

Fosters new ideas

At Rosa Parks Elementary in Fayette County, fourth-grade teacher Ally Sparks said she and her students have relied on KET’s News Quiz program on Friday afternoons — a tradition that had started when they were still meeting in person — to help “keep things feeling normal in these not-so-normal times.”
Sparks said she loves News Quiz because it talks about Kentucky topics and introduces students to new subjects that can serve as a springboard to larger class discussions.
“Everything’s done in kid language, and even though it’s all about the real world, it’s done in a way that’s accessible for kids,” Sparks said. “And that’s important because it gives us a chance to talk about potentially scary topics in a non-scary way. So it’s great for fostering conversation.”
KET is proud to be a trusted and relied upon partner for Kentucky’s educators to ensure learning continues however and wherever it’s needed. Much more about KET’s educational services available at KET.org/education.