Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network held an Education Ideas Forum on August 7th, 2017, focusing on how public media can be used to improve everyday learning in Connecticut public schools. Educators from New Haven to Bridgeport to Waterbury gathered to discuss how they can most effectively utilize modern technology to engage their students, as well as to ask questions of their own concerning how to approach this process in a way that aids their students’ development into media-conscious thinkers.
Host Rose Pierre-Louis led the forum in discussing how to empower students as strong content creators, the long term impact of media literacy, and which technological tools are most helpful for educators to integrate into their lesson plans. Teachers were involved in thoughtful conversations with one another, generating new ideas about how public media can be effectively used in both middle and high schools across a wide variety of course subjects. “Technology is moving so fast, I like to keep up on the latest developments and learning strategies. CPBN is my go-to source to stay connected.” remarked Jim Moffett of Ledyard Middle School.
Educators were encouraged to explore learning exercises created as part of CPBN’s Thinkalong™ program. Thinkalong™ is a web-based learning platform for classroom teaching of media literacy, critical thinking, and debate skills to middle and high school students in an active learning environment. The first of its kind, Thinkalong™ uses curated resources from national PBS, NPR, and local media stations, including CPTV and WNPR in lesson modules that engage students in discussions about current events.
As the forum progressed, teachers were educated in how to properly conduct debate within their classrooms and then engaged in a mock-debate of their own regarding the topic of free tuition in American colleges. What resulted was a respectful discussion, allowing teachers to temporarily place themselves in the positions of students and experience social discourse firsthand.
Finally, guest speaker and 2016 Connecticut PBS Digital Innovator Leon Tynes addressed how to make use of PBS LearningMedia as an active tool for engaging students. Tynes spoke on the value of properly utilizing social media to connect with students in a professional manner, using his Twitter account as a key example. Tynes also stressed the importance of educators “getting outside of their district” and communicating with other educators in order to spread new and innovative ways of immersing students in technology.
CPBN continues its commitment to support media literacy in all Connecticut schools, and produces the Education Ideas Forum as a means of both informing and listening to the passionate educators who are equally dedicated to constantly improving the academic experience of their students.
For more information about the Thinkalong™ program, please visit the following link:
For a full list of educational tools and digital media resources discussed in the Education Forum, follow the link below: