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PBS Digital Innovators Program Announces Call for Applicants

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Now in its 5th Year, Annual Program Recognizes Top PreK-12 Educators Using Digital Technology and Tools in the Classroom

Arlington, VA, December 12, 2016 – Beginning today, educators from across the country—classroom changemakers who excel at using technology and digital media to spark excitement and drive learning in their classrooms—are encouraged to enter the 2017 PBS Digital Innovators Program.

The call for entries officially opens today and will remain open through midnight, February 13, 2017. Educators are asked to submit a 60- to180-second “mini-presentation” video to show how they’re using resources from PBS LearningMedia, the free media-on-demand service for classrooms from PBS and the WGBH Educational Foundation, along with digital technology and tools in their classroom to enhance their teaching and inspire of love of learning in their students. Entrants will also be asked to complete a profile and answer a short essay question. The PBS Digital Innovators online application is available at: www.pbs.org/education/digitalinnovators.

“Over the past five years, PBS Digital Innovators have served not only as role models for using digital content and instructional resources in the classroom, but also as true change makers in their classrooms and communities,” said Lesli Rotenberg, SVP and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “Education is at the core of PBS’ mission, both at the national and local level. Through our partnership with PBS stations, based in every community, this unique program allows us to recognize these leaders whose transformative work is inspiring a generation of lifelong learners.”

A panel of esteemed judges will seek to select one educator from each state throughout the U.S, its territories and the District of Columbia as PBS Digital Innovators. The Digital Innovators will receive a three-day all-expense paid trip to San Antonio, Texas, June 24-26, to participate in the 2017 PBS Digital Innovators Summit and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference. Attendance at these conferences will provide the Digital Innovators the opportunity to meet with, and listen to, renowned speakers, experts and educators; to discuss strategies for delivering best practices in digital education that they can immediately apply to the classroom and across their schools; and an opportunity to network with educators from across the country.

All PBS Digital Innovators will also receive ongoing professional development opportunities, including unique virtual trainings focused on digital best practices, access to exclusive resources from PBS LearningMedia Custom, invitations to special events, a free PBS TeacherLine professional development course, networking opportunities, a choice of a digital gift to use in their classroom and more. PBS Digital Innovators will also receive ongoing support from, and opportunities to work with, their local PBS member stations.

PBS continues to deepen relationships with educators across the country, so all educators who meet the entry requirements, follow the guidelines and submit their application to the Digital Innovators Program will automatically become a member of a robust professional learning community with ongoing professional development opportunities and access to free webinars from PBS LearningMedia.

The 2017 PBS Digital Innovators will be announced on March 15, 2017. For more information on PBS LearningMedia, visit www.floridapbslearningmedia.org.

 

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Health News Florida Wins National Edward R. Murrow Award

Health News Florida, a statewide multimedia and broadcast collaboration between WUSF Public Media, WMFE 90.7, and WLRN Public Radio and Television, has been honored with the 2016 national Edward R. Murrow award for “Best Small Online News Organization Website.”

The national Murrow award is considered one of the most prestigious honors in the broadcast and multi-media industry. It is presented by the Radio and Television Digital News Association, which has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism since 1971. The awards are named after legendary broadcaster Edward R. Murrow, who is widely recognized as one of broadcast journalism’s seminal figures.

“The Health News Florida project demonstrates an essential service that WUSF provides on perhaps the most vital topic possible – health,” said WUSF General Manager JoAnn Urofsky. “My congratulations to the team across the state of Florida for their excellence in reporting.”

This year’s award recognizes Health News Florida for original reporting projects such as HIV in Florida, a series looking at poor Floridians caught in the Medicaid Gap, and ongoing coverage of statewide health care policies. This award follows other recent recognitions for Health News Florida, including regional Murrow awards for the site and in the news documentary division; and three awards from the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

“WMFE is very proud to partner with WUSF and WLRN,” said WMFE President and General Manager, LaFontaine Oliver.  “The Health News Florida project has multiplied the reporting power of our individual stations resulting in an incredible health news resource and service to all of Florida.”

Health journalist Carol Gentry created Health News Florida 10 years ago as an independent health news organization, at a time when the number of health journalists in the state was dwindling. It was acquired by WUSF in 2012 and expanded to the collaboration with partner public broadcasters WLRN and WMFE in 2014 as a result of a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

“This is a remarkable accomplishment and reinforces not just WLRN as a news leader in South Florida, but it also reflects the tremendous work from our fellow public media stations across the state of Florida, ” said John LaBonia, General Manager of WLRN.  “I am very proud of this news partnership and congratulate the entire team for this well-deserved recognition and their collaboration in making Florida Health News such a valuable public service.”

Florida public radio and television stations have a strong history of collaboration on projects the benefit the citizens of Florida. Florida public radio stations joined forces with the Florida Division of Emergency Management to form the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN) in 2014, which covers 99 percent of the state and is locally staffed and equipped to stay on the air to deliver important information to local audiences before, during and after an emergency. Florida public television stations work together across the state to provide Florida teachers, parents, students, and mentors with the Florida PBS LearningMedia, a free and innovative digital library developed to support curriculum-based teaching and learning from pre-K through college. The success of these initiatives, along with the award-winning Health News Florida, demonstrates the deep commitment of Florida public television and radio stations have to serving the state and its citizens.

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Get emergency info on free Florida Storms mobile phone app

 

GAINESVILLE, Fla.  – Florida residents and visitors have a new resource to help them prepare for destructive storms and other emergencies.  The Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN) today launched Florida Storms , a free, mobile weather application that offers a simple way to stay informed of potential weather and other hazards, backed by real-time credible information from the nearest Florida public radio station.

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Using a combination of state of the art weather tracking and forecasting technology and the expertise of staff meteorologists at WUFT-FM, the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications public radio station and host to the FPREN StormCenter, Florida Storms helps deftly navigate weather-related emergencies, from preparedness checklists to storm updates to evacuation routes.

“Millions of people visit this state every year, and millions more have moved here since a hurricane last struck our shores ten years ago,” said Jeff Huffman, Florida Public Radio Meteorologist at UF. “Think about this: Twitter, YouTube, and even the iPhone weren’t around when Wilma made landfall back in 2005. To say there will be a lot of Floridians experiencing a potential disaster for the first time on social media or the smartphone is an understatement. We hope Florida Storms will help them cut through the noise and come to rely on a service that’s been proven for decades to be there in time of need, which is the backbone of public radio.”

FPREN communicates emergency information statewide through a seamless system of free over-the-air FM radio stations. The new mobile app extends the reach of the Florida station network with reliable and immediate accessibility on weather developments.

“The launch of the Florida Storms app is the natural next step into mobile distribution of the critical lifesaving information FPREN provides,” said Randy Wright, executive director of WUFT-FM and the Division of Multimedia Properties at UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. “The features of the app are groundbreaking and it’s very user-friendly.  Combine that with it being available at no charge equals what we believe will be an essential mobile tool for Floridians and visitors to our state.”

The iOS app, now available free in the Apple App Store, was developed in collaboration with mobile engagement provider Mobiquity. An Android version will be ready early this fall.

Among the features of the new app are:

  • Weather map: Clean and fast national radar with 1-hour past loop and future radar up to 48 hours, including current temperatures, wind speeds and lightning data
  • Radio streaming: Live stream of nearest FPREN partner station, with ability to customize based on desired location
  • News feed: Multiple feeds of real-time watch and warning information from various sources, with simultaneous advisory text and radar view
  • Emergency preparedness: Information for a weather disaster, including what to do before, during and after a storm
  • Push notifications: Customizable, from the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center.

The app can be downloaded here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/florida-storms/id1011397030?mt=8

About FPREN

Florida public radio stations joined forces with the Florida Division of Emergency Management to form FPREN in 2014. The FPREN Storm Center is operated by WUFT-FM at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications providing local 24/7 weather, data and storm updates to all stations in the network.

 FPREN stations collectively cover 99 percent of the state and are locally staffed and equipped to stay on the air even during times of massive power outages in order to deliver important information to local audiences before, during and after an emergency. In the event of a weather incident, the FPREN stations will continue to provide recovery information for as long as necessary. Working in partnership with the Florida Division of Emergency Management and local Emergency Operations Centers, listeners and users of the mobile app can be assured of having access to the most up to date information.

About FPBS

FPBS is a non-profit association of public radio and public television stations in the state of Florida. As the largest broadcasting network in the state, we reach more than 99 percent of Florida’s population through traditional broadcast, online tools and community engagement. FPBS stations are a state partner in education, emergency management and public affairs. Through our collaborative efforts, we identify and implement regional and statewide projects that enhance and sustain community initiatives that serve the citizens of Florida. For more information, visit the FPBS website at www.fpbs.org.

 

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FPBS Urges Legislature To Fund LearningMedia

CapitalSoup.com / June 11, 2015

TALLAHASSEE – FPBS, the Association of Public Media in Florida, is urging the legislature to provide $1 million in funding for the continued of support the newly-enhanced Florida PBS LearningMedia.  Last year’s state funding allowed Florida to be the first in the nation to create an indexed and alignment of the extensive resources of PBS, including Sesame Street, Nova, and Ken Burns documentaries, to all Florida education standards.  These trusted and popular educational assets are organized and available online to everyone at http://florida.pbslearningmedia.org/

“We believe that all children in Florida regardless of where they go to school—public, private, homeschool, daycare—deserve access to this free and innovative educational resource developed to support curriculum-based teaching and learning from pre-K through college,” said FPBS Executive Director Janyth Righter.

After launching just last December, this repository of multi-platform resources houses more than 100,000 digital classroom-ready assets that are being used by more than 64,000 Florida teachers and parents.

“Florida PBS stations have always been partners in education. The customized Florida PBS LearningMedia was launched just in time to assist teachers and parents in finding resources aligned to Florida’s newly implemented educational standards. The service also helps schools meet the State’s mandate that half of classroom instruction be through digital resources by this Fall,” said Righter.

“We believe that learning takes place not only in the classroom, but on a park bench, in a car-seat, and with mentors helping students improve their academic performance,” said Righter.  Florida PBS LearningMedia provides teachers, parents, public, charter, private and home schools an easy to use, trusted tool at their fingertips.  “When the State is asking parents to get more involved in their children’s education, providing access to a resource like the LearningMedia boosts that engagement,” said Righter.

To read the entire article, go to:
http://capitalsoup.com/2015/06/11/fpbs-urges-legislature-to-fund-learningmedia/

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Florida PBS Unveils Free Digital Learning Platform

By JENNIFER HARWOOD | Panama City News Herald Writer
Published: Thursday, December 4, 2014

TAMPA — One of America’s most trusted sources for high-quality educational programming has introduced a digital learning platform aimed at keeping up with the state’s revamped education standards.

Florida PBS Learning Media gave hands-on training to educators attending the Florida School Board Association and Florida Association of District School Superintendents conference in Tampa on Wednesday. Teachers learned how to use an interactive platform full of video, audio clips and lesson builders.

Districts statewide are making moves to comply with the state’s objectives to move learning online in Florida schools. This year, Florida PBS was awarded $1 million of the education budget for licensure and customization of digital learning content to meet Florida standards.

Janyth Righter, executive director of FPBS, said conversation started in 2006 about how Florida PBS television programming could be repurposed into digestible chunks of content for a digital learning platform. In 2010, the platform was launched.

To date, the platform has compiled over 87,000 learning objects from PBS’s nonprofit association of public radio and television stations into content that is searchable by grade level and topic. That number is expected to grow to over 100,000 by the end of the year.

Watson said Florida PBS Learning Media is a safe place for students to supplement learning online. For parents who are worried about their students getting homework help in risky corners of the Internet, Florida PBS makes premium content available on a safe platform that can be used anonymously.

To view the entire article, go to:
http://www.newsherald.com/news/education/florida-pbs-unveils-free-digital-learning-platform-1.409094

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PBS Digital Learning Resources Are Customized For Florida Schools

Posted by Mary Riker 12/11/14  WSRE-TV

Pensacola, FL, December 10, 2014—Florida’s teachers, students and lifelong learners now have access to thousands of customized digital learning resources at no cost through Florida PBS stations, including WSRE, with support from the Florida Legislature.

Florida Public Broadcasting System was awarded $1 million in the 2014-2015 state budget to customize more than 85,000 digital learning materials from the national PBS LearningMedia library to meet Florida state standards. The customization is complete, and now Florida PBS LearningMedia provides access to free educational materials which meet the specific needs of Florida’s K-16 educators and students.

This classroom-ready, curriculum-targeted, multi-platform digital resource is aligned to the state’s core standards for classroom instruction and student achievement. Florida PBS LearningMedia is available to all Floridians, and signup is free at florida.pbslearningmedia.org.

The national Public Broadcasting Service is recognized for quality television programming that educates and engages both children and adults. Beyond television broadcast, the PBS LearningMedia digital platform provides interactive curriculum-based content that impacts teacher effectiveness and drives student success in the classroom.

Florida is the first state in the nation where the Legislature has made an investment in the enriched PBS LearningMedia custom service which now offers a solution for Florida schools and school districts to help deepen learning and measure engagement through enhanced content, tools and analytics, and the option to manage and add content that meets the needs of local classroom instruction. The service includes educational materials from PBS programs like “NOVA,” “Frontline,” an array of PBS KIDS programs, and the Ken Burns Collection of documentaries.

An added benefit to local school districts is the analytics and reporting tools that track and measure student engagement, providing reports that Florida educators are required to produce. This reporting can allow for more teacher work hours dedicated to instruction with less time required for administrative tasks.

“Florida PBS LearningMedia offers a very wide range of trusted content that will inspire, stimulate and motivate students,” said Jill Hubbs, WSRE Educational Services director.  “Teachers will find literally thousands of educational resources at their fingertips for creating lessons and to enhance instruction, and they can be accessed instantly and at no cost.”

Hubbs said that approximately 1,500 teachers from the WSRE service area of Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties already have signed up and are using Florida PBS LearningMedia.

To view the complete article go to: http://www.wsre.org/blogs/press-room-blog/pbs-digital-learning-resources-are-customized-for-florida-schools/

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Florida PBS Launches Free Learning Website

By Leslie Postal / Orlando Sentinel / February 16, 2015

A new PBS website aims to give Florida teachers, parents and students an easy way to find videos, documents and interactive tools to “help bring learning to life.” The Florida PBS LearningMedia site launched in December, with more than 100,000 “assets” that can be searched by grade, subject and even by the state’s academic standards.

The items on the site include clips from PBS shows, documents from the Library of Congress, and pictures from the Smithsonian, among others.

The subjects covered are the school basics — arts, health, reading, math, science, social studies and world languages, for students in pre-K to 12th grade as well as some adult-education topics.

The project is an enhanced, Florida-based version of a national site created by PBS several years ago, one that took station content and turned it into “bite-size chunks” that could be used in class lessons, said Michele Watson, director of education services for Florida Public Broadcasting.

The Florida Legislature last year earmarked $1 million to take the national site and make it searchable by Florida’s academic standards. The project fit with lawmakers’ push for more online learning in Florida’s public schools, Watson said.

The Florida site has about 40,000 registered users, and Florida PBS hopes that grows as more people learn about the free resource.

To read the full article, please go to:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/school-zone/os-florida-pbs-learning-website-post.html

 

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Florida Legislature Cuts Funding For PBS LearningMedia

6/30/15

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a state budget last week that did not include a renewal of $1 million in funding for the state’s customized PBS LearningMedia platform.

Florida’s Association of Public Media (FPBS), an alliance of the state’s 26 public broadcasters, introduced LearningMedia to the state in 2012. The digital platform gives students and teachers access to over 100,000 online resources, including elements of popular PBS programs such as Nova and Ken Burns’ films. The material is organized by grade, subject and Common Core education standards.

Florida has rejected national education standards in favor of its own standards, and FPBS began customizing its LearningMedia platform last year to reflect the change. The legislature provided $1 million to support that work. The newly customized system, launched in December 2014, has grown to reach some 64,000 users throughout the state.

An additional $1 million in funding in the coming fiscal year would have helped FPBS maintain resources aligned with state standards and customize the resources PBS adds to the service. But the Senate’s chief budget writer, Republican Don Gaetz, removed the project from the $78.7 billion budget.  The legislature did approve continued funding for equipment and operating costs among TV and radio stations.

FPBS will explore ways to continue tailoring LearningMedia to Florida’s educational standards, potentially with support from foundations. It has no plans to drop the service, but it may no longer be able to fit LearningMedia to state education standards. Educators might stop using the service if that work ends, said Michele Watson, FPBS’s director of education services.

Charging school districts, as Gaetz suggested, would have cost schools almost $3 million if every district paid separately for the service, and it would have limited access just to public school teachers, Watson said. PBS now offers the system to parents, educational nonprofits and home, charter and private schools as well as public schools in Florida.

Watson said she thinks the legislature rejected a second appropriation mainly because FPBS lacked enough time to demonstrate the importance of a customized LearningMedia as an educational tool.

“I think that we were just beginning to get a real momentum going, and our legislators maybe haven’t heard from some of their [school] districts,” added Janyth Righter, FPBS executive director. “That may be part of the reason it was cut despite growing numbers of users,” Righter said.

The lack of funding will be a big loss for teachers and students, according to Brian Lassiter, a fourth-grade teacher at Astoria Park Elementary in Tallahassee who was named 2015 Florida History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

“PBS LearningMedia has a lot of quality content, and you just want to have something you can trust,” said Lassiter, who has used the service extensively. “When you hear that something you’ve worked with and that benefits students not only in my classroom but across the state [is being cut], it’s disappointing.”

FPBS executives believe digital tools such as LearningMedia are particularly important as children increasingly learn online. A recent Florida mandate requires delivering half of classroom instruction through digital materials by the beginning of the 2015–2016 school year.

Go to http://current.org/2015/06/florida-legislature-cuts-funding-for-pbs-learningmedia/ to read the full story by Henry Schneider.

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WUSF Public Media Handed Over “My Last Tour” Material to the Library of Congress Veterans History Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: WUSF Public Media Handed Over “My Last Tour” Material to the Library of Congress Veterans History ProjectAudio and archival material features interviews with U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Rex Temple during the airman’s final deployment to Afghanistan

 TAMPA, Fla. (August 3, 2012) – More than 30 people gathered last Friday afternoon at WUSF Public Media’s studios in Tampa as the public media organization handed over the “My Last Tour” audio and archival material to the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. Congressman Bill Young, Congresswoman Kathy Castor, and WUSF Public Media General Manager JoAnn Urofsky were joined by members of the USF and military communities and station staff, as retired U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Rex Temple presented the material to project director, Bob Patrick.

“The importance of this project was made clear to me when I heard Honor Flight veterans retell their compelling and heroic stories during their visits to our nation’s capital,” said Congressman Young. “These are stories that we must preserve and remember because we need to remember the sacrifices our men and women have made. Americans need to remember what has made America great. That is what the Veterans History Project is all about.”

“Military veterans and their families are such a big part of our community here in Tampa Bay,” said Congresswoman Castor. “Reporting on veterans and military affairs through projects like “My Last Tour” and archiving them with the Library of Congress is not only honoring those families but preserving part of our history.”

“The “My Last Tour” project features WUSF reporter Bobbie O’Brien’s weekly interview with SMSgt. Temple during the airman’s final deployment to Afghanistan between May 2009 and April 2010.

The passing of the material officially launches the Veterans History Project and will use Temple’s series as an example of the projects it hopes to collect from veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The project is also collecting stories from veterans of all generations, including WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

“It was a great experience for WUSF Public Media to participate in a project that impacted so many people in our community,” said Urofsky. “It is an honor for the work of our reporters and staff to be included in the Library of Congress archives.”

If you would like to view the archives of “My Last Tour”, visit the WUSF Public Media website at http://www.wusf.usf.edu/news/specialreport/afghanistan_my_last_tour.

The Library of Congress Veterans History Project is still collecting material. If you have a first-hand remembrance of veterans, please visit the project website at http://www.loc.gov/vets/. 

About The Library of Congress Veterans History Project

The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

About WUSF Public Media

WUSF Public Media is a comprehensive media organization that provides media services to the community and businesses through public broadcasting and multi-media production services.  Licensed to the University of South Florida, WUSF Public Media serves the public interest through programming, educational outreach and community partnerships. For more information, visit www.wusf.org.

 

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