PBS Education Recognizes Innovation in Teaching

January 31, 2011

Source: by Karen Greenwood Henke

Award: PBS Teachers Innovation Awards
Deadline: March 31, 2011
Who: Classroom teachers, library media specialists and home-school educators
What: An "Innovation Immersion Experience" at The Henry Ford, a SMART Slate, and a PBS TeacherLine course
To Apply: www.pbsteachers.org/innovators

PBS Teachers Innovation Awards

Have you ever wondered what innovation in the classroom looks like? The PBS Teachers Innovation Awards is dedicated to showing the world how teachers use digital media in the classroom to improve student learning. With an archive of short videos (4 minutes or less), PBS showcases the most innovative and replicable curriculum ideas across all grades and subject areas. See for yourself: Innovation Awards Gallery.

Show Don’t Tell

PBS has stocked the gallery through an annual contest, the PBS Teachers Innovation Awards. Applicants upload a short video, showing, instead of telling, about their innovative teaching style. The contest is open to any educators who work with students—public and private classroom teachers, library media specialists and home-school educators. First place winners receive an expense-paid  weeklong "Innovation Immersion Experience" at The Henry Ford, in Dearborn, Michigan, a PBS TeacherLine online professional development course, and a SMART Slate wireless tablet to connect to a classroom white board or projector. An additional 36 teachers will be recognized and receive a selection of free resources, coupons and other goodies for their classroom.

“Our goal is to be able to highlight how teachers effectively use digital technology and media in the classroom,” said Donovan Goode, director of marketing. “A lot of the focus is being able to showcase the way people are being innovative and replicate it.”

What Makes a Winning Video?

Each entry will be reviewed by judges and scored according to innovation/ originality/creativity; application or reinforcement of 21st century learning skills; effective integration or application of a PBS resource; student engagement; and student learning. The top 50 videos from 2010 are available in the Innovation Gallery or here: PBS TeacherLine announcement: PBS Teachers Innovation Awards Winners 2010. Be sure to check out Tricia Fuglestad, an elementary arts teacher, who created a montage of scenes of students using technology and creating art. Michael Lampert, a high school science teacher shows students engaged in an experiment to teach physics using airbags. Very different video styles—both winners.

A Community of Innovators

Tricia first heard about the award from her PBS TeacherLine instructor. She enrolled in Teaching for Multiple Intelligences and developed differentiated lessons for teaching Picasso to elementary students. She submitted her video and was selected as one of the top 10 teachers for 2010.

“The experience was amazing,” she writes. “It was like I had won a golden ticket and given a chance to glimpse inside the magical world of PBS. The 10 first place winners were treated to previews of upcoming PBS series, shows, and specials full of rich educational content. We were asked by producers and our local station managers how they could improve their educational resources to better serve the needs of educators. To be given an opportunity to influence such an influential organization felt awe-inspiring.”

Helpful Links

About the Program: www.pbs.org/teachers/innovators/
Gallery: www.pbs.org/teachers/innovators/gallery/2010/
Rules and rubric: www.pbs.org/teachers/innovators/rules/
For more professional development grants and awards, go to Grant Wrangler Search and select Professional Development in the category drop-down.

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