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“Images courtesy of Alamo Heights ISD”


Has this happened to you yet? A parent comes to you with a perplexed look on his face before school one day. You inquire about his concern and he responds in a whispered tone, “What is a Moodle?” His daughter had come home from school and demanded access to the computer because her assignment is on Moodle. Or what about when little Johnny goes home and the dinner conversation is how he is going to program his Lego robot to rescue someone from an automobile accident? Johnny is in fifth grade at Alamo Heights ISD and on the robotics team.

Today, in classrooms in Alamo Heights and in many more schools throughout Texas and the country, these are examples of the everyday activities of learning. In Alamo Heights, an annual event entitled The Alamo Heights ISD Technology Showcase, gives students in grades K-12 the opportunity to show how technology is enhancing the learning environment in their classrooms. Hosted just this last month, nearly 430 students offered 188 presentations in a mini-conference put on by students for their parents, grandparents, neighbors, and peers. Students presented in sessions that were either 15 or 30 minutes in length, individually or in groups. These included Kindergarten students in Mrs. Fenley’s class who demonstrated onomatopoeia using PowerPoint, while Mrs. Davis’ eighth graders showed their understanding of geometric shapes by finding examples of several on campus and using images in a presentation as assigned by their teacher on the class Moodle.

What was most compelling about all of these presentations was the intent and focus on the subject matter rather than the technology used to devise or present the materials. The educators whose students presented on classroom resources included Ms. Fidler’s third grade who gave several engaging discussions on simple machines. Students captured the science of simple machines with webcam video recordings and uploaded these into a PowerPoint presentation. In collaboration, they drafted a script and timeline of their presentation and created the video content. While all the tools of technology helped students to prepare to convey knowledge, it was the sole focus of the presentation to instruct about simple machines.  

Another wonderful opportunity to feature student work started last year with the Video Film Festival. Students taking digital media courses are invited to show their pieces in the theatre and discuss the technical aspects of filming and editing. Their presentations dazzle with some amazing special effects, and the students themselves are very engaged in discussions on how software programs such as Final Cut Pro (an industry standard in film editing) can make it easy to do this work and be so creative.

The Technology Showcase is a half-day program. It begins with a brief introduction followed by session presentations and a closing ceremony. It is a much-anticipated annual event that brings together volunteers, teachers, parents, and students. The planning for this event begins early in the fall with the district’s Technology Committee. This committee determines the date for the event and launches the t-shirt design contest. All students across the grades are invited to create a design for the shirt. The shirts are worn that day by the teachers, student presenters, and volunteers.

To host a Showcase at your district, here are a few basic steps from getting the conversation going with your administration, designing a theme and marketing plan, and encouraging students and teachers to participate.

  1. Begin early! The planning begins about six months before the event.
  2. Advertise to teachers early in the school year so they will have this event on their radar.
    This way, teachers will begin the conversations with students as they get quality products that truly demonstrate the learning.
  3. Plan to send home letters to parents several weeks before the event. Inevitably some students will not be able to attend due to baseball, soccer, dance, or any of the myriad of activities in which students may be involved.
  4. Expect to take three weeks after receiving the Call for Participation from students and teachers to organize students into presentation sessions, order the right number of t-shirts, and print programs.
  5. Create an online registration process for teachers to enter student names, the name of the presentation, and a description of the presentation to be printed in the program. In this way, you are assured of getting the names spelled correctly.

There is a cost to providing this event, but it can be underwritten with donations, and sponsors receive recognition in different ways throughout the program. You can set levels of contribution
and give recognition on the t-shirt, in the program, or in public acknowledgement during the day.

Overall, the key for the success of the program is the excitement generated in classrooms where engaging learning is taking place. Students are anxious to demonstrate their knowledge and by inviting family and friends, it provides an authentic audience for students’ display of their learning. When students have an opportunity to teach what they have learned, it is a very meaningful experience for everyone involved. And those perplexed looks on parents’ faces soon give way to broad smiles of appreciation.

If you would like more information about hosting a Showcase at your school or district, you will find Jennifer’s contact information in her bio.

Comments on the Spotlight? E-mail us at

Spotlight Tune In Resources Happenings Contact Us

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DVT Channel

Airing between March 6 and 21, 2010, PBS special programming features concert and performance specials, documentaries and more. Here’s a sampling:

National Geographic Magazine’s Top 10 Photos of the Year

Tuesday, March 9 at 8:00 PM
National Geographic Magazine is known for its eye-opening and evocative images. With flair, action and behind-the-scenes footage, this special counts down the “best of the best” from the magazine that has won dozens of national magazine awards for photography. Editor in chief Chris Johns takes a list of hundreds of exceptional photos and whittles it down to just 10. The program tells the stories behind those photographs and includes interviews with the dedicated, adventurous photographers who get the one-in-a-million shot that makes it into the magazine.

Visions of Canada

Sunday, March 7 at 2:30 PM
Visions of Canada highlights the world’s second-largest country, which spans six time zones, to showcase our northern neighbor’s diverse natural beauty and vibrant cities. Stunning high-definition aerial and ground footage, paired with music and informative narration, gives rich historical context to dramatic land and seascapes.

The T.A.M.I. Show

Thursday, March 18 at 8:00 PM
Filmed just eight months after the Beatles appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show," THE T.A.M.I. SHOW, short for Teen Age Music International, introduced rock 'n' soul youth culture to America in the first concert movie of the rock era. One of the rarest and most sought-after performance films from its time, the 1964 concert event featured future Rock and Roll Hall of Famers the Rolling Stones, James Brown, Chuck Berry, the Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Supremes and many other American and British Invasion hit-makers in their prime.

Independent Lens
Tuesday, March 23 at 10:00 PM
Lost Souls (Animas Perdida) explores national identity, the lives of immigrants and what happens after deportees are sent to a homeland they no longer consider home.

Independent Lens
Tuesday, March 30 at 10:00 PM
Whatever It Takes explores the struggles and triumphs of the first year of an innovative public high school in New York City’s South Bronx.

Tavis Smiley Reports: MLK: A Call to Conscience

Wednesday, March 31 at 8:00 PM
HostTavis Smiley delves into Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” speech, examining the context of Dr. King’s words on liberty, responsibility and freedom against
the backdrop of the fight for civil rights and an increasingly unpopular war, and examines the implications of his words today.


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KLRN Connect
KLRN Connect

Click and Engage
Not a subscriber of KLRN Connect? Click here
Get more involved with your use of KLRN Connect in the classroom with these fantastic teaching tips from Discovery Education streaming.

Click here to go to the page in KLRN Connect or click on the links below. Login required.  
Try this online Getting Started Guide.

Discovery Educator Network Webinar Series

The Discovery Educator Network (DEN) is a global community of educators passionate about teaching with digital media, sharing resources, collaborating, and networking. With over 25,000 members providing professional development to over 250,000 educators worldwide, the DEN connects teachers both on-line and in-person. Discovery Educators have exclusive access to a wide range of resources, professional development activities, networking opportunities, exclusive Discovery Educator
events and more!

Voted the best professional development website in 2007 by the Association of Educational Publishers, this website is a place to connect to other educators across the globe. Here, all users can read the
blogs and discussion boards. Discovery Educators (any educator that has a Discovery account)
have the ability to comment on the blogs, post to the discussion boards,
and register for Discovery Educator Network events.

PBS TeacherLine of Texas

PBS TeacherLine of Texas

PBS TeacherLine courses are approved by the Texas State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC)
and count towards required CPE hours.

District course licensing and ELL/ESL courses are now available! Contact us for more information:, 512.232.9406.

PBS TeacherLine courses are approved by the Texas State Board for Educator Certification
(SBEC) and count towards required CPE hours.

You can take our free, two-hour orientation course, Practice Learning Online with TeacherLine*,
to prepare for online learning. Enter the course through your My Courses page. In order to take the
free orientation course, you must first join PBS TeacherLine. Join for free.

PBS TeacherLine Courses to Consider

INST130 Utilizing Technology in Creating a Problem-Based Curriculum
Subjects: Instructional Technology, Instructional Strategies
Grades: Kinder-12
Hours: 30
Apply new strategies to develop your students' problem-solving skills. Discover how technology can enhance their ability to state problems, pose questions, find answers, and, ultimately, approach learning as a continuous interaction with their world. Then, select a problem for your students to solve and craft
a lesson plan that demonstrates the learning process.

SCIE120 Scientific Inquiry and Field Work: Discovering with Technology for Grades 6-8
Subjects: Science, Instructional Technology, Instructional Strategies
Grades: 6-8
Hours: 30
Keep your students engaged by incorporating current technology into your science curriculum. Visit Web sites that enable students to collect and analyze data using online equipment and learn high-tech strategies that allow them to record and analyze information, investigate the results, and share their findings. Then design a unit plan for an ecosystem field trip that incorporates what you've learned.

TECH300 The Computer for Personal Productivity Teacher Favorite
Subjects: Instructional Technology
Grades: Kinder-12
Hours: 30
Discover how you can use the computer, Web-based tools, and Web 2.0 to boost classroom productivity and effectiveness. Explore technology tools that improve communication with colleagues, students,
and parents, help create lesson plans and instructional materials, and manage electronic information.
For the course project you will use these innovative, Web-based tools in a plan designed to improve
your personal productivity and positively impact student learning and achievement.

TECH316 El Uso de la Computadora en las Experiencias Cooperativas
Subjects: Instructional Technology
Grades: Kinder-12
Hours: 30
Course content is identical to TECH315. Reconocer aacute;n cómo mediante la integración de tecnología, se pueden diseñar actividades de aprendizaje cooperativo que motivan a los estudiantes a trabajar juntos y a compartir retos en su proceso de aprendizaje mientras desarrollan habilidades de pensamiento crítico.

PBS TeacherLine Peer Connection

Get Connected!
In the drive to improve teaching practice and student achievement, many schools and districts are
turning to instructional coaches to support school-wide improvement and enhance classroom
practice. Coaches require high level resources and professional development so they can lead the way
in reform initiatives and deliver on specific district instructional and student performance goals.
At PBS TeacherLine, we support professional development from the classroom forward. Our new
PBS TeacherLine Peer Connection service will help you build a customized, practical professional development program for your teachers by providing sustained and targeted support for coaches.

pctlDownload Brochure
Start a 30-day Free Trial

Peer Connection is a service of PBS TeacherLine, the premier resource for online professional development for preK-12 educators.

PBS Teachers Innovation Awards

This Just In! The top 10 Winners will also receive a Smartboard!

Deadline to Enter: Friday, March 12

KLRN invites YOU to apply and be recognized here locally as well for your outstanding and innovative practices in the classroom. Each applicant from the KLRN viewing region will be given the opportunity
to be spotlighted here in the Education Newsletter in upcoming editions. Also, from all the local applicants, we will choose the top five to join us on our Education Advisory Council and invite these outstanding educators onto our KLRN blog, sharing out best practices and classroom resources for our education community. It would be an honor to feature our outstanding educators both nationally and locally. Thank you for considering this wonderful opportunity to showcase you and your passion to educate children.For complete contest rules, go to

PBS Teachers

PBS Teachers Offers New Collection of Resources for Teaching Critical Economic and
Financial Literacy Skills

Based on the recent global financial crisis, to help students understand complex economic concepts, PBS Teachers has developed Access, Analyze, Act: From Economic Theory to Financial Reality, a special collection of educational digital media resources about the economy for use in school and home learning environments. Click here to learn more about this free resource.

Wilson and Ditch: Digging America – A New PBS Social Studies Series

“Wilson and Ditch: Digging America” is a new PBS web-only social studies series on American Culture, History and Geography by The Jim Henson Company. To learn more about the series, meet the characters and preview the site, click here.  
Sign up for free membership in PBS Teachers at
Visit PBS Teachers to search for lesson plans and other resources for your classroom.

PBS Teachers Webinars for March

March 10, 2010
Copyright and Fair Use in the Art World and Classroom
PBS producers and copyright and curriculum experts
Curriculum Connection: All Subjects
March 16, 2010
Women in Science
Dr. Mae Jemison
Curriculum Connection: Science and Women's Studies
March 25, 2010
The Buddha: Teaching Mindfulness
PBS producers and curriculum experts
Curriculum Connection: Social Studies and Health

PBS Teacher Connect

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More Resources

Social Media Pages!!


Wings Over the Alamo
KLRN Public Television presents an informative and action filled one-hour documentary, tracing the unique history of aviation in the Alamo City and the South Texas region. Watch clips from the documentary and use the complementary lesson plans to bring the spirit of flight to your classroom.

The National Parks Educator Resources
The wealth of themes explored in THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA'S BEST IDEA offer an extraordinary educational opportunity for your classroom. The lessons and activities developed around the film look at the rich history of the national parks, the art and photography of the breath-taking geography that inspired so many people and the human story of politics and policy that shaped and continue to shape the parks today.


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Training through Television Early childhood teachers!
Are you interested in earning FREE training hours from the comfort of your own home? Now you can do just that! Each month, KLRN airs specially-selected programs geared just for those who work with young children. It’s fast and easy to start, and you can register and enroll for courses online. Simply tune in to KLRN, submit a pre- and post-test by the required dates, and download your certificate of training hours. Visit and click on “Providers” to learn more.

Fresh Cut 2010

Luminaria Arts Night in San Antonio features Fresh Cut 2009
Saturday, March 13 at 6:00 PM
Luminaria is San Antonio’s annual celebration of art and artists. Held in March and overseen by
San Antonio’s creative leaders, it is free of charge and showcases all art forms in an outdoor setting
and inside various venues downtown. In addition, special arts events and performances throughout the city occur simultaneously and/or throughout the month in conjunction with Contemporary Art Month.
This year, KLRN’s Fresh Cut 2009 program, featuring the original works of local high school students,
will be part of the event.


Is Now


The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest
January 27-April 12, 2010

The PBS Kids Go!
Writers Contest invites children in grades K-3 to create stories using their own words
and pictures, and recognizes their efforts with certificates and prizes. Parents, teachers, and librarians are encouraged to help children participate in the contest. Please log on to

Early ON Spring Break Fun!

Want to keep your students learning over Spring Break? Please let your students know about the following FREE events at our local libraries. Sid the Science Kid will make a special appearance
at each location.
Monday, March 15—Thousand Oaks Library 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Tuesday, March 16—Guerra Library 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Wednesday, March 17—Forest Hills Library 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Wanted: Girls Who Love Science

KLRN has just launched SciGirls—an online destination for girls ages 9-13. Girls can register to be a SciGirl, and share ideas, do fun experiments, and get together for special activities with other girls who also love science. Each girl who registers receives a SciGirls t-shirt, backpack, and membership card. KLRN’s SciGirls project is made possible through the generous support of the Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation. For more information visit our website today!


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Would you like to write an upcoming Spotlight article? Contact:
Director of School Services

Spotlight article written by
Jennifer Faulkner
Read her Biography!