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From the Desk of Robert M. Lippincott

Last weekend I went to see the new movie Bottle Shock. It’s a terrific late-summer treat set in the Napa Valley during the mid-1970s. I’ll spare you the plot details in case you are planning to see it. Suffice it to say that at a critical point in the story, Character A desperately needs to reach Character B with a critical message BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE and the only way to get to Character B is to drive an asthmatic truck with a low tank through dusty vineyard backroads. Life before cell phones, right? Sometimes when I watch movies filmed or set in the pre-Blackberry era, I actually find myself getting impatient when plot twists could be easily untangled if someone just had a
cell phone. 

Ridiculous, of course. Indiana Jones wouldn’t be Indiana Jones if he could just phone it in. But it is hard to imagine our world today without technology. This is particularly true for students because technology has never been absent from their lives. They use technology as a primary means to communicate and socialize, and in innovative ways to create, share and own content, whether it be Web sites, blogs, podcasts, music, or art.

Many students come to the classroom already equipped with the skills needed to navigate new technologies, but they still need you and their families to help them learn how to use these tools safely and productively to achieve learning objectives and develop higher-order thinking skills.

In fact, a key competency for educators is the ability to enhance the learning process through technology integration and digital media. It’s also a part of federal and state legislation, and a central focus for business leaders, community members and parents, because it is necessary for preparing students for the challenges they will face in an increasingly competitive global economy. There is
no doubt that the mastery and application of new technologies by both students and educators
is critical.

Designing curriculum and instruction with this in mind can be a challenging task.  
Meeting these expected learning outcomes often requires changes to teaching methods and strategies.  So in today’s unique school environment, it’s imperative that educators have access
to the professional support they need to achieve the learning goals articulated by all groups,
including students.

To assist educators in this endeavor, the PBS Education team built a new online education community— PBS Teachers Connect—around PBS Teachers, the Web portal to the wide-ranging multimedia instructional resources and professional development services that PBS offers preK-12 educators.

PBS Teachers Connect provides an online community where preK-12 teachers, librarians, technology coordinators, and other educators can connect, contribute, and grow professionally.
We hope the community will aid you in your vital role as instructors and as advocates for the effective use of technology to enhance teaching and learning.

The community provides a place for educators to discuss rich resources available through public media in school and home learning environments.  It also enables educators to develop personal
and professional connections with peers that are focused on education topics that they are passionate about, and ultimately champion their cause to help students progress. 

A key component of PBS Teachers Connect is the PBS Teacher Leader program, which recognizes and rewards innovation in the use of digital media and technology in education. These education innovators will be integral to community development, soliciting teacher-created content, and showcasing exemplary demonstrations of digital media use. I hope you will consider applying to join this program, if you are using digital media in an innovative.

The public television system has a strong educational mission that is closely aligned to the mission of the education community. We believe that education empowers students to achieve their potential, and ultimately strengthens the social, democratic, economic, and cultural health of the U.S.We believe that great educators make a difference in the lives of their students and those students’ academic success.

More than 73 million people interact with PBS content on multiple platforms each week; educators and learners form the core of this audience. I hope you and your students are among them.
And I hope that you’ll visit PBS Teachers Connect.Your participation will add to its value for others.

Here’s to a successful, happy and productive school year! Please know that PBS is right beside
you every step of the way.

Comments on the Spotlight? E-mail us at

Spotlight Tune In Resources Happenings Contact Us

Tune In

DVT Channel

Martha Speaks

Premiers Mon., Sept. 1
Airs WEEKDAYS at 3:30 p.m. on Channel 9/10
Click here for Educator Resources
Preview MARTHA SPEAKS here

Based on the children's book series by Susan Meddaugh and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, MARTHA SPEAKS is an animated series designed to help kids ages four to seven understand what words mean when they hear them. The series stars Martha, a beloved family dog. She is accidentally fed alphabet soup, which gives her the power of speech and the chance to speak her mind to anyone that will listen.

With two stories in each episode, kids will get to know Martha as an outspoken, honest, smart, confident dog who loves to eat—and talk! They will also meet the rest of Martha's family and friends. Ten-year-old Helen is Martha's best friend. Martha encourages the shy, artistic Helen to be more outgoing and brave. Helen acts as the voice of reason for Martha. It's a relationship any dog, or
pet-lover, can appreciate.

Sid the Science Kid
Sid the Science Kid
Premiers Mon., Sept. 1
Airs WEEKDAYS at 7:30 a.m. on Channel 9/10
Read the Educational Philosophy here

SID THE SCIENCE KID is a new educational animated television series using comedy to promote exploration, discovery and science readiness among preschoolers. The program features a practical in-school science curriculum that uses music and humor to celebrate children’s natural curiosity about science in everyday life. The energetic and inquisitive Sid starts each episode with a new question, such as “Why are my shoes shrinking?” or “Why do bananas get mushy?” and embarks
on a fun-filled day of finding answers with the help of family and friends.

Where We Stand WLIW

Where We Stand: America’s Schools in the 21st Century

Airs Mon., Sept. 15 at 10 p.m. on Channel 9/10
Website available Sept. 15 at

Where We Stand: America’s Schools in the 21st Century examines the major challenges for U.S. schools in the face of a changing world. Divided into five segments, topics include globalization; measuring student progress; ensuring that all students achieve; the current school funding system, and teacher quality. Hosted by Judy Woodruff, Senior Correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the documentary visits a range of socioeconomic and geographic school districts.
The program features schools in Ohio, an important swing state, but thisprogram is about all of our schools and where they stand.

Join KLRN School Services in a special follow-up roundtable discussion on Where We Stand in the virtual world, Second Life, on Thurs., Sept. 18 at 8:00 p.m. Hosted by KLRN School Services, PBS TeacherLine of Texas and the International Society for Technology in Education.

Location in Second Life:

Want to start an account in Second Life and need more information?
Visit and click on Contests and Special Events.



Tune In



Contact Us


PBS TeacherLine of Texas

PBS interviews Directors of Instructional Technology, Bruce Ellis (Dallas Independent School District) and Miguel Guhlin (San Antonio Independent School District) regarding the PBS TeacherLine programs they've implemented in their districts.

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! For more information:, 512-232-9406.

Special station pricing is available for individual course registrations. Call Malinda McCormick at
210-270-9000 ext. 2251or e-mail, to register for your course at lower rates than nationally advertised!

PBS TeacherLine Courses

Teacher Favorite = Teacher Favorite
Classroom Link = Classroom Link

INST120 Creating Units to Support Differing Learning Styles Teacher FavoriteClassroom Link
Subjects: Instructional Technology, Instructional Strategies
Grades: Kindergarten-12th
Hours: 30
Unlock the secrets to developing a curriculum that meets the learning needs of different types of students. Create a cross-curricular unit that integrates technology to support learning, and plan lessons that address the different ways that your students learn. Activities will help you build flexibility into your lesson plans, enabling you to integrate your new knowledge into your instruction.

INST320 Connecting Family, Community and Schools
: Instructional Strategies
Hours: 30
Learn the Action Team for Partnership (ATP) model and discover how to engage families and communities in children's education. Examine the "connection" issues, acquire tools to integrate partnership programming into your curriculum, and develop a plan that involves parents, family members, and community resources in your own classroom.

INST325 Using Assessment and Evaluation Classroom Link
Subjects: Instructional Technology
Grades: Kindergarten-12th
Hours: 30
Delve into the full array of assessment and evaluation tools, including rubrics, journals, formal and informal assessments, and portfolios. Then, create an effective rubric based on an existing student assignment.

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 need high quality 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.

KLRN Connect

KLRN Connect

Click and Engage
Log-in to KLRN Connect and start using these great classroom resources today! (In order to view you must be logged in to KLRN Connect)
Not a subscriber of KLRN Connect? Click here

Best Practices from Discovery Education Streaming
Get more involved with your use of KLRN Connect in the classroom with Best Practices from Discovery Education streaming.

Using Movie Maker to Create Your Own Movie
Produce and edit your own instructional movies by selecting segments from over 10,000 editable videos.

Using Discovery Education™ streaming Images
Use pictures from Discovery Education™ streaming's Image Library to bring homework assignments to life.

Using Clip Art
Jazz up instructional materials with Clip Art Gallery images, from art to science.


Embedding Videos in PowerPoint
Do you know how to embed and play videos from within your PowerPoint presentation?


Using Learning Centers in the Classroom
Create your own classroom learning centers with curriculum-related media for differentiated instructional use.


WebQuests in the Classroom
Use Assignment Builder to create dynamic WebQuests by combining video segments, images, encyclopedia articles, and websites in one place.

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 Teachers

Lesson Plans and other resources for the classroom

PBS Teachers Connect
Are You a PBS Teacher?

You are if you use digital media to teach! Join today and connect with thousands of classroom teachers, home educators, media specialists and professional development providers who use PBS and public media resources to engage students. When you register, you will receive:

  • Access to select PBS resources
  • A personalized page with resources aligned to your subject & grade
  • A customized local station program schedule
  • A 10% discount coupon for PBS Shop for Teachers

Join Today

Access, Analyze, Act: A Blueprint for 21st Century Civic Engagement Curriculum Guide and Web Resources

Vote 2008: Access, Analyze, Act
KLRN and PBS Teachers are proud to offer a new, elections-related curriculum, Access, Analyze, Act: A Blueprint for 21st Century Civic Engagement, which includes a rich collection of standards-based readings, discussion questions, and lesson plans for students in grades 7-12. These are complemented by three video modules for teachers and an interactive political personality quiz for students. All materials are designed to promote students' media and information literacy skills and civic engagement. The curriculum is available online at

Media Infusion

Each month guest experts discuss and invite you to share your ideas about using multimedia resources to address common instructional challenges. These practitioners live and work in your standards-based, resource-challenged world. They share your commitment to creating rich, engaging learning experiences for students and are pioneering methods for infusing their instruction with media to improve learning across grade levels and curriculum topics. Pull up a screen and join us!
This month’s topic: Using Social Media to Promote Civic Engagement, with Kristin Hokanson (Multidisciplinary, 6-12). Continue reading is a weblog that explores how new technology and Internet culture affect how educators teach and children learn. It will offer a continuing look at how new technology such as wikis, blogs, vlogs, RSS, podcasts, social networking sites, and the always-on culture of the Internet are impacting teacher and students' lives both inside and out of the classroom. also wants to hear from you, and welcomes your participation on the site and your feedback.

Looking for more? Try PBS Teachers Advanced Search

1. Enter Your Search Term


2. Choose Types of Resources

Select the types of resources you are interested in finding.

  • Lesson Plans
  • Offline Activity/Project
  • Online Interactive/Activity
  • Audio/Video Clips
  • Shop PBS Products (cannot refine by subject or grade)
  • Recommended Non-PBS Links (cannot refine by grade)
  • Recommended Non-PBS Books

3. Refine by Subject and Grade

The resources I see should match the following concepts where applicable.

  • All Subjects
  • --OR--
  • The Arts
  • Reading & Language Arts
  • Health & Fitness
  • Math
  • Science & Technology
  • Social Studies
  • All Grades
  • --OR--
  • PreK
  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

More Resources

Conversations, KLRN’s public affairs program, raises awareness about the talent, energy and commitment of people who make a positive difference— in the quality of life, in the social and economic well being of the city, and in the prospects of the city as a place where our children will want to have careers and raise their families. It is about stories and sharing ideas with our audience. Click the link to watch a recent edition of Conversations, featuring Don Knezek, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education and Dr. Robert Durón, Superintendent of the
San Antonio Independent School District, as they discuss 21st century skills for educators and how SAISD is utilizing PBS TeacherLine Capstone courses for integrating technology in the classroom.

Wings Over the Alamo

The Wings Over the Alamo Educator’s Guide— Teachers interested in San Antonio History
in their lessons on Texas history will find the Wings Over the Alamo documentary
produced by KLRN to be packed with a lot of great information surrounding San Antonio’s
long history in military aviation.

Visit the Wings Over the Alamo website!

Want to be a member (of the Facebook PBS & KLRN fan pages)?

PBS is on Facebook

KLRN is on Facebook


Town Hall Meeting on Sept. 18 to Focus on Health Care in San Antonio
San Antonio’s citizens face several critical health issues—ones that are serious enough to shorten life expectancy like obesity and diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Many factors affect an individual’s health—lifestyle, heredity, environmental issues—and it is important for each of us to do our best to be healthy and stay healthy. Diet, exercise and following prescribed treatment are all important individual responsibilities. But what about external factors like financial challenges that limit our access to medical resources? How can we provide healthcare for our entire family? Teachers, social workers, school nurses, and families are invited to join KLRN for a live town hall meeting that will discuss health, choices and resources on Thurs., Sept.18 at 8 p.m. The event will take place at KLRN’s Robert L.B. Tobin Studio, 501 Broadway. For more information, contact Elisa Resendiz at 210.270.9000, ext. 2246 or email

Critical Condition Screening/Panel Discussion
If you are a school social worker or nurse, health care or childcare provider, or a non-profit organization who serves the west side community, join KLRN at The Neighborhood Place ~ Edgewood (3014 Rivas Street) on Monday September 22, 2008 from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. as
we host a panel of experts on medical services available to the community who do not have
health insurance. For further information contact Elisa Resendiz at 210-270-9000, ext. 2246 or


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Article written by: Robert M. Lippincott
Senior Vice President Education

Read his biography

Printer Friendly Version of
Spotlight Article

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


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