Local Teachers Benefit From New Statewide Education Service

Mar 13, 2012


For Immediate Release

Contacts: Beth Spezia, WSIU outreach coordinator, (618) 453-5595, beth.spezia@wsiu.org; Vickie Devenport, WSIU outreach coordinator, (618) 453-6148, vickie.devenport@wsiu.org

Local educators available for interview:

Marybeth McCormick, second grade teacher, Sparta Primary Center, (618) 443-5331 - call after 3pm, t_teach4@hotmail.com.

Mary Ann Quivey, curriculum and technology specialist for ROE 45 - Monroe & Randolph counties, (618) 826-5471, mquivey@roe45.org

Dr. Marc Kiehna, superintendent for ROE 45 - Monroe & Randolph counties, (618) 939-5650 in Waterloo office, (618) 826-5471 in Chester office, mkiehan@roe45.org

Springfield, Ill. - Public television and public radio stations in Illinois have entered into an unprecedented partnership to create and launch Illinois PBS LearningMedia, a free, on-demand digital media resource designed to help PreK-12 educators integrate technology to teach core subjects in the classroom.

Illinois PBS LearningMedia is a high quality tool teachers can use as they personalize lesson plans for classes and individual students,” said Christopher A. Koch, Illinois State Superintendent of Education. “Having the ability to go to one place and search thousands of electronic resources that can be used immediately helps teachers make connections with their digital students.”

“Public media has been delivering educational content for years, so it's a natural fit to create this resource benefiting both teachers and students,” said Greg Petrowich, chair of IPBC's Education Committee and executive director of WSIU Public Broadcasting in Carbondale, Ill. “Giving teachers direct access to the highest quality content public broadcasting has to offer is certain to spark even greater innovation in our education system.”

Illinois PBS LearningMediaallows educators in Illinois access to 22,000 local and national, classroom-ready digital resources from PBS and other public media stations. Resources are aligned with state and national Common Core education standards. These resources include videos, interactive images, audio files, mobile apps, and lesson plans, which teachers can access and sort by grade level and topic to build their own personal libraries.

Last fall, Illinois public media stations commissioned a pilot study of the service with 74 teachers representing 43 public and private schools across the state. The study, created by Dr. Evangeline S. Pianfetti of the University of Illinois College of Education and other researchers, confirmed that digital resources help local teachers strengthen connections with students. Results of the pilot study are available online at http://illinois.pbslearningmedia.org.

“We are very pleased to hear teachers finding the value that PBS LearningMedia is providing Illinois students and educators, and talking about it!” said Rob Lippincott, PBS Senior Vice President, PBS Education. “As America's largest classroom, PBS, in partnership with all Illinois member stations, is committed to offering innovative digital tools and resources for every teacher in Illinois and in classrooms nationwide.”

According to the pilot study, participating teachers unanimously recommend Illinois PBS LearningMedia for its ease of use, variety and diversity of resources, high-quality content, connection to curriculum, ability to engage students, and free access.

Says Marybeth McCormick, a second grade teacher at Sparta Primary Center in Sparta, Ill.. “I enjoy being able to find many resources in one place, especially resources that are educationally based."

New content continues to be added to the online service, which includes resources from PBS, public media stations around the state and country, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, National Geographic, NASA, the National Science Foundation, NPR, and the U.S. Department of Education.


About WSIU

WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU stations reach more than three million people across five states and beyond through three digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website, and an education and community outreach department.

WSIU's mission is to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. The WSIU stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at wsiu.org and on WSIU's Facebook and Twitter pages.

WSIU's programs and services are partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

About Illinois Public Broadcasters

The 20 PBS and NPR member stations in Illinois form the largest broadcasting network in the state, reaching nearly 100 percent of households. The stations collaborate to deliver timely news, sports, documentary, arts, and educational programming to citizens.

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