5 Ways Public Media Supports At-Home Learning

 (KQED | PBS SoCal)

Education is a central component to how public media serves communities. Starting in March, public media stations across the state and around the country began to air a television broadcast schedule aligned to curriculum along with offering technical support for teachers. And, prior to school closures, LA Unified School District partnered with PBS SoCal/KCET and KQED to provide continuity of learning for students during closures in response to concerns about COVID-19. From curating supplementary digital curriculum to providing training for at-home learning, here is how public media continues to partner with school districts to support at-home learning during this time.

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1. Educational TV programming to support areas with limited online access

PBS stations around the state are broadcasting standards-aligned educational television programming, created by PBS SoCal/KCET and the Los Angeles Unified School District. This television schedule was developed to help schools and districts bridge the digital divide and provide equitable access to learning for all students at home, regardless of access to the internet or computers. Educational programming runs each weekday 6am-6pm. California PBS station programming schedules can be found here.

What Districts are Doing: Districts and counties, including Monterey County Office of Education, are handing out broadcast schedules at food distribution sites.

2. Curated online learning resources mapped to state standards

PBS LearningMedia is PreK-12 FREE online library of trusted, quality, curated resources from PBS and public media stations. These digital resources include short videos, lessons and interactive games. Free collections of PreK-12 resources in the digital library continue to provide meaningful learning experiences for students during school closures, from an emergency closing resource collection to a bilingual resources collection. See digital resource and television programming alignment by grade and subject.

What Districts are Doing: LA Unified School District has curated curriculum packets that include PBS LearningMedia digital resources aligned to grades and standards.

KQED Learn is a free platform for middle and high school students to tackle big issues and build their media literacy and critical thinking skills in a supportive environment. Teachers create an account and assign students current events discussions to participate in with other students from around the country.

3. Free teacher training to meet teachers where they are

KQED and PBS SoCal are hosting weekly webinar trainings to help teachers get started with PBS LearningMedia and KQED Learn digital resources. With short 15 and 30 minute webinars, teachers are provided technical training and support to use trusted, quality, standards aligned resources to support students in a variety of learning contexts. On Fridays, early childhood educators can participate in a strategy deep dive in a one hour webinar.

What Districts are Doing: Districts including San Ramon Valley Unified and Orange County Unified have added training webinars to their professional development offerings.

KQED provides self-guided courses for teachers to bring media into remote classrooms with KQED Teach. More info here.

4. Collaborative professional learning opportunities for building media literacy skills and practices

The KQED Media Academy for Educators offers a set of four free, instructor-led online professional development courses that prepare educators to effectively and meaningfully analyze, evaluate and make media with students to support curriculum goals. These professional learning courses are open to all educators and will develop skills and experience needed to connect the dots between digital citizenship, media literacy, 21st Century skills and national curriculum standards.

What Districts are Doing: East Side Union High School District and West Contra Costa Unified School District incentivize educators to participate in KQED professional learning.

5. Activities for younger learners, educators and caregivers

PBS KIDS for Parents offers free resources and information from articles like How to Talk With Your Kids About Coronavirus to family learning activities. All PBS KIDS for Parents content is created by expert educators and child development professionals and vetted by PBS. PBS SoCal is also hosting bi-monthly virtual town halls in English and Spanish to support families and to hear from the communities.

What Districts are Doing: Compton Unified and LA Unified have identified families who need access to additional PBS KIDS activity guides and supporting learning resources beyond broadcast.

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