Sunday, July 6, 2014

ME, A PBS LearningMedia Lead Digital Innovator?

I entered the PBS LearningMedia Lead Digital Innovator contest on Valentine’s Day.  I remember editing video right up to the last minute on that Friday.  The information packet said we would hear back in about a month.  The date came and went…I didn’t win, right?  Well, a week later I got the email telling me I was one of 100 chosen winners.  Wow!  Then, a week later, I found out I was one of the top going to Washington D.C.  Me!

So, school is over and my trip to Washington D.C. as a PBS LearningMedia Lead Digital Innovator has really left its mark on me.  It was fascinating to sit among peers with the similar interest of educating children in a technically innovative way or as I like to call it making learning fun.  The trip had so much to offer.  For starters, PBS is remaking its way into education in a digital forum with PBS LearningMedia.  I love all the browse options: grade level, subject, standards and collections.  But more importantly, there are videos, games, primary sources, self directed lessons, full lessons and more including support for educators.  My favorite part of LearningMedia is the ease of use.  I can go in, make folders with LearningMedia resources and add in websites I already use, make a folder of all on PBSLM and share it all with anyone through one PBSLM created URL link.  We even got a sneak peek at their newest website that includes a puzzlemaker, poster maker and video quiz option.  PBSLM and I feel the same way about education, if learning can be presented in a way that students enjoy then learning itself is rewarding. 

But the trip wasn’t only about PBSLM.  There were some really insightful presentations about teaching in the 21st century.  We heard from Kari Arfstrom about Flipped Learning.  This was a much deeper topic than I had previously considered.  The idea of taking learning and making it accessible from anywhere to allow for more in-depth classroom experiences is right up my alley. 

On Day 2, we heard from two PBS LearningMedia content experts who shared some of their most favored PBSLM resources.  Just look at the links from the picture to see the experts’ favorites.  I love how we looked at math and science from Peg and Cat and Curious George all the way to NOVA. 

Leslie Fisher really stood out to me with her onslaught of digital tools that reminded me that there is ALWAYS more out there.  She talked about some I knew already like Remind (Remind101).  But then she shuffled out some really amazing new tools I look forward to trying or at least sharing: for the flipped classroom, for mirroring, Screencastomatic, Blendspace, WUFUU and so many more. 

I can’t believe I was chosen to be a part of this amazing opportunity.  I am excited to share what I have learned upon the start of the 2014/2015 school year.  See you soon!

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