PBS LearningMedia and The Henry Ford Announce Call for Entries for 2012 Teacher Innovator Awards

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Awards Recognize Innovative PreK-12 Educators Using Digital Media to Enhance Learning

Arlington, VA, October 2, 2012PBS LearningMedia and The Henry Ford today announced the third annual Teacher Innovator Awards, recognizing PreK-12 educators using media in new and unique ways to enhance students’ learning.

Teachers are using digital media in the classroom in creative ways to inspire and engage young minds in every subject from math and science to music and the arts.  The Teacher Innovator Awards recognize classroom educators, media specialists, technology coordinators and homeschool educators who are digital pioneers, paving the way for new teaching techniques and a more interactive learning experience.

“PBS is proud to offer opportunities like the Teacher Innovator Awards to recognize teachers applying innovative teaching methods to improve student learning,” said Rob Lippincott, Senior Vice President, PBS Education.  “That’s what PBS LearningMedia, a free digital media on-demand service for parents and educators, has been designed to do. And through this partnership with The Henry Ford, we are encouraging and equipping teachers to implement innovative teaching practices to educate today’s learners.”

Teachers can apply for the Teacher Innovator Awards by submitting a video up to 3 minutes in length or a written essay, up to three pages with images.  Entries must address how they are using digital media to enhance students’ learning by augmenting the traditional textbook approach to teaching.  Thirty educators in total will receive prizes for their outstanding work with the top 10 winners receiving a professional development prize package for a week-long, all-expense-paid "Innovation Immersion Experience" at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, and a PBS TeacherLine course. The deadline to apply for the awards is December 12, 2012.

“The Henry Ford's vision is to reignite a culture of innovation and inspire a ‘can do’ spirit, especially in American education. Digital learning platforms can be powerful tools in the hands of teachers and we are looking for innovative teacher leaders. The Teacher Innovator awards entries will be judged on originality, reinforcement of 21st century learning skills and creative student engagement strategies,” said Paula Gangopadhyay, Chief Learning Officer, The Henry Ford.  “Entries that incorporate resources from our Oninnovation website or from PBS websites or programming will receive a bonus point.”

“These awards not only recognize educators who think outside the box, but it also serves as a great information sharing resource and source of inspiration for teachers.  My lesson was based on Andy Carroll’s book War Letters, and the companion PBS documentary American Experience; War Letters based on the book," said New York-based Keith Rosko, 2011 first-place winner of the PBS Teacher Innovator Awards. "Students were engaged in a visual, auditory and tactile way, they watched video and still imagery, examined war photographs, letters and the work of war artists, and listened to podcasts.”

The 2012 Teacher Innovator Award winners will be announced in March 2013.  For more information on the awards, visit www.pbslearningmedia.org/innovators/. For more information on PBS LearningMedia for local schools and districts, visit www.pbslearningmedia.org.

PBS LearningMedia is © 2011 PBS & WGBH Educational Foundation - All rights reserved.

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About PBSPBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans — from every walk of life — the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches 124 million people through television and 20 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBSPressroom on Twitter.

About The Henry Ford The Henry Ford, in Dearborn, Michigan, is the world’s premier history destination and a National Historic Landmark that celebrates American history and innovation. Its mission is to provide unique educational experiences based on authentic objects, stories and lives from America’s traditions of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation. Its purpose is to inspire people to learn from these traditions to help shape a better future. Five distinct attractions at The Henry Ford captivate more than 1.5 million visitors annually: Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, The Ford Rouge Factory Tour, The Benson Ford Research Center and The Henry Ford IMAX Theatre. The Henry Ford is also home to Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school which educates 485 students a year on the institution’s campus and was founded in partnership with The Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company and Wayne County Public Schools. For more information please visit our website thehenryford.org.

Media Contacts: Melissa Mills, PBS, 703.739.8134, mkmills@pbs.org Wendy Metros, The Henry Ford, 313.982.6125, WendyMe@thehenryford.org Mike Rush, 360 Public Relations, 617.585.5792, mrush@360publicrelations.com