PBS Receives Grant to Advance Math Achievement with Digital Content and Technology

Posted by PBS Publicity on

New PBS Content Will Be Created, Aligned and Incorporated into NYC DOE’s School of One Unique Individual Curricula

Arlington, Va. (December 14, 2010) – As a leader in multiplatform digital content, PBS has received a nearly $500,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create new, educational content to advance math achievement in partnership with New York City Department of Education’s experimental School of One (So1).  New content will be created specifically for the personalized classroom instruction platform pioneered by So1 and distributed through the PBS Digital Learning Library (DLL).  PBS will pilot a new initiative – the Digital Learning Object Academy – to spur the innovation and capacity of public media producers to create targeted, high-quality, digital media resources for education.

“PBS and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation share a commitment to help all children reach their full potential,” said Rob Lippincott, SVP, PBS Education. “Math education is critical to the future of our country and this generous grant allows PBS to continue using the power of educational digital media to boost teacher development, increase student engagement and ensure all children have the skills and opportunity to thrive in the 21st Century.”

PBS’ new library of digital math content designed for 6th grade classrooms will be implemented through NYC DOE’s School of One. So1 is known for its experimental classroom instruction that blends high-quality teaching practices, differentiated learning and personalized instruction technologies to deliver an adaptive learning experience to students on a daily basis.  Independent research measuring the success of the year-long effort will be conducted by WestEd, one of the premiere research and evaluation organizations in the United States.

“This kind of collaboration is exactly what our nation needs if we want to seriously upgrade our educational resources,” said Joel Rose, CEO of School of One. “We are thrilled that PBS is taking the lead to bring great multimedia directly into classrooms and look forward to working with them on this important partnership.”

The PBS Digital Learning Object Academy pilot will launch in January 2011 with a three-day workshop pairing curriculum experts, consumer product technologists and leading interactive design thinkers with content producers to develop a rich library of digital learning resources.  In addition to the workshop, PBS will provide ongoing professional development to content producers in a collaborative online environment designed to guide the digital learning object development.  Public media content producers are invited to submit a proposal (http://www.pbsdigitallearninglibrary.org) to participate in the pilot Academy to create math digital learning objects for the School of One project.

“PBS and School of One put students’ learning as our first priority.  This grant will uncover new ways of teaching students about math and how we can best serve the unique learning needs of individual children,” added Lippincott.

The new digital math content will be made available through PBS Education’s Digital Learning Library (DLL), a public media repository of digital media learning tools, including videos, images, interactives, audios and documents, all searchable, tagged and correlated to state education standards.  PBS Education’s services are designed to improve teacher effectiveness, increase student achievement, and leverage broadband technologies in the classroom.

About NYC DOE So1
School of One is a project of the New York City Department of Education that re-imagines the classroom for the 21st century. Founded by former teachers, its mission is to personalize math education through multiple “modalities” of instruction: live lessons, one-on-one tutoring, virtual tutoring, educational software, small group collaboration, and individual practice. In a multi-modal learning environment, different material can be taught in different stations at the same time, freeing students to learn at their own speed and according to their own unique strengths and weaknesses.

School of One currently serves approximately 1,500 students in three New York City public middle schools. Articles on School of One have appeared in the New York Times, Huffington Post, Atlantic Monthly, Education Next, eSchool News, and Time, where it was named one of the top fifty inventions of 2009. It was also designated a top-rated applicant to US Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition.

About PBS
PBS, 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 more than 118 million people through television and nearly 21 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 other performances.  PBS' broad array of programs has been consistently honored in 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 is available at pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet.

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Stephanie Aaronson