PBS Video Launches Powerful Online Teaching Tool

Posted by PBS Publicity on

Free Web-based Service Helps Teachers, Students and Other Researchers Find Their Place in History at the Push of a Button

ALEXANDRIA, Va., November 13, 2002 - PBS, the leading source of programming services for America's classrooms, today unveiled the PBS VIDEOindex Web site (http://pbsvideodb.pbs.org/) at the Technology and Learning Conference in Dallas, Texas. This free online service from PBS VIDEO provides teachers and students with an easy way to locate people, places, events, issues and other topics captured in more than 500 hours of award-winning PBS content in American and world history, science, economics, government and the arts. The site also offers extensive educational resources, such as primary source documents, lesson plans, maps and timelines that can be downloaded and printed out. Other key features include state and national Curriculum Standards Correlators and an index generating tool that allows users to create customized directories for their own video collections. The Web site will launch on November 30, 2002.

The new Web site works in conjunction with PBS VIDEOindex VHS titles. Each tape includes a small on-screen clock that allows every segment of a program to be identified through a minute-and-second time code. The online index makes it possible to search for video clips by keyword, date range, academic area, grade level and other criteria. The Web site's database also includes program, chapter and segment descriptions, providing the video selections with even more context.

"Video has an unparalleled ability to bring a moment in history, a creative idea or a scientific concept to life for the student," said Jon Cecil, Senior Director of PBS VIDEO. "This new Web site can help teachers and students identify the PBS video content more easily and to obtain the videos that best meet their needs to improve understanding and encourage learning. Features like the index generator allow users to find exactly what content is contained in their own video library and locate the curriculum resources, support materials and lesson plans that help personalize research and presentations to suit individual needs."

The PBS VIDEOindex collection boasts an extensive repertoire of renowned PBS programs, exploring history from the early-Egyptians to the events and people in the news today; scientific concepts and theories in astronomy, biology and brain theory; and the breadth of the arts in music, dance, the visual arts and architecture. These films have earned numerous Emmy, duPont-Columbia and Peabody Awards, as well as popular and critical acclaim. The videos include such documentary series as Africans in America, American Experience, The Civil War, Eyes on the Prize, Frontline and Liberty! The American Revolution, Jazz, I'll Make Me a World, American Visions, Stephen Hawking's Universe, Triumph of Life, and The Secret Life of the Brain - works by renowned historical interpreters such as Ken Burns, Henry Hampton and David Grubin. Video segments can be used throughout an institution's curriculum as interdisciplinary resources in history, geography, sociology, science, health, literature, language arts, economics, government and the humanities.

An added feature of the PBS VIDEOindex Web site is access to other PBS online services for educators, including the PBS TeacherSource (http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/), an online neighborhood for preK-12 educators that help teachers learn effective ways to incorporate video and Web in the classroom, and shopPBS for Teachers (http://teacher.shop.pbs.org/), an e-commerce site designed especially with education professionals in mind.

"This is one of the most useful content location tools ever offered by any media company to educators." said Mr. Cecil. "We are proud to carry out PBS's mission to support education by offering this exceptional free service."

Working for America's educators since 1976, PBS VIDEO offers video content, companion classroom materials and online services for schools, colleges and universities, libraries and other institutions. With a compilation of more than 1,400 VHS and DVD titles as well as a host of other offerings, PBS VIDEO products comprise every academic subject area from art to zoology and every educational level from K-12 to college and beyond. PBS VIDEO products can be ordered through its catalog, by calling 1-800-344-3337 or by logging on to shopPBS for Teachers at http://teacher.shop.pbs.org/. The site also features contact information for PBS VIDEO educational service representatives nationwide.

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations. Serving nearly 100 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet.


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Jan McNamara, PBS

Kevin Dando, PBS