PBS.org and Oregon Public Broadcasting Launch Web site Helping Educators and Students Explore the Controversial Legacy of the Conquistadors

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The Adventure Begins Today at PBS.org/conquistadors/

ALEXANDRIA, VA., November 1, 2000 -- PBS.org today embarks on its newest online learning adventure, "Conquistadors," (PBS.org/conquistadors), which will help middle and high school students and teachers study the long-lasting effects of the Spanish conquest of the New World, as well as 500 years of science, geography, math and current events.

Visitors coming to the Web site can participate in an engrossing experience based on the journeys of the Spanish Conquistadors and of filmmaker Michael Wood, who filmed a documentary examining the Conquistadors, which will be shown on PBS stations in 2001. This online adventure will be brought to life with information from experts on a variety of subjects, interdisciplinary lessons and activities tied to national curriculum standards, and background information (available in both Spanish and English) on the region and its inhabitants.

Educators, especially, are invited to log on and follow Wood's reports from the field as he explores the path of the Conquistadors, take part in a real-time Q&A, and learn more about the experience of the Conquistadors and their legacy. The Web site will be unveiled in weekly installments: Cortes's conquest of Mexico is first (Nov. 1); Peru and Pizzaro, second (Nov. 13); then, Francisco Orellama and Amazonia (Nov. 20); and finally, Cabeza de Vaca and North America (Nov. 27).

The PBS.org Conquistadors Web site will feature:

Background Information
Using a clickable map to orient visitors, this section provides background on the native groups encountered by the Conquistadors. The essays found in this section explore the culture and traditions of these American groups and the impact and legacy of their contact with the Conquistadors.

Timeline of Conquest
An interactive timeline of events, highlighting historical milestones of the interaction between the Conquistadors and Native Americans.

What Do You Think?
Moderated discussion boards in which students, educators, and others can ask questions and discuss topics related to the Web site. Discussion boards will be monitored throughout the month of November.

Michael's Journal
Filmmaker Michael Wood provides his own perspective on the land that provides the setting for the dramatic story of the Conquistadors. Learn more about the Americas and the filmmaker's art in this unique section of the site.

Teacher Guide
Designed specifically for educators, this section suggests a path for educator use of the site and features four interdisciplinary teaching units and a variety of "Teaching Tickler" activities tied to the four Conquistador explorations. It also allows classrooms creating online materials related to Conquistadors to link their sites to the main Web page.

The Conquistadors Web site is a production of Oregon Public Broadcasting, in collaboration with PBS Interactive and Maya Vision, with funding provided by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.

PBS.org, PBS's award-winning site on the World Wide Web, produces high-quality Web programming as it pioneers the convergence of television and the Internet. PBS ONLINE features more than 100,000 pages of content as well as companion Web sites for nearly 400 PBS programs and specials. In January 2000, Yahoo! put PBS.org at the top of its list of the best Web sites of all time.

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 347 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.


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Kevin Dando

Carol Snyder Dufault