Education Opinion

NEW Platform to Support Teachers - KQED Teach

By Beth Holland — July 15, 2016 2 min read
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We are thrilled to share details about a new, FREE online learning platform for teachers created by KQED - an NPR and PBS affiliate in Northern California. KQED Education engages with community and educational organizations to broaden and deepen the impact of their award-winning media and address the needs of educators in STEM, arts, and news by creating cutting-edge learning media, providing training in digital learning tools, and distributing public media content to classrooms via the KQED website, PBS LearningMedia, and iTunes U. Many thanks to Merisenda Alatorre at KQED for providing us with this information to share.

Educators are now under more pressure than ever to integrate digital media into their instruction. Classroom sets of iPads or Chromebooks or [fill in technology here] now sit in many classrooms waiting to be used effectively for tasks beyond research and word processing (though those are important tasks, too).

There are certainly many educators who are diving in and integrating media literacy meaningfully in the classroom. But, for the most part, educators we work with are often worried they will fail, so they largely stay on the sidelines. If you’re one of these educators, then the standard worries will probably seem familiar:

My students know so much more than me, I'll end up looking dumb." "I can't trust students to stay on task and not play games." "I can't fix it if it breaks." "I don't have time to teach with digital media - I have so much other material to cover." "Even if I could, I wouldn't know where to start."

Even though traditional literacy remains at the center of most instruction, today’s students (and educators), live in a world demanding additional new media literacy skills in addition to strong foundational skills of reading and writing. If we want our learning environments to be relevant and inspiring places where students prepare for the economic, social and cultural realities of today’s world, then developing media literacy is essential.

KQED Teach, our first-ever professional online learning platform, provides a series of free, self-paced courses to help educators develop the media skills necessary to bring media production and communication to their students and into various learning environments. The platform tracks user progress and is also a space where educators can connect with one another and share their media-making experiences through its social community. Select stories will be published on KQED’s In the Classroom blog. Another feature of the platform currently in development will allow educators to earn open badges for achievement.

Examples of current courses available:

  • Media Essentials reframes traditional media literacy concepts from an audience perspective to a producer perspective.
  • Taking Charge of Social Media helps educators understand the ins and outs of social media tools and explore their applications for professional learning.
  • Video Storytelling Essentials helps participants develop the specific knowledge and skills to begin telling great stories with video.

Through these courses we believe you will gain the confidence and ability to integrate media into your curriculum in exciting ways that empower both you and your students. So, whether you’re a beginner or a veteran, join us at teach.kqed.org and join a community working together to improve media literacy.

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