BURBANK, Calif. – For now, school is out, but this is no vacation. It is a practice called social distancing, but how will students learn in the meantime? Distance learning.
For Andrew Russell, who has spent 25 years in public broadcasting, partnering with the Los Angeles Unified School District to provide educational resources through their public television broadcast was great foresight.
“Public media is an essential community resource,” said President and CEO of PBS SoCal, Andrew Russell. “It’s owned by the community and we’re dedicated to serving all our audiences with educational content and informational content and trusted informational sources that’s needed so much these days.”
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With three available channels, students will be able to watch PBS SoCal for Pre-K to 2nd grade, KLCS for 3rd-8th grade, and KCET for high school students. KQED in San Francisco will provide supplemental resources for those students with access to the internet.
But why TV? Why not provide everything online?
“We want to serve all students and of course everybody has access to public television so we’re starting there with a broadcast service,” said Russell. “And we’re adding online so students that have --access to that can use it, but we also know that 25 percent of students won’t have that access which is why we’re doing both. Broadcast and online.”
For those with access to the internet, the online teaching resource PBS Learning Media already provides a robust curriculum for Pre-K to 12th grade.
“The service will include shows from Ken Burns about American history and of course math shows like Cyperchase and Peg + Cat for the younger kids,” said Russell.
They will develop on-air content like interstitials, cards testing knowledge and follow-up exercises to go with their television programming.
Your TV is now more than your babysitter, it’s your teacher as well. Happy learning!