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IPTV: More than a Television Network Aside from our high-quality educational programming teachers have come to expect from shows like NOVA, Frontline, Sesame Street, and WordGirl, IPTV offers more than television programming. With digital media resources from PBS LearningMedia, lesson plans and interactives from PBS Teachers, and games and video from PBS Kids, IPTV is a resource tool for educators. Visit to find thousands of innovative and relevant resources for teachers.

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10 Ways to Use PBS LearningMedia in the Classroom PBS LearningMedia is a brand-new digital library from IPTV and PBS designed for educators to engage students in media-rich learning environments with videos, audio, and interactives. Go to and use these ten steps to innovate teaching. Watch video: Of course, this may sound like an obvious suggestion, but it’s all in how you present video. Do you use video as part of your entire lesson for a day or do you use short clips that supplement a lesson? Thinking about how and why you use video will help make learning more meaningful to your students. Listen to an audio clip: Sometimes audio can heighten a lesson in ways that a video cannot. Audio clips can bring in different perspectives, force students to consider a new viewpoint, or help to spark a discussion. Get struggling students to speed up and push strong students ahead: Videos can help supplement in-class teaching for struggling students. Likewise, students can review at home, so you’re not forced to teach continually to the middle. Save your favorite resources: With thousands of resources available, it’s easy to forget about pieces of content you find in PBS LearningMedia. That’s why LearningMedia has created a handy “favorite” button. Click it and know exactly where you put the materials you like. Tag your resources: Say you are creating one lesson for your English 9 class and another for your composition class. You can tag your saved resources and organize your tags accordingly.

If your students watch a video of a basic concept (like gravity) at home you can then focus on applying those concepts in class the next day. Share what you find: Become social and click the “share” button. You can post any resource you find to your Facebook or Twitter account and most other popular social networking sites. You can also embed anything into an email or your class website. Recommend good resources to other teachers you’ve never met: LearningMedia created a handy button called “recommend.” If you like a resource you find, you can click the recommend button. Other teachers can click the button as well, and given enough time thousands of teachers can recommend the resources they use most, which can filter the very best and most innovative resources in the digital library. Innovate your curriculum and meet standards: PBS LearningMedia offers resources that are aligned to standards. This way you can use the material available to ensure your students grasp the big ideas or benchmarks. Adapt lesson plans to meet your style of teaching: LearningMedia offers lesson plans that help you find innovative ways to use video, audio, or interactives in the classroom. But don’t feel you have to use it exactly as it says. Aim to apply your best techniques. For example, if you teach best by using small-group discussions, use the “pause” button. Have your students make predictions, form a connection to a larger idea, define a word, or highlight a point made in the video.

Create a video homework assignment: The chances are increasing that your students have access to the Internet outside of the classroom.

CLASSROOM connection is your guide to the educational services of Iowa Public Television.

PreK-12 Classroom Television Programs Literacy, Languages, and the Arts • • • • • • •

Art of the Western World (9-12 Fine Arts) Masterpieces of the Western world are presented in their cultural and historical settings— Mondays in November, 2-3 a.m. Connect with English English language learner (ELL) series that touches on life’s important issues—Sundays, 3-4 a.m. In Search of Shakespeare (9-12 Language Arts) Mixing travel, adventure, interviews and specially shot sequences on the road, these programs set the life of the poet in the turbulent times in which he lived—Mondays, Nov. 14 to Dec. 5, 3-4 a.m. Great American Authors: Since 1650 (Language Arts 7-12) Explore the lives and literary output of more than 60 of America’s most-read authors—Mondays in December, 2-3 a.m. Exploring the World of Music (9-12 Fine Arts) Promote understanding of musical concepts through analysis of several musical genres and diverse cultures— Mondays, Dec. 12 to Jan. 16, 3-4 a.m. La Tienda De Luis (4-8 Foreign Language) Series designed to introduce young learners, with no prior knowledge, to basic Spanish conversation and vocabulary—Mondays, Jan. 2 and 9, 2-3 a.m. Guten Tag (9-12 Foreign Language) Series that introduces students to German language and culture through entertaining mini-dramas, documentaries, and learning modules—Mondays, Dec. 5 to Jan. 30, 4-5 a.m.

Math • • •

Algebra Nspirations and Applications (9-12 Math) Series, developed by math experts, that integrates guided instruction through algebraic processes with real-life applications—Tuesdays, Nov. 1 and 8, 2-3 a.m. Digital Math: Homework Help (6-8 Math) A comprehensive resource covering critical algebraic concepts for middle school students— Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2-3 a.m. Mathematics Illuminated (7-12 Math) Explore major themes in math from mankind’s earliest study of prime numbers to cutting-edge mathematics used to reveal the shape of the universe—Tuesdays, Nov. 22 to Jan. 3, 2-3 a.m. Cyberchase (PreK-5) Animated adventure series helping kids understand a range of math concepts—Tuesdays, Nov. 1 to Jan. 30, 4-5 a.m. BizKid$ (3-8 Financial Literacy) A fun, new, fast-paced TV series where kids teach kids about money and entrepreneurship— Tuesdays, Nov. 1 to Jan. 30, 3-4 a.m. Bill Nye’s Solving for X (6-8 Math) Exciting conceptual approach to learning key mathematical principles—Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2-3 a.m.

Science • • •

Alan Alda in Scientific American Frontiers (7-12 General Science) Alan Alda brings his unique blend of curiosity and humor to the exploration of the latest trends in science, medicine, technology, and the environment—Thursdays, Nov. 3 to Jan. 26, 2-3 a.m. SciGirls (4-8 General Science) Showcasing bright, curious girls putting science and engineering to work as they answer questions and make unexpected discoveries—Thursdays, Nov. 3 and 10, 3-4 a.m. Greenworks (7-12 Environmental Science) Emmy award-winning series that features people making a difference for the environment in big ways and small— Thursdays, Nov. 24 to Dec. 8, 4-5 a.m.

November & December 2011 and January 2012 • • • • • •

Core Biology (7-12 Biology) A new series embarking on an exciting ride through the world of animal classification, physiology, behavior, and communication—Thursdays, Nov. 17 and 23, 3-4 a.m. Core Meteorology (7-12 Earth Science) This new series goes beyond the study of storms to explore atmospheric chemistry and physics, climatology, and global warming—Thursdays, Dec. 2 and 8, 3-4 a.m. Inside the Living Cell (7-12 Biology) Highly visual series that examines the detailed processes that keep life going—Thursday, Dec. 8, 3:30-5 a.m. Bill Nye the Science Guy (4-8 General Science) Classic series providing easy access to hard science, blending humor and hand-on activities—Weekdays at 5 a.m. Green Matters: What in the World is Going On? (7-12 Environmental Science) This series examines innovative ways that scientists, entrepreneurs, and ordinary citizens are reducing our carbon footprint—Thursdays, Dec. 15 to Jan. 26, 3-4 a.m. Biotechnology in the 21st Century (7-12 Science) This series explores the pressing issues associated with stem cell technology, gene splicing, and other advances in biology—Thursdays, Jan. 19 to Feb. 2, 4-5 a.m.

Social Studies • • • • • • • • • • •

The Iowa Heritage (6-12 History) Covering Iowa’s history from prehistory through the present, Iowa Heritage provides a vivid and personal look at Iowa’s development, culture, and achievements—Wednesdays, Nov. 1 to 23, 2-3 a.m. A History of American Indian Achievement (7-12 History) Chronicling the survival of the American Indian in spite of wars and devastation, this program brings American Indian accomplishments to light—Wednesdays, Nov. 23 to Dec. 21, 2-3 a.m. The Complete History of U.S. Wars: 1700-2004 (9-12 U.S. History) Detailed look into major U.S. wars and conflicts—Wednesdays, Dec. 28 to Jan. 18, 2-3 a.m. Ancient History (9-12 History) This series provides a new perspective into the growth and development of several of the world’s most significant ancient cultures—Wednesdays, Nov. 2 to 30, 3-4 a.m. U.S. History Field Trips (6-8 History) Designed to take students on a virtual field trip through American history—Wednesdays, Dec. 7 to 28, 3-4 a.m. The American Presidents (3-8 U.S. History) Fresh and relevant narrative about the men who have led this country—Wednesdays, Jan. 4 to 25, 3-4 a.m. Beyond Our Borders (5-9 Social Studies) An in-depth look into different countries and cultures—Wednesdays, Dec. 8 to Jan. 25, 4-5 a.m. Athens: The Dawn of Democracy (9-12 History) Examines the world of Athens in 500 B.C., the birthplace of democratic debate—Fridays, Nov. 18 and 25, 2-3 a.m. 19th-21st Century Turning Points in U.S. History (7-12 U.S. History) These series explore the significant historical events through U.S. history—Fridays, Dec. 2 to Jan. 27, 2-3 a.m. Bridging World History (7-12 World History) Series designed to help students understand a broad, global framework of History— Fridays, Nov. 4 to Jan 20, 3-4 a.m. The Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century (7-12 Social Studies) Series that teaches the geographic skills and concepts necessary to understand the world—Fridays, Nov. 4 to Jan. 20, 4-5 a.m.

IPTV Education broadcasts overnight on Mediacom Cable. If you are unable to record an episode that you see on IPTV, contact your AEA for copies of programs that allow for duplication.

Visit or scan this QR code for a complete schedule

effects on learning. Students were more emotionally and intellectually engaged during the interactive lessons, and students who struggled academically performed better in the Mission U.S. unit compared to most other units. The game’s flexible format allows for use in the classroom, at home, in the library or media center, or anywhere there’s a computer with an Internet connection, and students can work alone, in pairs, or in groups. Sarah’s students, of all ability levels, found something they liked about Mission U.S. “The learning conversations that took place were of a much higher level,” she said.

Using Mission U.S. to Improve Learning Mission U.S.: For Crown or Colony is an interactive game that allows students to step into the shoes of a 14-year-old apprentice who closely experiences the events that led up to the Boston Massacre. The game was extremely successful, and the developers plan to launch a second “mission” in January, where students can follow the experiences of Lucy, an escaped slave preceding the Civil War.

to enhance learning? Likewise, how do you incorporate a game like Mission U.S. into your curriculum?

While technology and digital media are not the silver bullet that will transform schools overnight, in the hands of a skilled teacher video games can engage and challenge students in ways that a history textbook cannot. A great amount of research has gone into the effectiveness of using video games in the classroom. From giving students the ability to deeply analyze and interact with material to providing immediate feedback, video games create learning environments that define clear goals, encourage motivation, and scaffold learning to meet the individual needs of each student. The teacher then provides the interpretation and the ability to help the student plan and move forward in their learning.

“Any opportunity to get students as the center of the learning is important, and I knew that most of my students were more interested in being on a computer instead of listening to me lecture,” said Carlson. A professional development lecturer spoke to Sarah about the benefits of incorporating online virtual learning as a cornerstone of 21st century skills. After some research of her own, Sarah decided Mission U.S. would be a good choice. “After playing the game myself, I knew students would instantly take to this sort of learning.”

So what does a classroom look like that has effective teachers using video games

Sarah Carlson, a social studies teacher who now works at Malcom Price Lab School at Northern University High School, won the Mission U.S. Teacher of the Year Award in 2010 for integrating the game into her American Revolution unit.

However, students will gain the most if their game-play experiences are supported by classroom activities, discussions, and writing exercises guided by a teacher’s expertise. The website provides a wealth of materials to connect the game to your own goals and objectives. “The supporting materials were great,” said Carlson. “All of it was ready for me to use or not use.” This video game puts historical events into context, helping to show that history is more than memorizing facts and dates. It’s a story about people who made decisions that were complex and not always right. While the game is not the perfect answer to teaching history, it is a supplement that can help students engage in history in new and unexpected ways. “That’s the important part to remember,” said Carlson. “The game helped make learning more relevant, so that my students were more attentive, more focused, and much more interested and that’s what counts.”

The Education Development Center conducted a national study, which included several Iowa teachers, over the effectiveness of using Mission U.S. as a supplement to an American history unit. The study concluded that using the game had several positive

CLASSROOM connection is your guide to the educational services of Iowa Public Television.

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