Western Reserve Public Media, located in Kent near the intersections of State Routes 43 and 261, owns and operates your local public television stations, WNEO and WEAO. Every day, these stations bring you quality programming that is uniquely different from commercial broadcasting.
For children, we are a storyteller and teacher. For families, we are the channels they trust; a valued friend that shares their values. For adults, we offer a place for lifelong learning, whether one’s interests are science, current affairs, antiques or home improvement.
What you may not know, though, is that we provide educational services far beyond what airs on our TV channels. In fact, we have a department devoted to providing technology training for educators, lifelong learning opportunities for children and adults and much more.
Our Department of Educational Services receives funding from the Ohio Department of Education and serves educators and students in grades K—12 in ten Ohio counties. This includes more than 24,000 educators and 300,000 students in grades K—12, plus over 100,000 preschool children’s parents and childcare providers.
Each year, we deliver courses, both in person and online, that help teachers integrate the latest educational technologies in the classroom, plus we offer on-site consultations with school district personnel. Courses cover subjects including using Smart Boards in the classroom, integrating Google Apps, iPads and Chromebooks, and even the use of educational gaming in the classroom.
Educators also use our locally produced multimedia curriculum projects to help students prepare for and pass Ohio’s achievement and graduation tests. Available free of charge via our website and supported by state of Ohio legislation and funding, these include: “108 Stitches: The Physics in Baseball,” “Get Ready for Your Career” and “Math and Science Gumbo.” In addition, Western Reserve Public Media’s Department of Educational Services is part of a statewide network of educational technology agencies that provides training to all educators across the state.
Western Reserve Public Media also collaborated with several state educational technology partners to form a nationally recognized, nonprofit agency called ITIP Ohio, whose purpose is to offer a direct focus on integrating technology in today’s classroom. Our team possesses certification in many areas, including Google Certified Training and Microsoft Innovative Educator training, and is part of the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network.
Educational Outreach Special Projects
While the work of our Educational Services staff is comprehensive and ongoing, several special projects stand out as ways in which we serve the northeast Ohio community. Following are just some examples of these projects designed for educators, children, and the community in general.
Camp Make-It This collaborative project with Case Western Reserve’s ThinkBox facility was held June 6—8, 2016. It enabled 25 educators to experience firsthand the MakerSpace movement that is happening in education. Participants collaborated to design products including an LED light board, tool storage boxes and a podium. This project was funded by the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation.
Odd Squad Summer Camp A collaborative project with Stark Libraries, this week-long summer camp for children five to eight years of age connected to the PBS television series “Odd Squad.” Held July 18—22, 2016, it was funded by the Fred Rogers Foundation and administered by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
ITIP Ohio Summit featuring Google in Education The largest Google event in the state, this two-day confer-ence started in 2011 in collaboration with ITIP Ohio. This event has over 700 registrants and focuses on today’s educator’s use of Google applications in the classroom.
Every Citizen Online These free day-long trainings held in 2012 helped community members learn to use computers and the internet for everyday tasks. Funding was provided by Connect Ohio through federal stimulus money.
Ready To Learn
Western Reserve Public Media’s Ready To Learn service is a parent and child-care provider outreach project for preschool-aged children. Through this program, we offer free workshops, print materials, and internet resources to help extend the learning from our station’s children’s programming into reading and hands-on activities.
Our free workshops are aligned with the state of Ohio’s Step Up to Quality standards and present the professional training now required of all family and in-home childcare providers. This training programming, funded through Ohio Jobs and Family Services and managed
by the Ohio Television Stations of Ohio, funds 30 professional development opportunities to more than 400 family childcare providers in our service area yearly.
Online Resources for Educators
Through our membership in PBS, we provide PBS LearningMedia, an online website for educators that helps them incorporate digital media in the classroom. This valuable teaching tool offers free lesson plans, teachers’ guides and online activities that meet state curriculum standards. Also available are free lesson plans, activities and curricula for home schooling.
INFOhio is the state of Ohio repository of digital resources available to all of Ohio’s 1.9 million students in grades pre-kindergarten to 12 and is supported with state legislation and funding. Our staff members are part of the INFOhio iCoach program and act as trainers to school districts interested in integrating these valuable online resources.
Find Out More!
To learn more about Western Reserve Public Media’s educational resources for teachers, children and community members, call us at 330-677-4549. Also, we wel-come you to visit us online at WesternReservePBS.org. There, you’ll find links to educational resources, multimedia projects, professional development and instructional TV.
Jeff Good is Director of Education at Western Reserve Public Media