If you were in elementary school in the 70’s, you probably recognize that call as the voice of Rita Moreno yelling to let you know it’s time for another episode of the Electric Company. If you’re like me public television was a big part of your education too – from Sesame Street, Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, and The Electric Company to science shows like Nova. I wonder how many of you in the classroom today use PBS programming and resources with your students?
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Okay then, imagine my voice yelling “HEY YOU GUYYYYYS!!” to let you know about some of the great resources available now at www.pbs.org/teachers.
The people at PBS have been busy working to tag, catalog, and make “searchable” their vast online collection of resources. The result is the new PBS Teachers web site.
You can search by keyword, use the advanced search, or start with a subject area and drill down by selecting a grade level and a topic. For example, when I performed a keyword search for “sceintific method” my results included 24 lesson plans, 63 offline activities, 5 interactives, and 115 audio/video clips.
Trying to be more specific, I tried search for the Native American “Lakota” tribe. The results included 4 lesson plans including two from the Lewis and Clark Mini-Series, an interactive web site of Native American Storytellers, and a video clip from Antiques Roadshow telling the history of some Lakota artifacts.
As you start using this site more often, you’ll probably want to register with PBS Teachers Connect and become a PBS Teacher. By signing in you can save and add your own tags to the resources you find for easy retrieval later.
You’ll also become a part of a community of PBS Teachers where you can ask questions and participate in discussions.
For those of you searching for video resources keep in mind that this site is not a single repository, rather it provides links to the various PBS web sites where these resources reside. Depending on the program, videos formats may vary between Flash, RealPlayer, Quicktime, or Windows Media. Some clips, like those from Nova ScienceNow, can be downloaded and even transferred to an iPod, others can only be streamed from their web site.
Also keep in mind that this site is still in “beta”. Look for new features and enhacements as they continue working to improve it.
Oh, and if you’re a fan of the original Electric Company you might be interested to know that a new version of the show be premiering this January. Although I’m told that Morgan Freeman will not be appearing in the new show, it might still be worth checking out.
Have fun exploring the vast resources available at PBS Teachers.