Louisiana Public Broadcasting has joined with PBS and Edcamp for a first-of-its-kind national partnership that will create opportunities for early childhood educators across the country to engage in peer-to-peer learning.
Through this innovative effort, Edcamp, LPB and other selected PBS member stations will bring together teachers in communities across the country to elevate their voices and empower them professionally. The initiative will kick off with a series of PBS Edcamp events produced in partnership with PBS stations, and will use Edcamp’s “unconference” professional development model, in which teachers lead their own learning experiences.
PBS Edcamps will be free to attendees, ensuring that all local educators have access to them. The program will be open to those who work in various learning environments, including informal and childcare settings. PBS Edcamp will give these educators an opportunity to share in professional experiences and discuss best practices for fostering early childhood development and kindergarten readiness.
“Our goal at PBS is to support educators, especially those who teach young children, and connect them with one another to spark innovation in the classroom,” said Sara Schapiro, Vice President, PBS Education.
Edcamp’s personalized, participant-driven approach gives educators control over what they learn and fosters a strong sense of community among attendees. Participants propose topics they want to discuss or learn more about, build the agenda and then choose sessions to attend based on their interests and experiences. All attendees are encouraged to share ideas and methods that will enhance their practice.
“PBS’ commitment to fostering local teacher communities is a natural extension of our mission,” said Hadley Ferguson, Executive Director of the Edcamp Foundation. “At the center of this partnership is a shared belief that teachers are a critical part of the ecosystem in which students learn, and that they deserve allies. Together we believe PBS Edcamps can help empower teachers nationwide to reimagine what they can bring to their classrooms.”
The PBS Edcamp partnership will begin with a series of PBS Edcamp pilots in 10 markets in partnership with PBS member stations.
Following the pilot phase, PBS Edcamps will begin to roll out nationally, including in Louisiana, in summer 2018.
PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 100 million people through television and nearly 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a new 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroomor by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
The first Edcamp was held in Philadelphia in 2010, organized by a group of teachers, to bring participant-driven professional development to educators. They advertised the event on Twitter and close to 100 teachers came for the initial event. Those teachers shared their experiences of collaborative learning on social media and educators around the country decided to host their own event. Since 2010, this grassroots movement has grown organically with over 2,000 Edcamps being held around the world. As research has shown, teachers want to learn from other teachers, which the Edcamp movement clearly demonstrates. In 2015, the Edcamp Foundation received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support the work of the educators who host Edcamps and to build a vibrant network. The more information on the Edcamp movement, our website iswww.edcamp.org. We are also on social media: Twitter and Facebook.
Since 1975, Louisiana Public Broadcasting has been the public television network for the state of Louisiana with stations in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe and Shreveport. LPB is also affiliated with WLAE-TV in New Orleans. In addition to its award-winning documentaries about the history and people of Louisiana,LPB is dedicated to helping children throughout the state develop their literacy, math, and science skills through its numerous educational outreach programs.