A remarkable opportunity for learning and teaching: school membership
The power of electronic media for engaging and effective instruction has been known to good educators for many years. Educational television, Smart Boards, PowerPoints, computer access, etc., have truly transformed the way education is delivered. Students and teachers have come to depend on quick access to information and high quality visual and aural resources as integral parts of the planned curriculum. On February 19, 2009, our schools, like everyone else, fully enters the digital age with analog television going away by federal law. This will have a significant impact on the educational resources available to the schools.
School membership with WDSE•WRPT is an affordable and trusted educational resource for our Northland schools. The services offered to our schools by WDSE•WRPT have increased in recent years, but the cost (thanks to grants) has actually decreased by 40%. For $0.75 per student, school membership offers your school these great benefits.
- 6 hours of pre-K-12 instructional television, broadcast Monday-Friday during the school year. More than 1,800 programs, covering every subject discipline and grade level, are offered each year. These programs may be copied off-air for educational purposes and used with students when the time is convenient for the teacher. The Parade of Programs, the instructional TV guide, is available only to teachers in member schools. You cannot use this outstanding instructional programming as part of the planned curriculum without this guide to the title and day/time of broadcast. As a cost-saving device for the station, the Parade of Programs will be put online at the station web site and made password protected, with only school members given the password. A small number of hard copies will also be sent to each member school.
- DVD dubs of missed programs broadcast from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. can be requested from the station. Educators from school members are the only ones who can request dubs from WDSE•WRPT. This very popular benefit is offered at no cost.
- Much of the pre-K-12 instructional programming is now datacasted. Member schools may purchase the datacasting software and antenna for a small fee that turns a dedicated computer into a virtual library of educational resources. This is the closest PBS has come to providing video-on- demand as an educational service. With the special software and antenna (a one-time cost that is separate from the annual membership fee), datacasted instructional programs are downloaded via a digital television broadcast signal into the computer's hard drive. This is a brand new service that lets educators burn downloaded programs and all related resources onto DVDs or for use in school networks. Since this service is delivered through a high-quality digital TV signal, there is no problem with long download times or using Internet capacity and the quality is very high. These are distinct advantages of this outstanding new service.
- Member schools are included in WDSE•WRPT grant projects. This is an important benefit for area schools. Recent past grants include the five-year national TeacherLine grant that resulted in more than 500 completed courses for area teachers and more than 400 earned graduate credits from UMD, all at no cost to either teacher or school; Week-long institutes for exemplary teachers on the writing process, with graduate credit offered, at no cost to either teacher or school; Grants to set up a datacasting model at UMD and area schools, at no cost to either teacher or school. Inclusion in grant-funded projects is an important benefit of school membership.
- Free workshops. The station offers free workshops on a variety of topics. The workshops are given by state-licensed educators. School members are always given the first opportunity to participate in these popular workshops and the demand for participation exceeds station capacity to honor all requests for participation.
School membership with WDSE•WRPT is a sound investment for your school. The station has earned local, regional, and national accolades for its educational outreach. This includes the annual PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest "Young Writers & Illustrators Contest" for students in grades K-3, had 5,112 young students write and illustrate original stories in 2010 - the largest number of entries in the country for this national contest; the annual high school essay, art, and photography contests offer cash scholarships and a major exhibit to students in grades 9-12 and a huge amount of positive publicity for participating schools; Educational outreach partnerships with UMD, UWS, the Duluth Art Institute, public libraries, Duluth News Tribune and other area newspapers, United Way, Duluth Children's Museum, Iron World, and many other community and civic organizations plus national entities to extend educational opportunities to area students and educators.