COLUMBUS — Beginning Monday, the Ohio department of education announced it would be airing grade-level appropriate, standards-based programs on each of Ohio’s eight Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations throughout the statewide mandated school closures in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In a joint press release by the state’s department of education and the Ohio Broadcast Educational Media Commission, both organizations stated the initiative started as a way to keep students in K-12 grade-levels engaged in learning and titled #LearnAtHome and will “help bridge the digital divide.”
The #LearnAtHome initiative is not intended as a way to substitute the everyday learning students are still doing through the school districts they are still enrolled in during the pandemic, rather as a way to provide useful, educational content for students who might seek out this information.
Ohio State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Paolo DeMaria, said the following in the joint release: “In this unprecedented time, Ohio’s educators, parents and caregivers are doing their best to keep learning going for students amid the coronavirus crisis. I am humbled and grateful that all eight of Ohio’s public broadcasting stations have stepped up as major partners committed to delivering high-quality, grade-appropriate learning to students, complementing the amazing effort being made by Ohio’s schools and districts. This ‘At Home Learning’ initiative crosses the digital divide and provides yet another tool in the toolbox, ensuring learning doesn’t stop just because school buildings are closed.”
“All the Ohio public stations united quickly and within a few days built this project in collaboration with the department of education, regional educators, and the state Broadcast Educational Media Commission. Every public station was enthusiastic about opening their broadcast schedules to help Ohio’s teachers and students,” said WOSU general manager Tom Rieland, who assisted in coordinating the initiative.
Daily weekday programming will range from the PBS Kids series “Peg+Cat,” and “Cyberchase” focused on math skills for early elementary kids to “NOVA” and “American Experience” programming for older students. The schedule will provide age and grade-level appropriate, standards-based programs so Ohio students can continue to learn with limited or no internet access. The educational teams at each station will provide additional teacher resources related to the new programming schedule. Teachers and students also have access to PBS Learning Media to support the programming with free online resources at https://pbslearningmedia.org/.”
PBS’ new broadcast schedule will air up to 10 hours of educational content and will be updated weekly.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine will continue his daily press briefings with updated information regarding the Buckeye State’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and additional figures regarding the number of cases and deaths in the state. These briefings currently air on all of Ohio’s public television stations at 2 p.m. each day.
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