1. Rachel Connolly
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachelbconnolly/
  3. Director, STEM Education, WGBH & PBS LearningMedia
  4. Bringing the Universe to Classroom
  5. http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/buac
  6. WGBH Boston
  1. Kelly Riedinger
  2. http://stem.oregonstate.edu/people/kelly-riedinger
  3. Senior Researcher
  4. Bringing the Universe to Classroom
  5. http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/buac
  6. Oregon State University
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Rachel Connolly

    Rachel Connolly

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 10:04 a.m.

    Welcome to our project page, which presents a brief overview of the activities and formative evaluation findings from the first year of our 5-year project, Bringing the Universe to America's Classrooms. Over the course of this week, we will be sharing the formative results and prototypes from our Needs Assessment efforts, which spanned 2016 and included a national market survey, front-end evaluation on a range of digital media formats for K-12 instruction, and the prototyping and classroom testing of educational resources that incorporate digital media tools and assets (Prototype resources can be explored here).

    Fundamental to this project is embracing the digitization of STEM data (i.e. digital imagery, computer simulations and models, etc.) as an opportunity for the design of new digital tools and media (for more on this, visit this blog). Wide availability of STEM data products doesn't mean accessibility, particularly for diverse learners and classroom contexts. WGBH, as the STEM-lead for PBS LearningMedia, has undertaken a national effort to design, test, and evaluate educational resources that integrate digital media across the K-12 spectrum. Resulting resources will be disseminated for free to the almost 1.9 million educators on the platform, reaching over 65% of the public schools in the US, and 81% of Title 1 schools with registration over 1000. Our first release of Instructional Modules, addressing topics in Earth Science, is coming this August, 2017.

    Over the course of this week, we will be sharing specific portions of our evaluation findings, so please feel free to ask for specific reports. We are especially interested in discussions surrounding the design of digital media for STEM learning in K-12 contexts, with a particular focus on researching impacts on teacher instruction and student learning outcomes. Thank you again, and we look forward to the conversation.

     
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  • Icon for: Sue Doubler

    Sue Doubler

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 10:16 p.m.

    Hi Rachel and Kelly,

    Ambitious project! Is your video is from the needs assessment process activities? Could you say more about how you worked with teachers who tested your prototypes? Were there different prototypes for different grade ranges or are resource for all learners? Love to know more about the protocol you use with teachers that informs your design of resources.   

     
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  • Icon for: Rachel Connolly

    Rachel Connolly

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 12:43 p.m.

    Sue,


    Thanks for your questions! Regarding the prototypes, we developed resources for 4 separate grade-bands; K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 (you can see most of the prototype resources in the grade-banded sub-collections here https://mass.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/buac ).


    Additionally, our Teacher Advisors (TAs) were in cohorts that were even across these 4 grand bands (see TA distribution and demographics here for year 1 included in these slides). To inform the front-end development of the prototype resources, we curated example digital media formats (see Content Package here) that could support science instruction, which we asked the TAs to review and provide feedback. For each media format and example, we asked TAs to respond, via an online survey, to the following open-ended questions: How would you, or do you currently, use this type of media for supporting science instruction?; What additional information or resources would support you and your students in using this type of digital media for science instruction?; and What barriers and constraints, if any, might limit your ability to use this type of digital media for science instruction? Our analysis of this feedback provided on this curated set of digital media helped to inform the development of the prototypes that were then tested in the classroom.


     Rachel AND Kelly

     
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  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 12:14 p.m.

    Teachers are very enthusiastic about these materials! Are there resources for parents as well

     
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  • Icon for: Rachel Connolly

    Rachel Connolly

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 12:50 p.m.

    Deborah,

    That's a good question! While these particular resources are designed for teachers and instructional use, many of them have been adapted from digital media and WGBH brands that do offer robust parent resources. I have listed and linked to them here:

     
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  • Icon for: Deborah Hanuscin

    Deborah Hanuscin

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2017 | 09:25 a.m.

    Thanks so much! 

     
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  • Icon for: Julia Griffin

    Julia Griffin

    Producer
    May 17, 2017 | 02:00 p.m.

    Seems like a great project!  Do you think teachers will be using these modules to supplement their regular coursework or do you imagine they will stand on their own?  Also, do you think this concept could be expanded beyond space and earth science topics?

     
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  • Icon for: Rachel Connolly

    Rachel Connolly

    Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 02:50 p.m.

    Thanks Julia, those are great questions! Regarding the first, we see these as supplementary materials that include the contextualization (support materials, standards alignment, etc.) that teachers need to successfully select and embed them in their instruction. Our Instructional Modules also contain sample lesson plans that illustrate how to achieve media integration (as well as test-beds for us to innovate and evaluate new approaches with media). 


    As for your second question, we very much plan to apply this approach beyond Earth and Space science topics, which will also open the door to exploring additional media formats and digital tools that are found in different STEM fields (i.e. molecular models, VR, AR, etc.).

     
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  • Icon for: Pam Pelletier

    Pam Pelletier

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2017 | 05:28 a.m.

    Love the excitement of the teachers about the resources!

    Many teachers, especially at the elementary level, may not have the confidence built from strong knowledge of these topics, having never had the opportunity to learn this content themselves. If they feel that they don't know enough to teach this well, they may not feel that they can "select" and "structure" the learning effectively.

    How might a district leverage these resources in a way that empowers teachers AND strengthens equitable access for students? 

     
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  • Icon for: Rachel Connolly

    Rachel Connolly

    Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 05:51 p.m.

    Great question Pam! Let me offer a couple of points and please let me know if you have further questions.

    We wanted to bring teacher voice into this project from the very beginning, which is why we spent the first year focused on front-end evaluation with 50 teacher advisors and extensive surveys --so we can make sure we are providing what teachers need/request to support their instruction in these topics. The results of this evaluation are informing the design of the Support Materials that we include in all of our resources (see an example in this resource on the Sun in Motion for grades K-2). We address relevant content knowledge and key information about the media asset(s) in a Background Essay written for the teacher, and pedagogical information is included in Teaching Tips. 

    This year we are also going to be testing a range of supports for English Learners and other diverse learners, to inform additional needed supports for these types of resources. 

    Finally, in year 2 (2017) we are focusing on teacher PD needs/requests, starting with a PD evaluation and prototyping effort that is kicking off in June. 

    We look forward to sharing these results with you, and thanks again for your support and interest in our project.

     
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  • Icon for: Heidi Schweingruber

    Heidi Schweingruber

    Researcher
    May 19, 2017 | 08:15 a.m.

    Love the model of having teachers from across the country pilot the materials. I am interested in hearing more about how they are integrating them into their instruction. Also, how do you use the feedback from teachers to revise/improve the materials? 

     
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  • Icon for: Rachel Connolly

    Rachel Connolly

    Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 05:57 p.m.

    Thank you for your comment, Heidi. The pilot materials were designed with flexibility in mind and we learned that the teachers implemented them in varied ways. For some teachers, they used one or more of the resources to implement a stand-alone activity, while other teachers used the materials to build on a curricular unit they were working on with students. As the teachers were piloting the materials, we gathered their input through a feedback form as well as through focus groups and an overarching closing survey at the end of the testing period. Finally, we were able to do Classroom Observations for a sub-set of our teacher advisors during their lesson implementation. I can't tell you how powerful it was for the writers and production team to get to visit a classroom and watch how the teachers brought the materials to life and what the students responded to.


    All of the feedback from the teachers is being used to inform the next production cycle of instructional materials, which will launch this August. For example, we learned from our pilot testing that teachers need more supports for English Language Learners, and we are now developing and integrating additional prototype supports to test in our next iteration of Instructional Modules, informed by the teachers’ comments and recommendations.


     


    Kelly and Rachel

     
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  • Icon for: Katie Rinehart

    Katie Rinehart

    Undergraduate Student
    May 19, 2017 | 05:57 p.m.

    I would love to be able to try out this program to use in my future classroom.  The fact that it is already differentiated for students with diverse learning needs makes it very appealing.  I could imagine myself using this type of program to introduce information and allow students to explore information, and then take it a step further with an engaging and authentic project based on the information they discovered.  

     
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  • Icon for: Rachel Connolly

    Rachel Connolly

    Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 05:59 p.m.

    Thanks, Katie, that sounds like a great instructional approach that connects the best that media offers for exploring unique kinds of information, but then bringing it into a project that makes it local, real and hands-on! Please let us know if you do try it out, and how it goes for you!

     
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  • Icon for: Joni Falk

    Joni Falk

    Co-Director of CSR at TERC
    May 21, 2017 | 02:42 p.m.

    Hi Rachel, Great to have a NASA funded program in the Video Showcase. Very interesting work! Great seeing how you are spreading your resources to classroom teachers and how enthusiastic they are about using them.  Please share with other colleagues funded through NASA and with the agency. Hope we have more from NASA next year :)

     

     
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  • Icon for: Rachel Connolly

    Rachel Connolly

    Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 06:02 p.m.

    We have be thrilled to share this opportunity with our NASA partners and collaborators. As only one of many members of NASA's STEM Activation Team, I hope that there will only be more great NASA projects ahead for this Video Showcase!

     

     
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  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.