Aaron Higdon, Dahlstrom MS Teacher, wins Get Your Tech On Sweepstakes

KLRU Educational Services congratulates Aaron Higdon, the Gateway to Technology teacher at Dahlstrom Middle School in Buda. Aaron recently received a Samsung Galaxy tablet and a PBS LearningMedia Custom account. Here, he gives us some background and how he incorporates technology:

This is my 11th year as a teacher, two years in Houston ISD and nine in Hays CISD.  I taught middle school science, then math, now STEM.  This is my 4th year teaching STEM.

My students use Google apps all the time.  Each student has a gmail account that is managed through the district.  they use Google drive (and all the apps with that).  They’ve created Google sites to make engineering portfolios.  And, we’re now using Google Classroom to manage assignments and feedback.  We occasionally use other apps like Kahoot! on student devices.

Like Julie Hildebrand, our 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator, we salute Aaron and his work, and we encourage all educators to submit an application now to be a 2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator.

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Nominate a Champion!

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KLRU wants to share the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re asking for your help to find these stories.

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Nominate them as an American Graduate Champion!

American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

Do you know an American Graduate Champion? Fill out our short nomination form to give us details about their contributions to our community. KLRU will feature all nominated Champions on our American Graduate website. We will select a few Champions to be featured as part of our next American Graduate Day celebration in the Fall of 2015.

Spread the word by using #AMGRADTX

 

Map Your World Project and Tablet Grants

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Inspired by the PBS Independent Lens documentary The Revolutionary OptimistsMap Your World is an online and on-the-ground platform that empowers youth to make positive changes in their own communities. Young people everywhere can collect data, map the issues, share powerful stories, and become change agents, for free.

To help support young change agents and their projects, Map Your World is offering grants for Nexus 7 tablets, provided by Google, for teachers and facilitators. Applications for tablet grants must be submitted by December 1, 2014.

It’s inspiring! In Kolkata, India, youth tracked water points in their slum and convinced the local government to build the first clean drinking water line in over 30 years. In Oakland, California, middle school students are tracking cigarette litter and are lobbying the city to protect their urban wildlife refuge’s ecosystem. In Seattle, youth are mapping incidents of violence and bullying. The application deadline is December 1, 2014.   http://mapyourworld.org/#/teachers

 

Educator Webinar with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.!

As the next in our series of Get Your Tech On educator events, PBS LearningMedia is thrilled to be joined by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard scholar and host of PBS’ Finding Your Roots, this Wednesday, 11/5 for a FREE webinar about how science and storytelling come together to reveal the rich histories of his guests. Invite educators to join and take local credit for providing direct access to this renowned scholar. A special thank you to Thirteen/WNET for making this event possible.

  • Finding Your Roots in the Digital Age | 11/5 at 6:30 pm ET | FREE Educator Event | Register Here!

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KLRU Kids celebrates Halloween

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KLRU Kids celebrates Halloween with several special programs!

Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest
Monday, Oct. 27, at 8 am and 2 pm; Friday, Oct. 31, at 8 am and 2 pm
It’s George’s first Halloween in the country, and Bill tells him and Allie about the Legend of No Noggin — a spooky tale about a hat-kicking scarecrow who haunts the countryside on Halloween. But is the legend really real? George needs to figure out what he’s going to be for Halloween so he can win the costume contest at the town Boo Festival. Will George’s quest for the perfect costume interfere with his quest for the truth? Only the curious will find out!

Thomas & Friends Tricks and Trails
Monday, Oct. 27, at 12:30 pm
When Bill and Ben see new engine Conner for the first time, they decide to play a trick on him and pretend to be able to go faster than him.

The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That Trick or Treat
Monday, Oct. 27, at 1:30 pm; Friday, Oct. 31, at 1:30 pm
Nick and Sally are making Halloween masks, but they want to make them really scary.

SuperWhy! The Ghost Who Was Afraid Of Halloween
Tuesday, Oct. 28, at 10:30 am
It’s Halloween in Storybrook Village and Pig is so frightened, he won’t go Trick or Treating with his friends!

Thomas & Friends Spooky Charms
Tuesday, Oct. 28, at 12:30 pm
James tries to scare Percy by telling him that there’s a ghost at Ulfstead Castle.

Dinosaur Train “Haunted Roundhouse / Big Pond Pumpkin Patch”
Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 10 am
Dad takes the kids on a special Night Train to Troodon Town, where the Troodons have decorated their Roundhouse into a “haunted house” for a spooky party. The Pteranodon family learns more about the customs of their neighbors, the Lambeosaurus family, when they are invited for the first time to accompany them to the Big Pond to celebrate “Gourd Day” – a kind of Mesozoic Halloween.

Arthur “D.W.’s Stray Netkitin / Bats In The Belfry”
Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 3 pm
D.W. is panicked when a “Scary Clown” virus ruins the Read family computer. Who will take care of her virtual Netkitin pet? Arthur and D.W. are thrilled when Grandma Thora lets them turn her attic into a clubhouse.

Martha Speaks Giant Pumpkin
Thursday, Oct. 30, at 5 pm
Carolina finds a story that’s stranger than she bargained for.

Word Girl Tobey’s Tricks and Treats
Friday, Oct. 31, at 6:30 am
After losing the costume contest at school, Tobey sets his Robots on a candy-stealing spree and vows to ruin Halloween.

 

KLRU at the Texas Book Festival 10/26

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KLRU Educational Services will be at the Texas Book Festival this weekend! On Sunday, October 26th, from noon – 3 pm Clifford the Big Red Dog and KLRU’s Ed Services team will be at the Children’s Activity Tent (on Colorado St. between 12th & 13th). Children can use our iPads loaded with learning apps and parents can find out about educational resources available from PBS.

KLRU receives CPB American Graduate community service grant

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, has been awarded a $200,000 American Graduate community service grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). The grant’s purpose is to raise awareness in Central Texas about the true costs of our youth leaving school before graduation, as well as efforts conducted in our region to reduce dropout rates.

High school graduation rates are an important indicator of the community’s health, and high dropout rates have serious economic consequences. The E3 Alliance, one of KLRU’s partner organizations, has estimated that the cost of a single class year of dropouts in Central Texas is $435 million. “The time, energy, and resources we invest now to address this challenge will pay important dividends in the overall social and economic health of our community,” said Bill Stotesbery, CEO and general manager of KLRU.

In a celebration and launch of the grant, KLRU is participating in CPB’s American Graduate Day on Saturday, September 27, and will host an all-day programming special from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. that will include national and local panels, content, and discussion regarding education and graduation topics and issues. Learn more about American Graduate Day.

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American Graduate Day 9/27

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American Graduate Day is a live national, multi-platform broadcast event focusing on the individuals and organizations working in communities across the country to keep students on the path to graduation. Watch KLRU for this special day of programming on Saturday, September 27 from 10 am to 5 pm.

The day will focus on several topics that impact dropout numbers. KLRU will feature local panel discussions during each segment (panelists subject to change). The day will be moderated by Ben Kramer, KLRU’s Director of Educational Services, Vanessa Santamaria Dainton, Early Childhood Education Specialist, and Kennedy Huff, PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab All-Star and Pflugerville High School Student.

10:00am-11:00am Early Education
Sue Carpenter, Senior Director, United Way’s Success By 6
Muya Hayes, Manor ISD
James Butler, AISD 2014 Teacher of the Year, Gullett Elementary School

11:00am-12:00pm Caring, Consistent Adults
Kevin Brackmeyer, Manor ISD Superintendent
Mary Libby, Former President, Texas Counseling Association / High School Counselor
Alfonso Longoria, McNeil High School Football Coach

12:00pm-1:00pm More and Better Learning
Richard Tagle, CEO, Andy Roddick Foundation
Temp Keller, Founder, WonderLab
Felicia Adams, STEM Teacher, University of Texas Elementary School

1:00pm-2:00pm Special Needs Communities
Key Richardson, Program Director, CASA of Travis County
Angie Tyler, Family & Juvenile Transition Services, The Arc of the Capital Area
Tanya Brown, Executive Director of Special Education, Austin ISD

2:00pm-3:00pm STEAM
Karen LaShelle, Executive and Artistic Director, Creative Action
Melanie Moore, Executive Director, KDK-Harman Foundation
Amanda Longtain, Director of Programs, Skillpoint Alliance

3:00pm-4:00pm Dropout Prevention and Re-Engagement
Susan Dawson, President and Executive Director, E3 Alliance
Phillip Eaglin, Founder and CEO, Changing Expectations
Rocky Zepeda, Del Valle District Coordinator For At Risk Student Services District Homeless Liaison and Foster Care Liaison

4:00pm-5:00pm College and Career Readiness
David Laude, Sr. Vice Provost for Enrollment and Graduation Management , University of Texas
Lynn Garcia, Board of Directors, Breakthrough Austin
Billy Harden, Head of School, Goodwill Excel Center

Pflugerville student participates in NewsHour reporting lab & American Graduate Day

Kennedy Huff is a participant in KLRU’s PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab project. She was selected as a Reporting Lab All-Star to attend the 2014 PBS Student Reporting Labs Workshop in Washington D.C. this summer. Huff will also be participating in American Graduate Day live on KLRU Sept. 27 from 10 am to 4 pm.

Kennedy huffKLRU asked Kennedy to tell us about her experience this summer at the NewsHour.

I didn’t expect that being named a member of the inaugural class of PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs All-Stars would lead me to a White House Q&A with the executive director of the Joining Forces Initiative and a one-on-one conversation with presidential debate moderator and co-anchor of PBS NewsHour Gwen Ifill. But we’ll get to that later.

On August 7, I touched down in our nation’s capitol for the 2014 Student Reporting Labs Boot Camp, which included students and teachers from across the country. It was quite surreal to be in the same city as our Commander-in-Chief, and the city where journalistic greats Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein exposed one of the largest scandals politics has seen. I hoped some of the city’s magic would rub off on me over the next couple days.

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