Green School Carnival $500 Scholarship – Apply Now!

In Spring 2015, KLRU-TV, Austin PBS worked with Campbell Elementary of Austin ISD, the Austin ISD Sustainability Program and Keep Austin Beautiful to create a “Green” school carnival. Funds to support these efforts came from a PBS Kids Explore the Outdoors grant. Using remaining funds from the grant, we would like to help three schools interested in putting on their own “green” carnival this fall with three $500 grant opportunities. Watch the video for a glimpse of what Campbell did, then think about what you can do to “green up” your carnival. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Whether you receive a grant or not, consider contacting Keep Austin Beautiful for free resources and activities.

Go to the application here

KLRU Education travels to the White House to share work on Play to Learn™

On Tuesday, August 18, 2015, KLRU took part in a White House convening around the ConnectHome initiative, the plan to provide low-cost/free high-speed connectivity in over 275,000 low-income residences across the US and on tribal lands. Austin has been selected as the mentor city for the project due to collaborations including the City of Austin, HACA, Google, Austin FreeNet, United Way for Greater Austin, and KLRU, among others.

KLRU’s role in the panel was to share our work on Play to Learn™, the United Way-led initiative that brings parents and youth ages 2-4 together for a variety of fun learning activities, including the use of digital tablets. Throughout the ten-week program, the families take home books and learning materials and upon successful completion of the program, they take home a digital tablet loaded with educational apps for the whole family. We utilize PBS resources to illuminate at-home learning experiences, including video from PBS Kids, apps like PBS Parents Play and Learn and Daniel Tiger’s Day and Night, and KLRU’s own Smart Screen Time®/La Pantalla Inteligente messaging. Play to Learn™ is a powerful example of the kinds of programs that can occur once a low-income community gets reliable and affordable access to the Internet.


KLRU congratulates Westlake HS Teacher Natalie Cannon!


Central Texas educators continue to garner national attention from PBS LearningMedia!

Natalie Cannon is the latest educator to be named a PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator. Natalie teaches various levels of Latin at Westlake HS in Eanes ISD, and co-sponsors The WHS Latin Club. Natalie began teaching middle school at St. Gabriel’s Catholic School before moving to Westlake High School, where she has now taught for six years. Her favorite part of her job is finding productive uses for modern technology in order to enliven an ancient language for her students.

Over the next year, Natalie will take part in a professional development program that will prepare her to extend her influence as a digital learning ambassador in her school and community.

Natalie’s favorite PBS LearningMedia resource: A Roman’s Eye View

PBS LearningMedia is PBS’ digital archive of 100,000+ educational assets made available to educators and the US public – for free! In Central Texas, over 7,000 educators have to date created LearningMedia accounts for use in their classrooms and for their own interests. Teachers can build and archive lessons incorporating digital media, and a new student feature allows their students to create and display storyboards to demonstrate their knowledge.

Check out Central Texas’ prior LearningMedia Digital Innovator, Julie Hildebrand, here


Sandra Carswell, Librarian in Copperas Cove ISD, local winner in the PBS LearningMedia Get Your Tech On Sweepstakes!

Ms. Carswell, Librarian at S.C. Lee Junior High School in Copperas Cove, is the second local winner of a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and a one-year subscription to the Premium level of PBS LearningMedia. A 25-year veteran educator, Ms. Carswell started her career with an abiding love of reading, which she found morphing into an interest in technology and its potential for young learners.

Copperas Cove ISD has a “bring your own device” policy for its students. With that in mind, Ms. Carswell looks forward to furthering her proficiency on her Galaxy Tablet as she helps students find and use quality digital resources – like PBS LearningMedia.

Carswell with student

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.


Odd Squad Premier at Foundation Communities site

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Maya and Miguel were special guests at Foundation Communities Trails at the Park site on Tuesday, November 25th.

FCTrailsatthePark-11-25-14Children enrolled in the after school program had a great afternoon celebrating Thanksgiving with a wonderful meal and outside games culminating with the arrival of Maya and Miguel from the PBS series, MAYA AND MIGUEL, to introduce the new series ODD SQUAD. A live-action television series, the show is designed to build curiosity and interest in math among early elementary school viewers. All the children loved the new series and left singing “Take Away Four” as they collected Odd Squad and Peg+Cat bookmarks, the KLRU Kids schedule and a flyer on the holiday specials.

AISD Awards Belated Diplomas to War Veterans

It’s a graduation that’s been years in the making.  On Veterans Day, the Austin Independent School District awarded 11 veterans with diplomas from their respective high schools.  It’s a ceremony that AISD has held since 2002, offering veterans who did not finish high school and who served in any formally declared war or military engagement a chance to don the cap and gown.  For some, it’s a chance they’ve waited years to take.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted,” said Air Force veteran Doyle Hobbs.  ”It seemed like a gift from heaven.”

“I completed my G.E.D.,” recalled U.S. Military veteran Eugenio Gaona.  ”But I always wished I could get it converted so I could have a diploma from my hometown.  Now I’m happy. I have a high school diploma from my high school.”

Click here for more information on the AISD Diploma Award Ceremony and eligibility requirements.

KLRU News Briefs air locally every Saturday and Sunday evening during PBS NewsHour Weekend. 


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.