Education leaders are searching for new tools and technology to help students access learning materials from home as school buildings remain closed because of the new coronavirus. But a new initiative announced Monday takes advantage of old-school tech: public television.
PBS stations already air educational shows and programming, like Sesame Street and the science series NOVA. And the new initiative between the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) and Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations (IPBS) aims to connect those programs to the state's real academic standards.
With the new initiative, IPBS is publishing local TV schedules to highlight how subjects and grade level standards align with on-air and supplemental content.
IDOE spokesperson Adam Baker says the goal is to help parents adjust, and keep kids learning.
"For those parents that may be thinking 'I want to make sure my children are still learning, my children are still growing but I'm not sure where to start,'" he says, "here's a great place to start."
Baker says the online materials are not necessary for children to take advantage of the learning experiences provided through shows on-air. But he says if parents want to supplement or reinforce a lesson from a particular show or content area, the online activities and resources can help.
IPBS also provides financial and other support for Indiana Public Broadcasting.
This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.