Tools for Learning

PBS and Penn State To Bring Digital Media to Schools Throughout Pennsylvania

PBS and WPSU, the network affiliate operated by Penn State University, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, will be bringing the Digital Learning Library (DLL) to classrooms throughout the state.

Launched in 2009, DLL seeks to encourage student innovation by offering access to a substantial library of digital educational media, featuring complete works and video excerpts designed to stimulate creativity, ideas, the development of new interests, and the pursuit of knowledge. Users can search all DLL multimedia content by subject, grade level, file type, and keyword, making it easy for students to find the material they need to find for research or simply wish to explore in order to answer questions and pursue interests.

"Digital media has a special capacity to engage today's students, helping good teachers be great teachers and working toward the goal that all students reach their fullest potential in the 21st century," said PBS President and CEO Paula A. Kerger. "This partnership showcases the natural synergy of public education and public media working in an innovative state like Pennsylvania to support changing classrooms and prepare tomorrow's workforce. We believe that this is a model that can work across the nation."

A recent report by market research firm Grunwald Associates, entitled "Digitally Inclined," showed that teachers are embracing educational digital media in increasing numbers, and that it tends to be most effective "when used to support specific curriculum objectives and assessment."

"WPSU has access to some of the world's leading faculty and the latest discoveries in a variety of fields," said Ted Krichels, associate vice president for public engagement and general manager of Penn State Public Broadcasting. "We translate their work into relevant, applicable materials for the K-12 classroom that captures students' attention and inspires learning by partnering with practicing classroom teachers who understand kids, the curriculum, and the academic standards."

The PA DOE said it expects to have the DLL incorporated into its statewide Standards Aligned System (SAS) by the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year.

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.