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PBS LearningMedia And Henry Ford Foundation Launch Innovative Teacher Competition

Innovative preK-12 teachers who find new ways to improve student learning are invited to enter the 2012 Teacher Innovator Awards competition sponsored by Dearborn, MI-based The Henry Ford and PBS Learning Media.

The competition, now in its third year, is open to any educator who uses digital media to make learning more interactive, including teachers, media specialists, technology coordinators, and even homeschool educators.

Subject matter can include a variety of areas ranging from math to music and from art to science. Using tablets to have students write stories based on classical literature, creating interactive timelines for a history class, or studying model rockets in a science class are all methods that could be used.

To enter, educators can submit either a video of no longer than 3 minutes in length or a written essay of no more than three pages, including images. Each entry should address how the educator uses digital media to supplement more traditional, textbook-based learning.

Prizes for outstanding work will go to 30 educators. The top 10 winners will receive a prize package good for a one-week, all-expenses-paid "innovation immersion experience" at The Henry Ford as well as a copy of the PBS TeacherLine course.

"PBS is proud to offer opportunities like the Teacher Innovator Awards to recognize teachers applying innovative teaching methods to improve student learning," said Rob Lippincott, senior vice president at PBS Education. "That's what PBS LearningMedia, a free digital media on-demand service for parents and educators, has been designed to do. And through this partnership with The Henry Ford, we are encouraging and equipping teachers to implement innovative teaching practices to educate today's learners."

"The Henry Ford's vision is to reignite a culture of innovation and inspire a 'can do' spirit, especially in American education. Digital learning platforms can be powerful tools in the hands of teachers and we are looking for innovative teacher leaders. The Teacher Innovator awards entries will be judged on originality, reinforcement of 21st century learning skills, and creative student engagement strategies," said Paula Gangopadhyay, chief learning officer, The Henry Ford. "Entries that incorporate resources from our Oninnovation website or from PBS websites or programming will receive a bonus point."

The deadline for applications is Dec. 12, 2012. Announcement of the competition's winners will take place in March 2013.

More information on the contest is available at