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Wednesday, August 27, 2003
 
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WOUB receives educational programming grant to help area schools

ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio University Telecommunications Center, WOUB Radio and TV, received a grant from Ohio's SchoolNet to implement an educational video-on-demand system in several area school districts. "This critical grant will establish a state-of-the-art approach to educational programming for children in the WOUB/WOUC service area," says Carolyn Bailey Lewis, director of the Telecommunications Center. The SchoolNet grant totals $210,000," she adds. "This will help us with a new instructional program delivery service into low-wealth schools and start us on the road to datacasting." WOUB_color

WOUB/WOUC will work with long-standing partner and local educational technology provider Educational Technology Services of Ohio, ETSEO, to provide select schools with a novel approach to interactive in-school programming. Currently, WOUB/WOUC and ETSEO work together to provide in-school programming to 70 school districts within reach of approximately 7,600 educators and 123,000 students.

With the advice of the Ohio SchoolNet Commission, an independent state agency legislatively charged with administering Ohio's educational technology programs, public television stations WOUB/WOUC will support the production of interactive instructional programming series and teleconferences, targeting the needs of the poorest 200 school districts.

Some of the schools already within the broadcast region are currently unable to receive in-school programming. Limiting factors, such as a lack of computers, televisions or information technology resources and poor broadcast reception due to hilly terrain, severely affect the abilities of students and educators to utilize instructional programming.

For educational programming content, WOUB/WOUC and ETSEO will team with ChalkWaves, a partnership of 240 school districts, Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois public broadcasters, and educational service centers. ChalkWaves can provide 1,400 videos or 13,500 video clips of instructional video "on-demand" collections that assist educators and students in meeting meaningful learning objectives. For example, teachers will be able to select a monthly video unit that includes educational programming, plus online and print resources related to the chosen theme.

The grant will allow for continued support for New Directions, the recently funded Ohio SchoolNet/pilot project, using ChalkWaves technology in two or three school districts in each educational technology provider region. The project will pilot the transition of media and related curriculum materials to classrooms from analog to digital. In addition, the grant will support an evaluation of the pilot project to determine the viability of this type of interactive programming in additional school districts throughout the WOUB/WOUC and ETSEO service area, and Ohio.

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Media Contact: WOUB Public Information Coordinator Olivea Oldham, (740) 593-4944 or Olivea_Oldham@woub.pbs.org

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