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AETN announces Star City teacher selected for 2017 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Program

Posted 01 May 2017

The Arkansas Educational Television Network has announced Farrah McEntire, EAST facilitator for the Star City School District, as one of 52 educators from across the country selected for the fifth annual PBS Digital Innovators Program. The program recognizes classroom changemakers: educators who skillfully approach education with a bold and fresh perspective and who integrate digital media and resources into their classrooms in a way that sparks a love of learning for their students.

'AETN is proud to recognize Ms. McEntire, who is committed to changing the way students learn through technology and digital media,' AETN Executive Director Courtney Pledger said. 'Education is at the heart of AETN's purpose, and educators like Ms. McEntire truly engage and empower students in their communities.

'She will well represent AETN and the entire state as she continues to enhance her skills with one-of-a-kind resources, tools and trainings from PBS LearningMedia.'

McEntire collaborates with community partners to encourage her students take on real world problems, take risks and test their own ideas. Their projects have included designing websites, editing video and audio, using computer animated design software, mapping bus routes using ArcMap, and using 3D printing software to model solutions. Just like in the real world, McEntire doesn't expect instant success – failing, she said, is an important part of learning.

'They might have to try and try again,' McEntire said. 'The first thing I do as an educator is to let my students know that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.'

Among other teachers selected were those using 3D printers with their students to create prosthetic limbs, a technology coach whose classroom is a 'STEM Bus' and co-teachers who use technology to bring their students together in one class, even though they're in physical classrooms that are miles apart. A panel of esteemed judges selected the 52 PBS Digital Innovators from across the US, representing each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In partnership with AETN, McEntire will serve as an education partner – deepening the connection between the educator community and AETN. PBS Digital Innovators also participate in ongoing professional development; share their ideas on PBS platforms; have access to exclusive resources from PBS LearningMedia; receive a free PBS TeacherLine professional development course; and are invited to special events, including the 2017 PBS Digital Summit. This year's summit, in San Antonio, Texas, takes place directly before the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference.

The full list of the 2017 PBS Digital Innovators is available at pbs.org/education/digitalinnovators. 

More than 100,000 digital resources, including lesson plans, worksheets, video content, and more, are available through AETN PBS LearningMedia for pre-K-12 classrooms. Teachers can access this content at aetn.pbslearningmedia.org.

PBS Education provides all educators with access to high-quality, standards-aligned content for the classroom and professional development and peer-to-peer experiences to enrich teaching and learning opportunities in classrooms across America. Through partnerships with nearly 350 local member stations, PBS Education supports and connects PreK-12 teachers, parents and communities to help students reach their full potential both in and out of the classroom. PBS Education meets the needs of today's educator with offerings that include: PBS LearningMedia, PBS TeacherLine and the PBS Digital Innovators Program. More information about PBS Education is available at pbs.org/education.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network is Arkansas's only statewide public media network, which enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through the distinct channels AETN PBS, AETN Create, AETN PBS KIDS, AETN World and AETN AIRS on SAP. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at aetn.org. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).