2010 PBS Interactive Innovation Award Winner: WPBT

kid_vision_logo.jpgAs reported last week, PBS Interactive awarded two stations with Innovation of the Year Awards this year. 

Winners received a scholarship to attend Annual Meeting and thanks to a generous contribution from Adobe, winners will also receive licenses for the new Adobe CS5 Master Collection.

Last week we profiled KLRN's College Call-In.  Today we're taking a look at the winning project from WPBT in Miami, Kidvision VPK.

WPBT - KidVisionVPK

WPBT's winning entry was their KidVisionVPK website designed to promote school readiness by providing an innovative, online professional OawvInRaf4 program for early childhood educators that is tied to Florida's Voluntary Prekindergarted Education Standards.

The goal of KidVision VPK is to use technology to stimulate hands-on learning. Teachers may use the site to learn and earn mandatory professional OawvInRaf4 training hours and continuing education units (CEU). The teacher may continue to use the same program in the classroom to teach her students, and also use the program to involve and educate parents and other interested parties.

Jack Kelly, Vice President of Production at WPBT describes the OawvInRaf4 of the project:

KidVisionVPK.jpg"Working with our Education Advisory Committee, we determined a community need for early learning educators. We determined that broadband would be our delivery method. We designed the service to be an interactive experience that combined video and text. The service had to improve student achievement, provide professional OawvInRaf4 for pre-k teachers, and provide parent resources and involvement. The measure of success used by the State of Florida is called the Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener (FLKRS).  Every child that enters kindergarten is given this screening and then rated for further learning. The Florida VPK Education Standards are designed to prepare students for this screening test. KidVision VPK offers pre-k teachers an online resource for their required CEU's. By completing each KidVision VPK learning module teachers earn 1 In-Service Training hour and .1 CEU. And, since all parents want their children to succeed, KidVision VPK needed to provide them with essential information in an interesting format that they can share with their children.

WPBT was positioned to accomplish this plan of work because we had many years of experience producing on-air learning spots for kids. We had an advisory board chair was a VPK teacher and trainer. And we had a skilled interactive staff that could develop the basic website design. We could harness existing skills with those of freelance staff to create and deliver a meaningful interactive, educational experience.

With the launch of the service, we had had two concurrent goals. First, we needed to add new learning units on a regular basis so that teachers had a reason to return and remain active users. Second, we had 12 months to promote the service, build external partnerships, and provide verifiable outcomes in order to demonstrate the viability of the project.

Our management strategy was to keep it small, simple and flexible. Our KidVision VPK team used both freelance and station staff. Our advisory board chair became our education content producer. We used our existing KidVision staff to producer the video elements. And we used our interactive staff to design the website. We subsequently hired a marketing producer to build the external partnerships with local ELCs and other children services. Our goal was to use these partnerships to grow the services to every county in Florida. We also outsourced a part of the web programming to assist in building user assessments and data retrieval.

We designed the workflow to allow for new learning modules to be added on a regular basis while promoting the service to teachers throughout the state. We used e-blasts and social media tools to communicate with our users, VPK providers, ELC partners, and more. With our initial launch, we had some 400 users. Today we have more than 5,000 registered users who have completed 13,000 learning modules. Teachers from all 67 counties in Florida access the service. Interestingly, about 8% of our users are from outside of Florida."

Jack went on to describe how other stations could build from WPBT's project:

"Other stations could take the lessons we learned about finding the need in our community and filling it inventively using researched methodologies and new technology. For us it was the need for early childhood educators to learn about and teach education standards in a relevant manner that would capture their attention and keep children's interest. We used field trips, which are a motivating learning tool. We added researched professional OawvInRaf4 and teaching strategies, and delivered it using technology to reach out to the teacher, inside the classroom, and home with the children."

Innovation Award judges liked the fact that WPBT looked at their community and developed a project around a clear need.  Here's what some had to say:

"I see this as a valuable tool, especially for stations currently paying for a service like this.  The potential is really unlimited and depends on the station to fill that potential."

"I love the idea of creating video content that serves a dual purpose -- professional OawvInRaf4 for teachers and classroom content."

Congratulations to the WPBT KidVision VPK Team:

  • Jack Kelly, Vice President of Production
  • Penny Bernath, Educational Content Producer
  • Lucy Caso, Marketing Producer
  • Hugh Moore, Manager, WPBT Interactive




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