PBS Announces iBooks for Teachers, Classroom Enrichment

(Photo: Flickr, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Flickr, Creative Commons)

PBS has announced the launch of a new series of interactive iBooks for teachers that the company hopes will offer additional content to help engage students in the curriculum.

Meant for teachers between kindergarten and the eighth grade, the iBooks cover a variety of topics including math, English language arts, social studies, and Spanish language and culture.

This month, four iBooks are expected to be released by PBS LearningMedia, the service from PBS that offers learning on-demand with over 12,000 digital resources available for teachers. The first four are expected to cover measurement, holidays, Spanish, and grammar, and will be available on iTunes.

Currently available for K-5 teachers, All About Holidays helps teachers to turn holidays into teachable moments. Lesson plans and classroom strategies that are aligned with the NCSS National Curriculum Standards are offered to elementary school teachers.

Also available now, Beginning Spanish not only offers lesson plans and activities in both Spanish and English, but also a complete curriculum guide for teachers to use with students in grades 3-5. All resources are aligned with ACTFL Standards.

Set to become available on April 30, the Measurement iBook offers standards-aligned lesson plans to aid in the teaching of how to tell time, counting, and the use of measurement tools. In addition, professional development tools are available to help teachers learn to effectively integrate the content into their math classes. Common Core Standards for K-2 are used for the resources available in this book.

The last iBook is also set to release on April 30. Titled "No Nonsense Grammar," this iBook offers teachers a variety of resources to help their students learn the various intricacies of the English language.

Each iBook will typically contain 200 pages of materials such as contextualized lesson plans, professional development resources, and links to curriculum-targeted videos and games that teachers can use to further enrich their classroom lessons.

"Our top priority is making the lives of educators easier. With the launch of our first series of iBooks, we are furthering our commitment to producing high-quality, educational resources that drive classroom performance," said Alicia Levi, Vice President, PBS Education. "Research shows that PBS LearningMedia content positively impacts student achievement when integrated into existing classroom curriculum. This new series of iBooks will provide students with a fresh perspective on the topics covered and provide educators with a new and engaging way to teach them."

The company recently conducted "The PBS LearningMedia Impact Study" in order to learn the effects that the digital resources available from PBS have on student knowledge and engagement. The research observed middle school science, math, English language arts, and social studies classrooms that had integrated PBS LearningMedia into pre-existing curricula.

Conducted by Education Development Center's Center for Children and Technology, the study found student performance on assessments to show continual improvement through the use of PBS LearningMedia by an average of eight percentage points. Students were also found to outperform the averages on national assessments by 10 percentage points, as well as to have outperformed state assessment norms by 11 percentage points.

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