The Johns Hopkins Gazette: March 19, 2001
March 19, 2001
VOL. 30, NO. 26


SPSBE Teams With MPT to Develop Educational Video, Online Content

By Neil A. Grauer
Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

The Center for Technology in Education in the School of Professional Studies in Business and Education has joined in a partnership with Maryland Public Television to develop educational video and online content for digital TV broadcasts and to train teachers in how to use enhanced television in classrooms.

As part of a grant awarded to MPT by the U.S. Department of Education's Star Schools Program, CTE will work on creating professional development tools for Maryland educators, says Ralph Fessler, dean of SPSBE.

"This exciting initiative, which MPT and we are calling Maryland Digital Schools, will be a national model for public television in the digital age," Fessler says.

CTE and MPT will be collaborating with the Maryland State Department of Education and local school systems--particularly those in Baltimore City and Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George's counties--to develop and deliver educational content and training in technological integration to teachers in grades four through eight, says Jacqueline Nunn, director of CTE.

"Our partnership with MPT has the potential to affect the lives of children and teachers all over Maryland. We are thrilled to be involved in a project of this scope with such dedicated professionals from across the state," Nunn says.

The broadcast signal for digital television permits the simultaneous transmission of a program and additional content streams, including detailed background material, transcripts and Web links. This "enhanced television" turns a TV set into "a self-contained, fully interactive communication device," MPT president Robert Shuman recently told the Bethesda Monthly.

Ultimately, students and parents viewing these enhanced television broadcasts will be able to send questions to on-air experts and discuss with them MPT's educational programming.

Lynne Harper Mainzer of CTE says that selected teachers will begin professional development activities this summer. They will learn how to implement CTE's TeamTech Learning approach, a powerful delivery system for effective instruction and technology integration.

Over the next five years, MPT plans to have Maryland Digital Schools distribute an enhanced K-12 Educational Video Service, with more instructional programming and supplemental online teaching resources; a comprehensive Web site that will be a key educational resource for Maryland public-, private- and home-schooled students and their families; and curriculum-based educational Web sites, such as online field trips.

Other products and services planned by MPT include online and in-personal professional development for teachers on integrating new media into curricula; monthly news segments to inform families of educational technologies and reform issues; and enhanced television demonstrations.