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Advance excellent teaching with Annenberg Media.
*** In the Spotlight for September ***
- Linking to Current Events
- Distance Learning
- Connect Learning with Special Days
o Labor Day
o Constitution Day
o Banned Books Week
o National Hispanic Heritage Month
o National Rice Month
o National Sickle Cell Awareness Month
o National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Prevention Month
- Join the Journey South
- Signature and Fokus Deutsch Series Retiring
*** LINKING TO CURRENT EVENTS ***
New Emphasis on Testing
As a new administration in the White House takes over, continued emphasis is being placed on teacher and student performance and assessment.
> School Testing--Behind the Numbers
http://www.learner.org/resources/series186.html is an hour-long panel discussion in which administrators, experts, journalists, policymakers, teachers, parents, and students offer competing interpretations of test scores in the imaginary state of "Idyllia."
> An interesting discussion comparing American students' performance in math and science with that of other countries -- and offering insights into causes and solutions for lagging performance -- can be found in "The International Picture," Workshop 8 of our series, Looking at Learning...Again, Part 1. http://www.learner.org/workshops/lala/ The series Web site includes a list of background readings.
According to a recent estimate by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, up to half of the U.S. population could become infected with the H1N1 influenza virus, or "swine flu," over the coming season. A new vaccine is being developed to help minimize the impact of the virus.
> To better understand how influenza infects its host, see this animation http://www.learner.org/courses/biology/archive/animations/hires/a_infect8_h.html
from our Rediscovering Biology series. This animation http://www.learner.org/courses/biology/archive/animations/hires/a_hiv1_h.html
from the same series gives a general overview of the human immune response.
> Primary Sources: Workshops in American History offers an historical view of public health policy and infectious disease in America in Program 7, "Disease and History: Typhoid Mary and the Search for the Perfect Control."
Success of Online Courses
A study conducted on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education has found that online classes yield superior results to face-to-face instruction. A copy of the report can be downloaded in PDF format:
> For information about our instructional video series that can be used as distance learning courses, see our Distance Learning FAQ:
> To embark on your own course of online learning, see our teacher professional development workshops and courses:
*** DISTANCE LEARNING ***
The fall 2009 semester is here! The new school year brings new
beginnings that should include using Annenberg Media video and related
materials as offerings for distance learners. News and reminders noted
Coming fall 2009. (Available for licensing spring 2010) Art Through
Time: A Global View, a new 13-part series that includes a free online
text, guide, and coordinated Web site. Call 1-800-LEARNER (532-7637) or
email email@example.com for a free preview.
Video on Demand. Users no longer need to enter a user name and password
to view video on learner.org. Using our online streaming service has
never been easier! And coming soon, we'll be moving to Flash video which
will improve access for both our PC and Mac users.
- We would like to remind colleges that a licenses fee is required for
the use of Annenberg Media video courses for distance learning.
- The following distance learning courses are each supported by an
in-depth coordinated Web site -- complete with an accompanying guide or
textbook -- to enhance teaching and your students' learning experience:
American Passages, Bridging World History, Democracy in America, Ethics
in America and Ethics in America II, The Habitable Planet, The Learning
Classroom, Mathematics Illuminated, and Rediscovering Biology.
- Our DVDs and online VoD are closed captioned. Audio-described DVDs for
your visually impaired students are available upon request.
- Fall 2009 is the last semester to license our German language course
Fokus Deutsch. As of December 31, 2009 we will no longer be able to
offer this course as an option to you or your students.
- Our Summer 2009 special incentive on math and science courses is
coming to an end as of September 30th, so act now to take advantage of
this special offer. For schools currently licensing Against All Odds:
Inside Statistics or College Algebra/Algebra: In Simplest Terms, we are
offering a 20% discount on your license fee to adopt our new course,
Mathematics Illuminated. For schools currently licensing Earth Revealed
or Planet Earth, we are offering a 20% discount on your license fee to
adopt our new course, The Habitable Planet: A Systems Approach to
- Ethics in America. We have combined the licensing for the original
Ethics in America and Ethics in America II. This will allow you to use
any of the hypothetical cases from either series to create an exciting
course highlighting new and historical debates from eminent leaders in
government, business, science, and academia.
- In view of the current economic situation facing everyone this year,
there will be no price increase for licenses. Also, if you have not
already done so, don't forget to order your DVDs in time for the
2009/2010 school year to get our special pricing for students enrolled
in a distance learning course.
//Talk to Us//
- We look forward to hearing from you and receiving your enrollment
numbers for the fall semester. You can send them via email directly to
Nancy Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Visit us! We will be at The 31st National Media Market, October 4-8,
2009 in Lexington, Kentucky http://www.nmm.net and The 15th Annual
Sloan-C Conference on Online Learning, October 28-30 in Orlando, Florida
http://www.sloan-c.org/conference/index.asp where we will focus our
presentation on the past, present, and future of distance learning with
the inclusion of video as a key component. If you are unable to attend
either event, email us email@example.com and we will be happy
to coordinate a session with your school.
*** CONNECT LEARNING WITH SPECIAL DAYS ***
Labor Day (September 7)
The first Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. The
observance, organized by the Central Labor Union in New York as a day of
rest for working persons, was later moved to the first Monday in September.
While most other countries celebrate labor day on May 1 of each year,
U.S. President Grover Cleveland supported a September date to avoid
associations with the Chicago Haymarket riot in May of 1886. He signed a
bill into law making the September Labor Day observance a federal
holiday in 1894.
> "Industrializing America,"
America's History in the Making, looks at how industrialization required
new labor markets and spawned the rise of the labor movement.
> A Biography of America, Unit 17, "Capital and Labor"
http://www.learner.org/biographyofamerica/prog17/ takes a look at
historic labor developments in the U.S.
> For a look at how industrialization changed society -- drawing women
into the labor force and, later, the labor movement -- see "The Lowell
System: Women in a New Industrial Society,"
Program 3 of Primary Sources.
> See how larger economic issues drive labor migrations in Europe and
America in Program 5 of Inside the Global Economy.
> Get a better understanding of the development and role of labor
unions with Economics U$A http://www.learner.org/resources/series79.html
Program 22, "Labor and Management."
> Consider the impact of employment and labor issues on a more personal
level with Growing Old in a New Age
http://www.learner.org/resources/series84.html Program 9, "Work,
Retirement, and Economic Status."
> See how labor issues have impacted literature in American Passages: A
Literary Survey, Unit 12, "Migrant Struggle."
http://www.learner.org/amerpass/unit12/ Also see context activities for
Unit 11, "Modernist Portraits,"
address the impact of industrialization on the lives of workers.
Constitution Day (September 17)
Observe Constitution Day -- both as a means of raising your students'
interest in constitutional issues and to fulfill the requirement of all
educational institutions receiving funding through the U.S. Department
of Education. Find the original announcement of Constitution Day in the
Federal Register http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/retrieve.html (volume 70,
The following resources pertaining to the Constitution can be
incorporated into your school's program:
> Our Emmy Award-winning series The Constitution: That Delicate
Balance: http://www.learner.org/resources/series72.html features panel
discussion on constitutional issues by distinguished personalities in
government, media, and law.
> America's History in the Making:
http://www.learner.org/courses/amerhistory/ looks at the early
development of the U.S. system of government. See Unit 4, "Revolutionary
Perspectives," and click on OAH Talking History to listen to the radio
programs "Revolutionary Mothers" and "Washington's Slaves." Then see
Unit 20, Egalitarian America, for a look at more recent constitutional
> See how key figures in law, media, government, religion, military,
health care, and business puzzle through controversies introduced using
hypothetical cases and the Socratic method. Watch Ethics in America
http://www.learner.org/resources/series81.html and Ethics in America II.
> Listen to lectures while watching historical footage in Democracy in
America. http://www.learner.org/courses/democracyinamerica/ The series
Web site has downloadable readings that include the writings of
Frederick Douglass, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Niccolo
Machiavelli, Thomas Paine, and Alexis de Tocqueville.
> Making Civics Real: A Workshop for Teachers:
http://www.learner.org/workshops/civics/ presents effective high school
lessons and access Web-based materials including student and teacher
perspectives, essential readings, and primary source documents.
> Learn about the beginnings of the U.S. Constitution in "A New System
of Government," Program 5 of A Biography of America.
> Programs in The Western Tradition
http://www.learner.org/resources/series58.html relevant to the
Constitution include Program 5, "The Rise of Greek Civilization,"
Program 6, "Greek Thought," Program 37, "The American Revolution," and
38, "The American Republic."
> Search for historical artifacts -- images, documents -- related to
the Constitution in the American Passages archive.
special slideshow tool also allows you to create one or more
presentations using items from the archive.
More free video programs and other materials for your Constitution Day
events can be found on the Annenberg Classroom Web site.
http://www.annenbergclassroom.org/ Video programs are closed captioned
in several languages including Arabic, French, Japanese, Korean,
Mandarin Chinese, Russian, and Spanish.
Banned Books Week (September 26-October 3)
> In Search of the Novel http://www.learner.org/workshops/isonovel/
enlivens the teaching of ten commonly taught novels, some of which have
been banned for one reason or another. The series also features J.K.
Rowling and several other famous authors.
> Celebrate freedom of speech, as guaranteed in the First Amendment to
the Constitution, by broadening the range of voices your students read.
Teaching Multicultural Literature: A Workshop for the Middle Grades
http://www.learner.org/workshops/tml/ introduces teachers and their
students to 25 authors of different backgrounds and perspectives.
> Discover new ways to encourage an early interest in diverse
literature with our "envisionment-building" series based on the research
of Dr. Judith Langer -- the Engaging With Literature workshop
http://www.learner.org/workshops/engagingliterature/ and video library
http://www.learner.org/libraries/engagingliterature/ for grades 3-5, and
the Making Meaning in Literature workshop
http://www.learner.org/workshops/makingmeaning/ and video library
http://www.learner.org/libraries/makingmeaning/ for the middle grades.
The workshops offer teachers' views on the best ways of presenting
literature to their students, while the video libraries are rich in
> The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School
http://www.learner.org/workshops/tml/ introduces the writing of diverse
authors according to four approaches to teaching, outlined on the series
National Hispanic Heritage Month
September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month,
established to coincide with seven Latin American countries'
anniversaries of independence. As you prepare your lessons for the
month, draw on our resources related to the unique history, experience,
and cultural heritage of Hispanic Americans.
> Who is considered Hispanic? Read a document from the 2000 census
explaining the Hispanic category and how it interacts with "race."
> The first two units of America's History in the Making,
http://www.learner.org/courses/amerhistory/ "Pre-Columbian America" and
"Mapping Initial Encounters," provide history of the Native people of
North and Central America.
> Bridging World History
http://www.learner.org/courses/worldhistory/units.html traces ancient
Mesoamerican trade routes and the civilizations of the Maya and Inka.
Search the archive to find images by region and/or time period.
> "Latin America"
population issues and factors in migration, and then shows a classroom
lesson on the topic. The series Web site includes lesson plans, program
transcripts, National Geographic standards, and a Guatemala slide show.
> The sophisticated civilizations of the Aztecs, Incas, and Maya are
explored in Out of the Past,
http://www.learner.org/resources/series45.html narrated by actor Stacy
Literature and art:
> Learn from first-hand author insights in Teaching Multicultural
Literature: A Workshop for the Middle Grades.
http://www.learner.org/workshops/tml/ The series features Alma Flor
Ada, Judith Ortiz Cofer, and other distinguished writers, as well as
footage of accomplished teachers interacting with students in the classroom.
> The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School
http://www.learner.org/workshops/hslit/ offers high school lessons
focusing on the works of Rudolfo Anaya, Graciela Limón, Pat Mora, and
> American Passages: A Literary Survey http://www.learner.org/amerpass/
discusses the work and influences of several Latino and Chicano authors.
In particular, see Units 1, 2, 12, and 16.
> Read an essay about race, culture, identity, and American academia by
Professor Victor Villanueva
and Judith Ortiz Cofer's poem "Hispanic Barbie With Accessories"
on the Developing Writers Web site.
> The provocative, political works of painter/activist Judy Baca and
performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña (program intended for older
students and adults) are showcased in A World of Art: Works in Progress.
Language and culture:
> Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish
http://www.learner.org/resources/series75.html introduces the lands and
cultural practices of Spanish-speaking countries while immersing viewers
in the language.
> Teaching Foreign Languages K-12: A Library of Classroom Practices
http://www.learner.org/libraries/tfl/ offers eight programs on teaching
Spanish language and Latin American culture.
National Rice Month
> In The Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century,
http://www.learner.org/powerofplace/ the first half of Program 12 shows
how Japanese rice farmers battle harsh weather to save their crops. The
second half of Program 13 shows how Vietnam has enhanced its rice
growing system to become one of the world's largest rice exporters.
> Agricultural entomologist Peter Kenmore discusses the importance of
rice production, the use of pesticides and integrated pest management,
farmer field schools, and the role of science in rice farming in this
> This brief clip
shows that a dramatic decrease of pesticide use by Indonesian rice
farmers did not decrease yield. For an extended discussion of natural
pest control in rice production in the U.S. and abroad, watch the full
> See three different rice varieties here,
along with an explanation of how their structure can affect yield. Also
see this picture of conventional and golden rice side by side.
From the Habitable Planet Web site.
> Can nature's rice be improved through genetic manipulation? Read
about the idea behind genetically modified "golden rice" in this
with Dr. Gary H. Toenniessen of the Rockefeller Foundation Rice
Biotechnology Research Program. For a different view of golden rice,
read this interview
with New York University professor Marion Nestle.
> This historical image
shows two African American women hulling rice with a mortar and pestle.
> Read how the adoption of Champa rice in the 11th century transformed
Chinese agronomy in this article in PDF format.
From Bridging World History.
> This work of art
depicts transplanting and irrigating of rice in China.
National Sickle Cell Awareness Month
> Learn about the genetics of sickle cell anemia in the online text for
Rediscovering Biology: Molecular to Global Perspectives, Unit 9.
a description of what happens at the cellular level in Unit 2.
> The statistics of sickle cell are discussed through the cases of two
families in "Binomial Distributions," Program 17 of Against All Odds:
Inside Statistics. http://www.learner.org/resources/series65.html
Advance to 16:45 into the program to watch the segment.
National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Prevention Month
> The biology of drugs, neurotransmitters, and addiction are discussed
in the online textbook for Rediscovering Biology, Unit 10:
Watch the associated program
> Learn about different approaches in clinical psychology with this
on alcoholism. From the Discovering Psychology Web site.
> The Mind: Teaching Modules
http://www.learner.org/resources/series150.html includes several video
clips about brain mechanisms involved in addiction and treatment.
> For a look at addiction from a psychopathology perspective, watch
"Substance Abuse Disorders," Program 6 of The World of Abnormal
Learn about our free Video on Demand:
*** JOIN THE JOURNEY SOUTH ***
Give your students hands-on experience with nature by participating in
Journey South, the fall portion of our Journey North program
http://www.learner.org/resources/series127.html for K-12 students and
teachers -- just in time to track southward migrations. The Journey
North portion of the program begins in the spring, as flowers bloom and
birds and other animals move north for the summer.
This unique international program puts students in touch with students
in other countries as together they track wildlife migrations and
seasonal growth and change. The series Web site
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/ explains this season's projects and how
your class can participate.
*** SIGNATURE AND FOKUS DEUTSCH SERIES RETIRING ***
Please note that the rights to the series Signature: Contemporary
Writers have expired and could not be renewed. The series will therefore
no longer be available at Learner.org, effective immediately.
We would also like to remind you that after December 31, 2009, Annenberg
Media will no longer distribute Fokus Deutsch: An Introduction to German
Language and Culture, http://www.learner.org/resources/series104.html
either on DVD or as a video stream. Those who wish to purchase a copy of
the series can now do so at a 30% discount. Series can be ordered
through 1-800-LEARNER or through this page on our site:
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