PBS LearningMedia launches new U.S. history collection
For Immediate Release
September 6, 2022 Boston, MA – As teachers start the 2022–2023 school year, Boston public media producer GBH and PBS LearningMedia are launching a new U.S. History Collection. Free to teachers nationwide, the U.S. History Collection on PBS LearningMedia (www.pbslearningmedia.org/ushistory) is a comprehensive set of media-rich educational resources that span the breadth of core topics and periods in the U.S. history curriculum. Designed to introduce students to multiple perspectives, this new collection will help middle and high school students develop necessary critical thinking skills when learning about and interpreting history.
The U.S. History Collection on PBS LearningMedia was developed in collaboration with teachers and students. A diverse youth advisory group offered input on media style and design, and multiple educator advisory groups provided recommendations regarding content, organization, topics, and functionality. Feedback from the advisory groups as well as in-depth research conducted by GBH indicated that students learn best when they see themselves reflected within the topics being taught, and teachers seek resources to help students build nuanced understanding of history and civics.
"In creating free educational resources for teachers across the country, we strive to understand their needs and the challenges they face in the classroom," said Seeta Pai, Executive Director of Education at GBH. "What we found was encouraging: teachers agree about the skills our students need to learn and a commitment to teaching history from multiple perspectives. However, they need digital and video resources to engage young people and supplement their curriculum. Our research also indicated that students are most engaged when they can relate the lessons to their everyday experiences and are called upon to build historical empathy."
The Collection enables teachers and students of U.S. History (Grades 6–12) to use media to teach and learn the topics and themes covered in most standard middle and high school U.S. history classes, and spans 16 eras of U.S. history, from Pre-Colonial America to the 21st century. Making optimum use of media and technology, the Collection offers teachers materials to enliven history, and gives students opportunities to interact directly with a wide range of primary and secondary sources showcasing diverse stories and perspectives, connect the past with the present, learn how to think like historians, and develop civic understanding. All media resources and support materials in the Collection are grounded in the historical record.
Media in the Collection are derived from major PBS broadcasts and material from PBS stations across the country, and new media is being created exclusively for this Collection. Teachers and students can find video clips from trusted public media names like AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, KEN BURNS and collaborators, FRONTLINE, AMERICAN MASTERS, and more. In addition, students can work on interactive lessons, interact with digital maps, timelines, and interactive images, and view "Why it Matters," a history video series that uses the past to explain the present. Media are accompanied by teaching tips, discussion questions, and materials for students as well. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) provided funding for the research, development, and production of the Collection.
PBS LearningMedia, a partnership of PBS and GBH, is a free online service delivering research based, classroom-ready digital learning resources to engage students in exploring curriculum concepts that align with national standards. The site has more than 30,000 digital assets, which include preK-12 videos, interactives and lesson plans in all academic disciplines. During the 2021-2022 school year, PBS LearningMedia had more than 15 million visitors resulting in 69 million pageviews.
GBH is the leading multiplatform creator for public media in America. As the largest producer of content for PBS and partner to NPR and PRX, GBH delivers compelling experiences, stories and information to audiences wherever they are. GBH produces digital and broadcast programming that engages, illuminates and inspires, through drama and science, history, arts, culture and journalism. It is the creator of such signature programs as MASTERPIECE, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, FRONTLINE, NOVA, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, Arthur and Molly of Denali and a catalog of streaming series, podcasts and on-demand video. GBH’s television channels include GBH 2, GBH 44, GBH Kids and national services WORLD and Create. With studios and a newsroom headquartered in Boston, GBH reaches across New England with GBH 89.7, Boston’s Local NPR; CRB Classical 99.5; and CAI, the Cape and Islands NPR station. Dedicated to making media accessible to and inclusive of our diverse culture, GBH is a pioneer in delivering media to those who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired. GBH creates curriculum-based digital content for educators nationwide with PBS LearningMedia and has been recognized with hundreds of the nation’s premier broadcast, digital and journalism awards. Find more information at gbh.org.
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Erin Callanan, Erin_callanan@wgbh.org (617) 905-6866