In March 2020, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly chose to close schools. So, instead of going back to school after Spring Break, Kansas students (Grade Bands – K-12) stayed at home, and teachers struggled to teach them remotely. The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) knew that something needed to be done. So, KSDE reached out to the four PBS stations in Kansas – Smoky Hills PBS in Western Kansas; KPTS – Channel 8 in Central Kansas; KTWU in Topeka, Kansas; and KCPT in the Kansas City, Kansas area. KSDE also reached out to a team of teachers who were excellent at both teaching and using technology in the classroom.
Working together, the KSDE, PBS stations and teachers created a virtual technical training seminar called New Times, New Tools, New Teaching Virtual Conference to show teachers how to create, record and produce video lessons from home for the fall school year. These sessions were intended to give teachers the tools they would need to produce high-quality videos just in time to reach diverse audiences – students, families, staff and co-workers!
A total of three, dynamic sessions were created and offered July 27 – July 30, 2020. The trainings including key personnel from the public TV stations and educators such as National and Kansas Teachers of the Year. Session 1 was titled Production Techniques in Making Your Own Videos. Session 2 was titled Legal and Practical Matters. Session 3 was titled Creating Dynamic Videos. Each free session was offered a total of two times. In addition to the three seminars, KCPT in Kansas City compiled a list of resources for teachers to help them with video production.