WGBH Children’s Media and Education is in Austin, Texas this week participating in three sessions at the 8th Annual South by Southwest Education Conference and Festival. A component of the South by Southwest family of conferences and festivals, SXSWedu “cultivates and empowers a community of engaged stakeholders to advance teaching and learning.”

·      Integrating 2018 Space News Events into Your Curriculum: Rachel Connolly (WGBH Education STEM Director); and C. Alex Young (Associate Director for Science in the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

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Photo: @thomascmurray

·      The Best Internet Filter is Between a Child’s Ears: Bill Shribman (WGBH Children’s Media Senior Exec Producer and Director of Digital Partnerships); and Kerry Gallager (Connect Safely, and a past PBS Massachusetts Digital Innovator)

·      Bringing the Science: Teaching with Authentic Data: Rachel Connolly (WGBH Education STEM Director); C. Alex Young (Associate Director for Science in the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center); and Javier Montiel (Educator, Brazosport Independent School District and WGBH Teacher Advisor)


It’s National Media Literacy Week!


As part of Media Literacy Week, Senior Executive Producer Bill Shribman has written a post in the Parenting for a Digital Future blog at the London School of Economics in which he discusses the elementary curriculum that his team developed with the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University as part the Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius project.

He is also presenting a talk at the Dust or Magic 2017 Institute next week entitled, “Kids, Media, News and Media Literacy: What does modern media literacy need to look like in a world of mobile tech, fake news, and an endless sea of information?” 

Ruff Goes to Harvard

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WGBH and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University are excited to share the release of The Internet and You: Curricular Materials for Educators Grades 1-3, developed by the Youth and Media team in collaboration with the New York Public Library and WGBH.

Featuring Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius from PBS, “The Internet and You” provides interactive lesson plans about digital privacy, search engines, online advertising, and the creation of positive online experiences that can be used in schools, after-school programs, and beyond.

This free resource for educators, which includes worksheets kids can do at home with their parents or other caregivers, is now available on our Digital Literacy Resource Platform (DLRP), thanks to generous support from the Digital Media and Learning (DML) Trust Challenge grant.

“Young learners today are surrounded by digital technologies, but often they haven’t had the guidance in basic best practices that can help keep their online experiences positive,” said Berkman Klein Fellow and “The Internet and You” author Leah Plunkett. “Our new materials aim to support educators with the right tools to empower students to better navigate the digital space.”

These new curricular materials for elementary school age youth are part of an ever-growing set of educational resources for a diverse audience of youth (elementary, middle, and high school age), teachers, parents, and school administrators. Hosted on the DLRP, these resources provide guidance on online privacy, safety, information quality, and creative expression, and can be used both in school and out-of-school contexts.

Behavioral Change & Traffic Safety

Picture of Ruff scared while driving

Hosted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Bill presented Ruff’s distracted driving project at an event looking at innovation in road safety. The project’s 3 million+ video views and unusual approach seemed to resonate with many of the attendees – national, state and local folks in law enforcement, transport and public health.

Bill then also joined a lively panel with researchers, psychologists, a judge, doctors and public health specialists to dig into the challenges of reducing road deaths (currently 32,000 per year in the US, and rising).


This comes on a day that NHTSA has also made steps towards driverless cars.