Playful Learning for Educators is our newest professional development opportunity. WFSU Public Media has been partnering with the Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend to offer this series of four workshops to local early childcare providers and educators. While it’s our hope that you’ll join us for all four sessions to complete the entire series, you can also either join us for one or two of the sessions that interest you the most. Follow us on social media to keep up with when we’re offering these sessions, or reach out to us via email!
Playful Learning for Educators Workshop Series at WFSU Public Media
Each workshop is from 10 am to 1 pm. Lunch is included. In-service hours are available.
What is PBS KIDS Playful Learning for Educators?
PBS KIDS Playful Learning for Educators is a set of 4 in-person workshops designed to support early childhood educators exploring and developing playful learning experiences for young learners that utilize age-appropriate media and technology from PBS KIDS. The workshops are designed to provide ECEs with the time, space, and resources to play, learn, and discover alongside a group of peers and to consider how the pedagogy and content that they’re exposed to could be used in their own teaching practice.
Currently available for piloting, each workshop is designed as a 3-3.5 hour in-person experience. The workshops can be implemented sequentially, non-sequentially, or as a set of one-off experiences.
Who is Playful Learning for Educators For?
These workshops are designed for early childhood educators who work with children ages 3-8. They were initially developed for future facilitators of PBS KIDS community engagement experiences to expose them to the thinking behind the approaches to learning, inquiry, play, and engagement that PBS KIDS community engagement experiences aim to support.
They are also entirely appropriate and useful for early childhood educators who are interested in and would benefit from workshops that bring a pedagogy-first approach to how media and technology can be used to support learning (particularly science learning) in early childhood settings.
Where did Playful Learning for Educators come from?
These workshops were developed as a part of the CPB/PBS Ready To Learn Initiative. They were created by a multidisciplinary team that included classroom teachers, informal educators, and PBS Station Education and Outreach teams – including WFSU Public Media’s own Tasha Weinstein and Diane Kroeger!
Integrating Media into Playful Learning
As the introductory session to the series, this will lay a foundation for educators to explore playful learning environments that integrate media content to help support learning objectives. Educators will be supported as they engage in activities that explore how digital content can factor into children’s play and learning while supporting critical 21st century skills. The ultimate goal of this session is to empower educators with the tools, skills, and confidence to bring similar play-based, media integrated, learner-centered experiences into their own learning environments and communities. This is a great session to come to if you want an overview of the over-arching concepts that surround every workshop in this series!
The Engineering Design Process with Ruff Ruffman
This particular session will explore Ruff Ruffman media content and activities that engage learners in understanding aspects of the engineering design process. Learners will work through two activities as a way of engaging with and exploring the ED process through different lenses. The session will provide learners with an opportunity to work their way through the full Engineering process in a hands-on, playful, collaborative and contextually meaningful way.
Hands-On Learning with PBS KIDS ScratchJR
This session is both an introduction to coding and computational thinking for young learners as well as an exploration of different approaches to playful learning. Participants will use the PBS KIDS ScratchJr app (a creative coding app designed for 5-8 years olds) in three different contexts as a way of exploring different approaches to play. Often, play gets lumped into one big and messy category, but over the course of this session, participants will explore a variety of nuanced hands-on playful learning approaches and will then have the time to think through and discuss the value and effectiveness of the different approaches, and when and how they can wield them within the context of their own practice. Registration is currently open for this workshop on July 26th at WFSU!
The Inquiry Process with The Cat in the Hat
The focus of this session will be on scientific inquiry, curiosity and creativity-building while engaging with PBS KIDS content and hands-on, learner-centered experiences that explore the scientific inquiry cycle. Throughout the session, participants will have opportunities to make connections between the activities they explore and their own instruction. The goal is to empower educators with the tools, skills, and confidence to bring similar play-based, media integrated, learner-centered experiences into their learning environments and communities. The focus will be on scientific inquiry, curiosity and creativity-building while engaging with PBS KIDS content.