What is PBS KIDS Playful Learning for Educators?
PBS KIDS Playful Learning for Educators offers a set of 4 in-person workshops to early childhood educators. Each workshop helps teachers explore and develop playful learning experiences for young learners. They use age-appropriate media and technology from PBS KIDS. The workshops provide ECEs with the time, space, and resources to play, learn, and discover alongside a group of peers. As a result, teachers can walk away from the workshop, using the pedagogy and content they learned in their own classroom.
Currently available for piloting, each workshop brings a 3 to 3.5 hour in-person experience. The workshops work sequentially, non-sequentially, or as a set of one-off experiences.
Who is Playful Learning for Educators For?
Early childhood educators who work with children ages 3 to 8 will find these workshops helpful. Initially, future facilitators of PBS KIDS community engagement experiences used them to learn about multiple approaches to learning, inquiry, play, and engagement.
But they also offer a unique avenue for early childhood educators. Teachers will benefit from these workshops that bring a pedagogy-first approach to how you can use media and technology to support learning (particularly science learning) in early childhood settings.
Where did Playful Learning for Educators come from?
The CPB/PBS Ready To Learn Initiative developed these workshops. A team including classroom teachers, informal educators, and PBS Station Education and Outreach teams created them. WFSU Public Media’s own Tasha Weinstein and Diane Kroeger helped with their design.
Integrating Media into Playful Learning
This first session will allow educators to explore playful learning environments that integrate media content to support learning objectives. Educators will participate in activities that explore how digital content can factor into children’s play and learning while supporting critical 21st century skills. Certainly, this session works to empower educators with the tools, skills, and confidence to bring similar play-based, media integrated, learner-centered experiences into their own classrooms. We recommend this session for 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 activities that engage learners in aspects of the engineering design process. In other words, learners will work through two media-oriented activities as a way of exploring the ED process through different lenses. The session will allow learners 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 an introduction to coding 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 to 8 years olds) in three different contexts. Often, play gets lumped into one big and messy category. In this session, participants will explore a variety of nuanced hands-on playful learning approaches. Afterwards, they will have the time to think through and discuss the approaches effectiveness, and when and how they can wield them within the context of their own practice. Registration is open for this workshop on July 26th at WFSU.
The Inquiry Process with The Cat in the Hat
The focus of this session is scientific inquiry, curiosity and creativity-building. At the same time, you will engage with PBS KIDS content and hands-on, learner-centered experiences that explore the scientific inquiry cycle. In the session, participants will make connections between the activities they explore and their own instruction. As a result, educators will leave empowered with the tools, skills, and confidence to bring similar play-based, media integrated, learner-centered experiences into their classrooms.