KETN gives language development a boost
Eight just completed training sessions called “Assessing and Fostering the Development of a First and Second Language in Early Childhood” were broadcast live via satellite from the KETN television studios at KCSOS to county offices of education in Alameda, Imperial, Kern, Lake, Los Angeles, Merced, Placer, Riverside, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Solano, Tehama and Yolo counties. Approximately 250 educators took part in the May trainings, at 10 county office sites, which was completed May 31.
Marcia Meyer and Maria Fatima Castro from the Santa Cruz County Office of Education developed the training program through funding from the California Department of Education (CDE), Child Development Division.
“There are an increasing number of children in California who go into child development and K-12 schooling who do not speak English,” Meyer said. “CDE recognized our training program as a pre-kindergarten opportunity to develop oral skills in both a child’s ‘home’ language and English. A foundation in a home language gives children the ability to be successful in English, and we know that’s what they need to be a success in school.”
Meyer and Castro served as presenter/hosts for the live TV training sessions, which featured live in-studio participants from educational facilities in Bakersfield, Delano, Richgrove, Ridgecrest and Visalia. The broadcasts were interactive, allowing those viewing at other county offices of education to pose questions via telephone, e-mail and fax which were relayed immediately to the hosts for use in the training. The series was a combination of live lecture and illustrations, computer graphics and pre-produced video instruction. A web site, http://csea.santacruz.k12.ca.us/~mmeyer, also provides a discussion forum, resources and information for ordering materials. In the future, it will also feature streaming video from the broadcast training segments.
The collaboration between KCSOS and Santa Cruz came about as Meyer looked for a facility that could provide live studio technical support and satellite linking capability statewide to the county offices of education. Meyer said discussions with KCSOS Child Development and Family Services Administrator Wendy Wayne led to the discovery and use of KETN.
According to Community Connection for Child Care Special Projects Facilitator Brooke Antonioni, who handled many of the logistics of the broadcast for Wayne, using a live satellite broadcast was a practical, efficient and economical way to present the training.
“From a cost standpoint, it eliminated the need for educators from all over the state to travel to one location for training,” Antonioni said. “It allowed access to more educators to be trained at different locations all at the same time, and it was an interactive forum, providing those viewing with the opportunity to share their questions, ideas and experiences.”
Meyer said there are plans to edit the live training into a videotape that can be used by educators all over the state.
“Next year we will use it as a trainer of trainers,” Meyer said. “Live we were able to train 350. With tape we could train 3,500 if each person who received the live training was able to train 35 others at each location.”
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