WEDU PBS Extends At-Home Learning Broadcast and Digital Resources, Providing Free Educational Access for Students


Tampa, FL (August 27, 2020) — WEDU PBS announced that as the new school year continues to present extraordinary challenges for students, families, and educators, the local public broadcasting station will extend its WEDU PBS At-Home Learning program which began this Spring when school districts began closing in response to Coronavirus.

WEDU joined other Florida PBS stations to support at home learning for students by delivering a new weekday television schedule of educational programs and online resources for use in the home classroom. These programs are aligned to state standards, and are free and accessible from home.

While many stations are moving their At-Home Learning programming to their secondary channels now that schools are back in session in some form, WEDU has committed to keeping their At-Home Learning programming on their main channel through at least the end of this year.

“Although schools are back in session, most are navigating between in-person, virtual, and a combination of both making consistency for learning a challenge. Many students in our area do not have the resources at home that they have in the classroom. Lack of at-home computers, printers or even internet service could make learning impossible in an at-home environment, but most homes do have a television,” said Gail Taylor, WEDU’s Director of Education Services.

WEDU reaches the majority of households in West Central Florida with free, over-the-air station broadcast and a deep trove of digital resources designed to support both in-school and at-home learning for students, which was critical at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. These resources are compiled for ease of access on WEDU’s EdConnect page, edconnect.wedu.org, and in WEDU’s monthly EdConnect newsletter, which has seen a significant increase in subscribers since the beginning of remote learning.

“WEDU recognizes the need for this content to be highly visible as our current environment proves there is a strong need in our community. We have seen a dramatic increase in the use of PBS LearningMedia for distance learning over the past few months with more than 32,000 new user accounts statewide. Since June 2011: 41,974 users registered within WEDU’s viewing area, or have self-identified WEDU as their home station. Of those, 10,353 have registered since March 1, 2020. So, almost 25% of our users have registered since the pandemic,” said Gail Taylor.

“This also means that just under one-third of the Floridians who registered for a new account during the pandemic are within WEDU’s viewing area. That’s pretty incredible and very telling that the demand for WEDU’s At-Home Learning is continuing to serve families!”

WEDU PBS At Home Learning Details:
• WEDU PBS At-Home Learning on-air schedule and digital resources: https://wedu.org/edconnect
• WEDU will continue WEDU PBS At-Home Learning program featuring quality educational broadcasts, each weekday on WEDU, in blocks appropriate for grades PK-12. Each day broadcasts include episodes from PBS Kids programming for younger children and well known PBS series like NOVA, SciGirls, and Nature, plus WEDU original programming and more for older students each afternoon.
• Companion lessons aligned with Florida standards of education from PBS LearningMedia, a free digital education service from PBS, have been created for use with each broadcast block and are available for download on the WEDU PBS At-Home Learning webpage (wedu.org/edconnect). Broadcast schedules and lessons are updated weekly.
• WEDU PBS At-Home Learning also highlights specific lesson collections, articles, webinars, and other information to help families and educators make the most out of distance learning through the use of quality PBS educational materials.
• Learn more about the creative ways to use PBS LearningMedia throughout the year with this collection of video tutorials created to address the most frequently asked questions from recent PBS distance learning sessions across the country.