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Cable's Leaders in Learning Awards 2008

The 2008 Cable’s Leaders in Learning Awards winners include educators who are sharing effective teaching methods worldwide via blogs and streaming videos, connecting students to their communities while raising money for orphans in South Africa, producing a student-led documentary on the fabled Bronx borough of New York City, or providing parents a way to connect with their children’s teachers through ATM-like kiosks in grocery stores among other innovative approaches.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Elana Yonah Rosen, Founder, Just Think Foundation, San Francisco

Elana Rosen was recognized for her work with the Just Think Foundation. The foundation provides students with the skills they need to become critical thinkers and creative producers on important issues they see in the media, such as First Amendment rights, body image and nutrition, global warming and immigration. The program engages young people in discussions about the types of media they are consuming and encourages them to analyze and evaluate that media for accuracy, completeness and appropriateness, and use media as a form of expression, demonstration of learning, and for self-empowerment.

In this podcast (MP3,15 MB), Rosen talks about the growth of the Just Think Foundation and the new national and international media literacy outreach the organization has planned.

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Craig Lindvahl and Joe Fatheree, Teachres, Effingham and Teutopolis high schools, Illinois

Craig Lindvahl and Joe Fatheree were recognized for their creation of the Aha Film Festival, an annual event they designed to showcase the work of students in multimedia classes from Teutopolis and Effingham high schools in Illinois. The festival sells out a 1,600-seat theater and includes industry seminars on the day of the festival.

In this podcast (MP3, 15 MB), the duo talk about the importance of hands-on learning and what the popular film festival means to their small Midwestern town.

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Jay Hoffman, Teacher, Tuttle Middle School, Vermont

Jay Hoffman was recognized for his work with a student-led news network composed of 12 students who deliver the news on a weekly basis. They work extensively with other students in the school as well as community members to produce, edit and broadcast their stories.

In this podcast (MP3, 13.5 MB), Hoffman talks about what goes on behind the scenes at the South Burlington News Network. We learn that participants make a habit of reaching out to the community and that several students were recently honored by C-SPAN in a yearly film contest.

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Tony Alteparmakian, Teacher, Foothill High School, California

Tony Alteparmakian was recognized for his innovative method of documenting classroom lectures. He uses audio and visual devices that record his pen strokes and speech as a video. He then adds class notes, pictures and videos and uploads all of it to YouTube for students to access at their convenience.

In this podcast (MP3, 10 MB), Alteparmakian talks about what led him to incorporate such rich technology into the classroom and how far-reaching his online lesson plans have become.

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Gary Olsen, District Adminstrator, Dubuque Community School District, Iowa

Gary Olsen was recognized for his creation of “The Garden Organic.” The cable television reality show teaches young students how to grow and prepare their own food, in partnerships with Hy-Vee Foods, Steve’s Ace Home & Garden Center and the Iowa State University Extension Office. The program combines science, math, culture and the history of food along with basic food how-to’s: growing, harvesting, preparing and preserving. Students are taped as they set out on their challenge to grow an organic garden with no artificial or non-organic pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides. The series, now in its fourth year, is broadcast on a Dubuque Community School’s own full-time 24/7 cable channel provided by Mediacom Cable.

In his podcast (MP3, 12 MB), Olsen recounts humorous events that have occurred during filming of "The Garden Organic," and what the kids and community have taken away from this educational reality show. He also talks about how significant business and community partnerships have been to the show.

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Ray Lund, Teacher, Thorton Academy, Maine

Ray Lund was recognized for his creation and implementation of Thornton Academy TV (TATV), a student-run television station. Lund’s students have developed long-running shows and have made their TV station an important thread in the community.

In his podcast (MP3, 9.6 MB), Lund discusses the enthusiasm his students demonstrate as they work to develop shows for the station and the media-related careers they pursue after graduation.

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