StationBreak April 2014

StationBreak is a monthly newsletter for educators from the AETN Education Division.

April marks the anniversary of the Titanic sinking. However, did you know that this month also holds America’s largest maritime ship disaster, and it was right here in Arkansas? On April 27, 1865, the SS Sultana was making its trip from New Orleans to St. Louis on the Mississippi River. Due to a faulty boiler and mismanaged water levels in the boiler, the ship exploded and sank near present day Marion, Arkansas. Though this may not be the happiest bit of information to start off April, it is a tragedy worth remembering.

Ken Burns: The Address

A lesson plan is available at along with instructions on how to recite and share your own version of The Gettysburg Address. Coming up on Tuesday, April 15, Ken Burns' latest documentary The Address will premiere. The Address is a 90-minute documentary that tells the story of a tiny school in Putney, Vermont - the Greenwood School - where each year the students are encouraged to practice, memorize, and recite the Gettysburg Address. In its exploration of the Greenwood School, the film also unlocks the history, context, and importance of President Lincoln's most powerful address.

New from AETN

AETN has partnered with PBS to bring PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs to Arkansas. The program connects high school students to local PBS stations, like AETN, and news professionals in their communities to produce original, student-generated news video reports. Dunbar Gifted & Talented/International Studies Magnet Middle School in Little Rock and Searcy High School are participating in the student labs.

PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs connect middle and high school students to local PBS stations and news professionals in their community to produce original, student-generated video news reports. The goal of the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs is to spark the next generation of media- literate, aware, and engaged citizens. The students who participate develop critical 21st century communication, critical thinking, and collaboration skills. The Reporting Labs were made possible by grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the National Science Foundation, and "Constitution USA With Peter Sagal."

AETN seeks Dreamland Ballroom stories
The Dreamland Ballroom, the third floor of the historic Taborian Hall on West Ninth Street in downtown Little Rock, is the topic of an upcoming AETN documentary. Currently in development, producers are seeking stories and photos from the ballroom in its prime, from approximately 1930-1960. Anyone with information about the ballroom or Little Rock's "Little Harlem" is encouraged to contact Tanisha Joe Conway, 800-662-2386, or email

News from ArkansasIDEAS

ArkansasIDEAS offers two mobile learning labs for professional development. Each lab provides educators with complete, flexible, and convenient access to technology. This service includes pickup and delivery and is offered to all Arkansas school districts free of charge.

Both labs are equipped with software that enhances professional development trainings, particularly job-embedded professional development. Please read the descriptions below to decide which ArkansasIDEAS mobile learning lab best meets your professional development needs.

Mac Lab
This mobile learning lab includes 15 MacBook Pro computers. Accessories such as power cords and mice are included.

iPad Lab
The iPad mobile learning lab includes 20, 4th generation Apple iPads. Power cords are included.

To reserve either lab, visit the ArkansasIDEAS homepage, click on the Professional Development tab on the left, then go to the Mobile Labs tab, and check them out.

AETN offers disciplinary literacy events
Join our live studio audience for dynamic professional development sessions focusing on disciplinary literacy.

  • April 29, Arthur Beauchamp, Disciplinary Literacy Big Shifts in Science and Technical Subjects for grades 4-8.
  • April 30, Arthur Beauchamp, Disciplinary Literacy Big Shifts in Science and Technical Subjects for grades 7-12.
  • June 3, Dr. Timothy Shanahan, Disciplinary Literacy Overview.
  • June 4, Cynthia Shanahan, Disciplinary Literacy Big Shifts in Social Studies grades 7-12.
  • June 16, Dianne Lapp, Disciplinary Literacy Text Complexity and Text Dependent Questions in ELA grades 4-8.
  • June 17, Dianne Lapp, Disciplinary Literacy Text Complexity and Text Dependent Questions in Social Studies grades 4-8.
  • June 24, Doug Buehl, Disciplinary Literacy Close Reading for ELA, Social Studies, and Science and Technical Subjects in grades 4-8 and 7-12.

Register for each event through your ArkansasIDEAS account. For questions on how to sign up, please email, or call 1-800-488-6689.

News from PBS LearningMedia

PBS LearningMedia announces Arkansas Teacher Selected for the 2014 Digital Innovators Program
AETN and PBS LearningMedia are thrilled to announce that Arkansas educator Sarah Jerry of Greenbrier Eastside Elementary School was selected as one of the 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators. The program rewards tech-savvy K-12 educators from across the country who are serving as leaders in the education technology space and incorporating digital media in classrooms to promote student engagement and achievement through year-long, hands-on and virtual professional development opportunities.

AETN, alongside Clifford the Big Red Dog and The Cat in the Hat, made the announcement to educator Jerry, her colleagues and the students of Greenbrier Eastside Elementary School March 31. Jerry will receive year-long professional development opportunities that include virtual trainings, access to premium and exclusive resources, and invitations to special events.

AETN Programs

Tuesday, April 15
8 p.m. - "The Address"

Saturdays at 10 a.m. - "Paint With Kevin"
Tune in for our newest Saturday morning craft series that offers painting hobbyists step-by-step instruction for creating "wet-on-wet" oil paint landscapes and seascapes.

For educational resources at home and in the classroom, visit...

Download the AETN Educator Resource Guide, your guide to all AETN and PBS education resources.