PBS39 Joins the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Pennsylvania PBS for Learning at Home

Written by on September 11, 2020

PBS39 Joins the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Pennsylvania PBS for Learning at Home

By Chloe Nouvelle

September 11, 2020

The Wolf Administration has announced $15 million dollars in federal funding to help bridge the so-called digital divide in Pennsylvania – expanding student access to the internet and virtual learning platforms. And the administration has tapped Pennsylvania’s PBS stations to help. 

In the commonwealth, nearly 10 percent of households have no internet access… leaving some students absent from virtual class. But 97 percent of Pennsylvania’s students can receive a public media broadcast signal. So the governor’s office is dedicating millions of dollars in CARES ACT funding to create a new statewide datacasting initiative with Pennsylvania PBS. 

Tim Fallon is CEO of Lehigh Valley Public Media, Home to PBS39 and WLVR News.

“In the same way that your TV receives the broadcast signal, your computer, if you have one of these little receivers attached to it will receive the data cast that is coming that is specific to your computer,” said Fallon.

About 8 million dollars will be used to set up the datacasting initiative and 3 million dollars will be used to distribute devices… like antennas or receivers and laptops to students so they can receive the datacast. 

And Pennsylvania PBS can bring school work, like video lesson plans and anything that teachers would want to bundle together, into homes. 

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