Richland One educator creates resources with PBS and SCETV

photo of students engaged in media activity at SCETV MediaSCape Studio

Richland District One educator Lekena Ackerman recently completed her two-year work as a PBS Digital All-Star, creating resources with both South Carolina ETV and PBS.

Named a PBS Digital Innovator All-Star in 2022, one of only 20 selected across the nation, Ackerman spent her first year collaborating with a group of fellow All-Stars creating civic education assets for PBS LearningMedia. Her collaborative work produced resources for the following PBS LearningMedia assets:

In her second year, Ackerman partnered with the ETV Education team to explore teaching civics through youth media creation. She created a lesson plan, aligned to SC 8th grade ELA and SOST standards, on teaching the American Revolution with a choice board of media-creation options for the students. It will be added to ETV's collection of lesson plans over the summer.

Tapping into ETV's free field trips, Ackerman brought a class of 23 students to the Columbia station for a tour followed by a civics-related podcast discussion in the new MediaSCape studio. Students rotated in their roles, with some serving as podcast hosts and guests and others in roles such as floor manager, producer and photographer. 

Ackerman also presented during a one-hour Afterschool with ETV PD session, Exploring student voice in civics, held on May 9, 2024. 

The topic of civics for her All-Star work was a natural choice for Ackerman, an 8th grade social studies teacher at Southeast Middle School. Known for her colorful wigs and history-inspired costumes, Ackerman works hard to engage her students in learning and make history come alive. "Democracy is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. Our students will become members of our society. It is very important that they understand how our laws work. By studying [civics], our students will change the world for the better!"

Learn more about Ackerman's teaching and her work as an All-Star, plus see her colorful wigs and costumes, in this brief video.