Northern Michigan University's WNMU-TV is among the state's six PBS stations launching the Michigan Learning Channel (MLC). Developed in partnership with leading educators and community leaders, the MLC delivers no-cost supplemental instructional programming to students, parents and teachers 24 hours each day, seven days a week.
In the WNMU-TV viewing area, the MLC is available to tv antenna viewers over-the-air on channel 13.4. The channel is also live-streamed online at MichiganLearning.org and posted for on-demand viewing on various digital and social media platforms, including cell phones and other mobile devices
"From day one, the MLC has worked with leading people in the field of education and with a diverse cross-section of parents and concerned citizens to develop a plan that meets the evolving needs of families and teachers," said Eric Smith, WNMU Director of Broadcast & AV Services. "WNMU-TV has a long history of providing age-appropriate educational content in partnership with those closest to the communities we serve.
"The Michigan Learning Channel takes this one step further. We will use our various platforms – over the air, online, and through social media – to increase access to educational programming and resources at home, schools, daycare centers or wherever students may be. These programs will be beneficial to learners during our current pandemic but also useful teaching tools well into the future."
The MLC's instructional content aligns with Michigan's educational standards and follows widely accepted sequences for mastering skills throughout the school year. MLC lessons are designed to support and enrich school learning and are presented by a diverse group of educators, generally delivered as if the teacher is in a classroom setting.
The MLC provides instructional material for grades Pre-K-3 focused on literacy, math and social-emotional learning. In addition, supplemental content is broadcast for grades 4-12. Evening and overnight programming is also being scheduled for older students in grades 6-12. Weekends will feature a variety of programming from Michigan sources in social studies and science, as well as documentaries with educational resources. Program schedules can be viewed at MichiganLearning.org/schedule.
Initial content available to Michigan families and educators includes Math Mights, designed to make math fun for grades K-3; Read with Me at Home, literacy lessons developed in response to school closures; Let's Learn reading, math and science lessons; INPact at Home, exercise breaks designed to motivate kids to take a break from their keyboards and get moving; and POPChecks, short messages encouraging students to pause, own their feelings and practice centering themselves.
The MLC concept has been endorsed by several education and business associations in the state. It does not seek to replace teachers, but to support families and their children's learning while encouraging them to form strong partnerships with teachers and their local schools.
The MLC emerged quickly in response to the disruption of traditional classroom procedures caused by the pandemic. However, the initiative is rooted in years of study and experience by broadcasters and their many partners in the field of education. The health crisis merely demonstrated the need to apply communication technology to fill disparities and gaps that already existed. Instruction delivered via television provides a nearly universal alternative.
Initial funding for the MLC is provided by awards totaling $3.5 million, including a grant from the Michigan Department of Education supported by the Governors Education Emergency Relief (GEER) Fund Grant, part of the CARES Act. The remainder is through funding from the Michigan State Legislature.
Media contact: Eric Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 227-1314.