-Furahi Achebe recognized for her game-changing integration of digital media in the classroom and will partner with CPBN to build better learning outcomes in West Haven-

HARTFORD, Conn., April 19, 2017 Today, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN), in association with PBS, announced Furahi Achebe from Metropolitan Business Academy in West Haven, Connecticut, as one of 52 educators from across the country selected for the fifth annual PBS Digital Innovators Program. The program recognizes classroom changemakers: educators who skillfully approach education with a bold and fresh perspective and who integrate digital media and resources into their classrooms in a way that sparks a love of learning for their students.

Achebe teaches documentary filmmaking, broadcasting and animation to high school students. From the moment they walk into her class, she says, her students know they are journalists. They are empowered to seek and communicate the truth, making informational movies on the subjects of their choice.

“I am honored to be a 2017 Digital Innovator because I believe that digital media is a powerful tool for self-instruction,” said Achebe. “It is my mission to help others utilize digital media for their own advancement.”

Among other teachers selected were educators who are using 3D printers with their students to create prosthetic limbs; a technology coach whose classroom is a “STEM Bus”; and co-teachers who use technology to bring their students together in one class, even though they’re in physical classrooms that are miles apart. A panel of esteemed judges selected the 52 PBS Digital Innovators from across the U.S., representing each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In partnership with CPBN, Achebe will serve as an education partner – deepening the connection between the educator community and CPBN. PBS Digital Innovators also participate in ongoing professional development; share their ideas on PBS platforms; have access to exclusive resources from PBS LearningMedia; receive a free PBS Teacherline professional development course; and are invited to special events, including the 2017 PBS Digital Summit. This year’s summit, in San Antonio, Texas, takes place directly before the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference.

“Public media from PBS and local stations like CPTV makes a difference in people’s lives every day and in the classroom through PBS LearningMedia. We applaud Ms. Achebe’s purposeful inclusion of PBS LearningMedia in her classroom,” said Paul Pfeffer, CPBN’s Director of Education.

“We were struck by the creativity and passion of this year’s applicants,” said Sara Schapiro, Vice President of Education, PBS. “The 2017 PBS Digital Innovators are a passionate group of educators who are committed to changing the way students learn through technology and digital media. Education is at the core of PBS’ mission, and as a key partner with parents and educators across America, we’re excited for the opportunity to learn from and work with these classroom change makers as they partner with PBS member stations to share content that truly engages and empowers students in every community.”

The full list of the 2017 PBS Digital Innovators, their profiles and photographs can be found here.

More than 100,000 digital resources, including lesson plans, worksheets, video content and more, are available through PBS LearningMedia for pre-K-12 classrooms. Teachers can access this content at www.pbslearningmedia.org.

About Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network
The Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN) is home to CPTV, WNPR and the Learning Lab. CPTV is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including original documentaries, public affairs and educational programming. WNPR is an affiliate of National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media. The Learning Lab serves high school seniors through a partnership with Hartford Public Schools and the Journalism and Media Academy Magnet School. It is also home to the Institute for Advanced Media, a program that provides the men and women of our armed forces and adult learners an opportunity to learn skills necessary for the 21st century digital media workplace. For more information, visit cpbn.org.

About PBS Education
PBS Education provides all educators with access to high-quality, standards-aligned content for the classroom and professional development and peer-to-peer experiences to enrich teaching and learning opportunities in classrooms across America. Through partnerships with nearly 350 local member stations, PBS Education supports and connects prek-12 teachers, parents and communities to help students reach their full potential both in and out of the classroom. PBS Education meets the needs of today’s educator with offerings that include: PBS LearningMediaPBS TeacherLine and the PBS Digital Innovators Program. More information about PBS Education is available at www.pbs.org/education or by following PBS Education on Twitter and Facebook.