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For the love of public broadcasting

Channel nine makes a visit to Pam Hering’s AP U.S. History class

Ellery Lloyd, Staff Reporter
Originally published December 2, 2014

Maeve GallagherChannel nine video taped history teacher Pam Herings class on Nov. 12, to see how she embedded documentaries into her curriculum.

Maeve Gallagher

Channel nine video taped history teacher Pam Herings class on Nov. 12, to see how she embedded documentaries into her curriculum.

When students in fifth period AP U.S. History walked into class on Nov. 12 they weren’t just greeted by a smiling Pam Hering. Three men with cameras were joining them for Hering’s cheery lecture. They were there on behalf of channel nine, the local PBS station, and were filming all three of Hering’s APUSH classes for content to create a short video that will be put on between shows.

“They had their bank of lights and their cameras but they just introduced themselves to my students and they were really nice guys,” Hering said. The cameramen filmed Hering and her students, and later interviewed Hering for the video. “The producer Josh knows Keven [Wynkoop] they’re old friends… he was really comfortable being here and he put me at ease.” she said.

When PBS creates a new documentary they hold a training for teachers to show how the documentary can be used in class. “Last year in November Mr. Feise and I went to a training at channel nine for a new documentary called ‘Africans in America: Many Rivers to Cross’ by Henry Lewis Gates from Harvard,” Hering said. After the training Hering showed Gates’ video to her class, using it to give her students more material to write a essay about slavery and the civil war.

One of her students told her he felt like he wrote a better essay because of the video, “and I graded it and he was right, it was a wonderful essay… and I just sent maybe a two or three sentence email to Tony Gomez at channel nine, the man who did our training,” Hering said. In her email she explained how helpful the video had been for her students.

“Tony sent my email to Henry Lewis Gates,” Hering said. Gates read the email and responded to Gomez, “and just that offhand comment made it all the way to Harvard and back.” Herring said.

Gates was happy to see that his video had been so helpful in the classroom, and the producer at channel nine let Hering know that her email made an impression.

Earlier this year the producers at the station reached out to Hering asking if they could  interview her to ask why channel nine, and documentaries, matter in the classroom.

In Hering’s class discussion, it was easy to see how the video had helped the students understand the topic. Students cited the video, pulling quotes and making connections while the crew of cameras followed the conversation, getting shots of students taking careful notes and engaging in Hering’s melange of lecture and seminar.

From Nov. 24 to the end of the school year the video will be shown between programing on Channel 9.

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For the love of public broadcasting