WHRO chief touts value received by Mathews schools

Charlie Koenig - Posted on Sep 19, 2012 - 02:36 PM

For an annual investment of less than $4,000, Mathews County Public Schools gets back nearly $700,000 in value from WHRO, most of it in the form of online courses, according to Bert Schmidt, president and CEO of the public media organization.

Schmidt and WHRO Chief Education Officer Brian K. Callahan shared the organization’s latest annual impact statement with the school board during Tuesday’s meeting, which was held in the Mathews High School media center.

While other Virginia public television stations have been forced to do away with their educational component as a result of the elimination of state funding, WHRO continues to create and offer 22 online courses in a wide array of subjects, from algebra and astronomy to chemistry, physics and history.

WHRO also offers digital media on demand, streaming over 5,000 video titles covering topics related to Virginia’s Standards of Learning, and has developed eMediaVA, a locally-owned and operated digital distribution system that features a library of tens of thousands of digital learning objects—audio, video, interactives, games, graphics, more—collected from organizations such as NASA, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. They also offer online professional development for teachers, among many other services.