To become a PBS LearningMedia contributor and begin training on our system, PBS member stations and content partners must first have a Content Contributor Agreement (CCA) in place. Use the following checklist to make sure you haven’t missed a step and are ready to contribute content. Contact us at email@example.com with questions.
- Execute a CCA. Fill out and sign a CCA with PBS LearningMedia. To receive a copy of this agreement, contact our Editorial Director at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You will need to have an agreement in place before you are trained on the CMS.
- Participate in CMS training. Sign up for CMS training. Participation in CMS training is most often accomplished in a webinar format, however, a station visit can be scheduled for in-person training.
- Review the platform Editorial Guidelines and Policies. Our editorial director will walk through these guidelines with you in your initial introduction to the platform.
- Review content templates on the platform and contact us with any questions you have about the best method to display your content.
- Review technical specifications.
- Publish your content.
- Learn where to go to track the performance of your content on PBSLM.
- If you are a PBS Member Station, please do the following:
- Attend a webinar to learn more about what other stations are doing to create and promote their content.
- Join our Basecamp of Station Educators to learn more about what your peers are doing on the platform.
Templates format how your content displays on PBS LearningMedia. Content contributors can choose from four distinct content resource templates:
- single media resource
- lesson plan
- interactive lesson
- media gallery
Familiarize yourself with these templates before you create content to ensure that the materials you create work well within the available templates.
Contact us at email@example.com with any questions.
Single Media Resource
Producers can create a single media resource that is featured on the site, along with supporting classroom content. You can select from any of the following asset media types to create your resource: video segment, audio, image, or a document. Keep in mind that video segments are not only the most common single media assets on our website but also the most popular with teachers.
- Video resource: Titans of Idaho Industry: Albertson & Simplot | Idaho Experience
- Audio resource: A Furniture Making Duo | Inside Appalachia
- Document: Amelia Earhart Reader | Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum
- Image: Major U.S. Climate Zones
EDITORIAL NOTE : Any media you provide on the site should be selected and, in many cases, edited or newly produced, with a particular educational objective in mind. The educational objective should be based upon relevant educational standards for a particular grade level or grade band. It should, in most situations, be sized to fit into a lesson (both in terms of the scope of information it covers and the length of time it takes to view.
You should also provide media that conveys the educational objective. Think about the following:
- What is most important to see, hear, and read about the educational objective?
- What else is important to include in order for students to meet the educational objective?
EDITORIAL POLICY: Each single resource must include at least two classroom support materials that provide guidance for educators on how to implement the media in the classroom. Learn more about support materials
Accessibility: Media should be accessible to all students. This means that anything auditory should include closed captions. Video should include closed captions. We encourage offering video in an alternate language, where possible; optionally we support video that includes auditory description, if your budget allows. Learn more about Accessibility
- PEEP and the Big Wide World: Stormy Weather ( Example with Descriptive Video Service (DVS) and Spanish language video, plus Spanish-English transcript and non-visual supports.)
- Clouds in Weather Patterns ( Example of Spanish language video and support materials with Spanish-English transcript and student handout translated into Spanish.)
Lesson Plan Template
Producers may prefer to lead with a traditional classroom lesson plan that provides specific guidance on the implementation of the materials and links, when applicable, to the corresponding media students will engage with to complete their work.
Lesson plans provide step-by-step guidance through a lesson that lasts up to one class period, or that may be segmented across multiple periods. We recommend lesson plans span no more than 1-3 45-minute class periods.
The lesson plan template can reference one or more media assets (which you can also present as part of a stand-alone resource). A lesson plan can target one or more particular educational content objective(s) and one or more standards-based practices.
- Puppet Play Lesson Plan | PINKALICIOUS & PETERRIFIC®
- Investigating Daily and Seasonal Weather
- Declaration of Sentiments: Close-Reading Activity
An interactive lesson allows a student to step through a sequence of online pages, which can contain text, media elements, engagement, and assessment activities. Interactive lessons are generally meant to be self-paced experiences, although a teacher can also present them to a full class (especially with pre-readers). The work that students do in an activity can be saved and submitted to their teacher.
Please contact our partners at WGBH to learn more about the interactive lesson platform.
Sample Interactive lessons:
- The Economic Impact of a Changing Middle Class
- Imperialism and the Spanish-American War
- Explore How Light is Needed to See Things ( This has handouts and support materials that have the same content as the online activities, so the teacher can lead the lesson on the whiteboard and students can draw along on their hard copy.)
A media gallery is a variation of a “stand alone” resource that includes more than one media asset and explores a concept or topic. A user can play through the media in a gallery in sequence, or in whatever order they need. Galleries are recommended when several (shorter) pieces of media are required to be used together to cover your educational objective.
- A media gallery contains two or more (ideally, not to exceed 6) pieces of media, such as images, documents, and video segments that are explored through a specific topic or lens that is contextualized for teachers in the companion support materials.
- Media galleries allow producers to lead with the media first and wrap the corresponding classroom materials, which can include the elemental pieces of a lesson plan, into the support materials.
EDITORIAL POLICY: Media Galleries must include classroom support material that provides educators with some guidance on how to implement them in the classroom. Learn more about support materials and exceptions to them.
Sample Media Galleries
- Women on the Job | Women in World War II (video and image gallery)
- The United States Enters World War I (video with primary sources)
- Global Winds (set of data animations/videos)
- The Transformative Power of Education
- Muzamil’s Day | The FRONTLINE Dispatch (audio gallery based on a podcast)
- Elements of Art (Form): National Gallery of Art (image gallery)
When you have 6 or more pieces of content that support a particular film, or explore a broader theme or topic, you can gather those materials into a branded collection. Collections can contain media galleries, single resources, lesson plans, and interactive lessons. They can be further organized by grade level and subject or topic. Here are some examples.
- Clifford the Big Red Dog - A collection of content designed specifically to complement the program.
- SciGirls - A large collection supporting the series and organized by theme.
- Paws for a Minute - A collection developed around a station community partnership.
- Teaching Women’s Suffrage - A collection of thematic content curated by stations and PBS.
Support materials accompany resources on PBS LearningMedia and provide the teacher or student with what’s needed to achieve the educational objective identified (in addition to the media). Every resource must have at least one (and recommended, at least two) support materials to provide educators with context and guidance on how to use the media in their instruction.
There are several categories of support materials you can provide with your resources:
- Using this Resource
- Teaching Tips
- Background Reading
- Discussion Questions
- Further Information
View the table below for more information on each type of suppport material.
|Using this Resource (Teaching Tips)|
Provides guidance for how educators can implement the corresponding resource in a classroom. This guidance may come in the form of Teaching Tips, or a Viewing or Educator Guide.
The most common type of support material used in the “Using this Resource” category. They provide the teacher with a set of recommended ideas for using the media with students. They do not provide a complete lesson plan, but are generally shaped around how to prepare students before they interact with the media, ways to help students focus while interacting with the media, and then ideas for what to do to reinforce or assess what students have learned from the media.
|Provides informational text that students can read to accompany the media. It can offer additional background information, or help reinforce certain points in the media. It should be written at an appropriate grade level for the targeted students. |
A variant of background reading can be developed for teachers, if they need additional context or a content refresher before using the media with students.
|Provide a quick way to follow up on media viewing. We recommend no more than 5 questions per resource. We recommend including previewing questions for students to consider, recall questions while watching the media, and reflection questions that challenge students to apply what they’ve learned. (For example: factual recall, understanding the concepts, and applying or analyzing what they’ve learned from viewing the media.)||How Does the Kepler Telescope Work|
|A structured mini-lesson that combines use of the media and things students do that are hands-on and/or away-from-the screen.|
|Can help students focus on key or unfamiliar words and terms in the media.|
|Can be useful for teachers who want to have students fill out worksheets or refer to other documents in relation to the media.|
Can be used to surface a specific related website, book, or article that may not be obviously found via a general Google search of the materials. Please keep in mind the following:
Any links provided in your materials should be limited to only the most important reference points for teachers and students, and from sources that are not only free and non-commercial but also have relative staying power. (Some examples might include content located on the National Archives and Library Congress websites.) URLs change over time and broken links negatively affect the perceived value of a resource. Be judicious with any related material you reference.