The New York Times Knowledge Network, Texas Education Agency, and McDonald Observatory Add Astronomy Content to Project Share Online Teachers Community

30 June 2011

NEW YORK — The New York Times Knowledge Network and The Texas Education Agency (TEA), in collaboration with the University of Texas McDonald Observatory, announced today the addition of astronomy content to the Project Share online teaching community.


StarDate, the public education and outreach arm of The University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory, will contribute high quality video, podcasts, scripts and photos of astronomy and space exploration from its vast content library, to the Project Share environment.

StarDate’s information will supplement the existing content repository available on Project Share, which features more than 150 years of articles, video, and interactive features from The New York Times Knowledge Network Content Repository (NYTKN Repository), as well as content from Texas Education on iTunes U and the PBS Digital Learning Library.

Project Share utilizes Epsilen, an online learning environment with global networking, learning management tools and ePortfolios which offers educators a suite of tools for teaching, interacting, collaborating and assessment. Since Project Share’s launch in August 2010, more than 300,000 Texas educators have had access to professional development resources available from The New
York Times Knowledge Network.

“With Project Share’s extensive reach and Epsilen’s cutting-edge technology, we can provide unlimited resources to Texas teachers,” said Felice Nudelman, executive director, education, The New York Times Company. “Project Share exposes them to high-quality, valuable content and courses, and this relationship with the McDonald Observatory just broadens our offerings. And with Epsilen, teachers can collaborate, share best practices and build lessons together with fellow teachers throughout the state and across the globe.”

"We're glad to be a part of the New York Times Knowledge Network," said Sandra Preston, Assistant Director for Education and Outreach at McDonald Observatory. "We began broadcasting StarDate 34 years ago to fulfill one of our core missions, improving science literacy. Now the New York Times and the Texas Education Agency are helping us bring that content to Texas teachers in a new and exciting way. We know Texas teachers will find lots of creative ways to use our material in their classrooms."

The New York Times Knowledge Network, which uses the EpsilenTM platform, was launched in September 2007 to deliver lifelong learning programs on timely subjects. Through The New York Times Knowledge Network, extensive resources from The Times and other participating universities and institutions are readily available to students online, whether they are enrolled in an on-campus course or continuing their education through a distance learning program.

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Linda Zebian (The New York Times Company): 212-556-7153

Rebecca Johnson (StarDate/McDonald Observatory): 512-475-6763