In the four years since Georgia first established a satellite TV learning network, the state has spent millions of dollars putting the technology into its schools. But according to a University of Georgia study, more than a third of the state’s teachers say they never use it.
“We’ve got a lot of evangelizing still to do,” said Janie Smith, assistant director of PeachStar Education Services, the division of Georgia Public Broadcasting responsible for the network.
According to the study, 37 percent of the state’s K-12 teachers said they never use the PeachStar network in their classrooms, and another 20 percent reported they rarely do. Meanwhile, nearly 82 percent said they weren’t encouraged to participate in PeachStar training.
The state has spent $18 million on satellites and televisions to link its 2,200 public schools, colleges, and regional libraries to PeachStar. More money is added annually by the Legislature to produce and buy programs for the network. But most teachers who don’t use PeachStar said they already had too many demands on their classroom time.
PeachStar Education Services was created by former Gov. Zell Miller in 1995 with money from the state lottery. The network offers more than 3,500 educational programs to Georgia’s schools.