CYBERCHASE: THE NEXT FRONTIER
Cyberchase is the only mathematics series for children on U.S. television. Cyberchase is designed to engage children aged 8-11 in mathematics, help them develop knowledge and skill in math and problem-solving, and reinforce the usefulness of mathematics. The content of Cyberchase supports the 3rd-5th grade standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. While Cyberchase will continue to be broadcast nationally on PBS, this broad implementation proposal will expand access to Cyberchase's entire body of materials on a reconstructed online portal. This new digital portal will house all of Cyberchase's multi-media mathematics content including 94 episodes, over 50 online math games, and scores of activities. The portal will organize materials by math topic, allow for on-demand viewing and downloading, and create guided learning trajectories to make it easy and fun to explore a math concept more deeply. Ongoing outreach will sustain Cyberchase's PBS presence and its impact on communities. Multimedia Research will conduct front-end/formative evaluation to inform design decisions. MediaKidz Research and Consulting will help set up online tracking mechanisms in the prototype phase and will track and analyze data once the portal is launched. The project will partner with online content providers such as Yahoo Kids and NSDL's Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE) pathway, and Science Buddies to expand distribution and use. They will also work with existing partners, both in the formal and informal arenas, to introduce the new portal to a wider audience. These partners include the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM), Girl Scouts, Girls, Inc., National Engineering Week Foundation (EWeek), and VITAL (Video in Teaching and Learning). Cyberchase online currently attracts 500,000 unique visits a month. The proposed portal will continue to serve this audience in improved ways and serve new audiences who cannot or do not watch PBS stations. It will also provide a home for the material for the expanding numbers of young people who are spending increasing time online. Besides expanding access to Cyberchase materials, the new portal will be able to provide guided learning paths through which users will be prompted to navigate around themes or concepts. To test whether the new learning pathways succeed in encouraging children to use related media on the site, tracking mechanisms will be designed and the resulting data analyzed.