Join IdahoPTV and MontanaPBS for “Tech Talk Tuesday”

Join Idaho Public Television and MontanaPBS for Tech Talk Tuesday, a monthly online virtual discussion about teaching and learning with technology. The monthly discussions are hosted by Kari Wardle and Nikki Vradenburg, public media educators who are tech nerds and former classroom teachers!

The monthly discussions are held the last Tuesday of each month and feature teachers from both states sharing strategies, tips and tricks, and real-world solutions for integrating technology in your classroom.

This is NOT another boring webinar! Tech Talk Tuesdays are all about teachers talking about teaching and learning with technology! With more than 30 collective years in public education (and nerddom), Nikki and Kari have the expertise and ability to provide relevant and useful content for teachers. If you can’t join live, don’t worry, all Tech Talks will be recorded and archived on YouTube. Learn more at

“MontanaPBS is thrilled to collaborate with Idaho Public Television to host Tech Talk Tuesday for teachers in both of our states. The conversations are sure to be packed with great, just in time, information for teachers as they implement media and technology with students.  This is a rich opportunity for teachers in Montana and Idaho to share and learn together proving that in public media we are better together!”
— Nikki Vradenburg, MontanaPBS

“I am excited to partner with MontanaPBS to facilitate Tech Talk Tuesday. We recognize that teachers are being inundated with distance learning and remote teaching resources, so we hope that Tech Talk will provide teachers with the WHY and the HOW for using those resources. Additionally, we are proud to elevate the voice of innovative teachers from both of our states and showcase the amazing things they are doing. Please join us on the last Tuesday of each month. You won’t be disappointed.”
— Kari Wardle, IdahoPTV

Join Us for an Online Screening of ‘Barns of Idaho’

Please register to join us for a free online screening of Barns of Idaho, the newest film from Idaho Public Television’s original series Outdoor Idaho. The screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the filmmaker, Forrest Burger, and special guests Frank Eld and Dawn Dempsey.

The screening will be hosted on the interactive platform OVEE on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m. Mountain / 6 p.m. Pacific time. Viewers can RSVP to attend, and join in the live screening and discussion, using this link:

Barns of Idaho will air on Idaho Public Television on Thursday, Oct. 15, at 9 p.m. and will repeat Sunday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. Viewers can also stream Barns of Idaho through the PBS Video app or online at beginning Thursday, Oct. 8.

About ‘Barns of Idaho’

Idaho was built on agriculture and farming, and barns have always played a vital role in that history. When the Outdoor Idaho staff kicked around the idea of doing a show about barns in our state, we had no idea what kind of reaction we would get from our viewers. So, we decided to put a feeler out on Facebook. Boy, did we ever get some great feedback. Because, like preservationist Frank Eld says, “Everyone loves a barn!”

Barns of Idaho producer/director Forrest Burger says, “The response to the idea was almost overwhelming. And, more importantly, there were some great tips we got about barns that we pursued for the show.”

Although we’re not able to highlight all of the outstanding barns in our great state, we did our best to focus on some interesting ones and the stories that surround them.

About Filmmaker Forrest Burger

Producer/director Forrest Burger has been with Idaho Public Television for nearly two years. Prior to that he owned his own video production company for more than 20 years producing documentaries and corporate videos. He started his career as a photojournalist for CNN in Tokyo and later worked as a video editor for 60 Minutes in New York City.

About Panelist Frank Eld

Frank Eld was raised in the Finnish homestead in Long Valley, Idaho. After graduation from Columbia University in 1969, Frank founded the Preservation Society in Roseberry, Idaho. Frank is a recognized expert on Finnish log construction, researching and lecturing throughout the United States and Canada. His research has resulted in the book Finnish Log Construction, The Art. Since retirement, Frank continues his restoration work as well as chairing the Preservation Idaho’s Barn Register Committee. Frank also continues traveling across the upper United States locating and documenting Finnish communities and their log construction and working on his current book while studying for his master’s at Boise State.

About Panelist Dawn Dempsey

Dawn Dempsey, also known as “The Horse Rescuer,” is the founder of Survivors Rescue Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, providing sanctuary for abandoned, neglected and abused horses. She has been a lifelong advocate for animal rights and is dedicated to being “the voice for those that have none.” Her organization rescues horses from slaughter, rehabilitates them into lifetime homes, educates the community with hands-on horsemanship and animal well-being, and teaches awareness of equine health and welfare. Survivors Rescue Inc. also offers gelding incentives and promotes companion animals in therapy. Some of Dawn’s techniques that were once considered by veterinarians to be “not medically possible” are now being implemented at WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The generous support her organization receives means life for those she rescues.

IdahoPTV Announces Winners of PBS KIDS Writers Contest

For the 26th year, Idaho Public Television hosted the annual PBS KIDS Writers Contest. IdahoPTV’s three regional stations — KUID/Moscow, KISU/Pocatello and KAID/Boise — encouraged children who were in kindergarten through third grade during the 2019-2020 school year to write and illustrate their own imaginative story.

IdahoPTV received 154 entries. A team of volunteers judged the entries on creativity, originality, language skills and illustrations. Winners for each grade were chosen for each region of Idaho for a total of 34 winners.

On Saturday, Oct. 24, virtual awards ceremonies will be held online to celebrate these children and their stories. By Nov. 1, the winning stories will be scanned and uploaded in full color onto the IdahoPTV website.

Read the 2020 Idaho Public Television PBS KIDS Writers Contest winners here once they’re available.

“This year we had 154 submissions from around Idaho, and the stories were awesome. A few of them made me laugh until I cried,” says Katheryn Astle, IdahoPTV community education specialist. “Some of the writers drew from real-life experiences, others dreamed up imaginative adventures, and they all added wonderful illustrations. The PBS KIDS Writers Contest is a great way for children to engage in polishing their language skills and creativity — abilities that are vital in today’s world.”

Principal support for this year’s contest was provided by IDeal – Idaho College Savings Program

‘The Idaho Debates’ to Host Virtual Discussions with Senate, Congressional Candidates

This election season, The Idaho Debates on Idaho Public Television is temporarily shifting formats. Known for hosting live, in-person debates in the past, this election season — due to COVID-19 — The Idaho Debates will be comprised of pre-recorded Q & A sessions with the candidates conducted via video teleconference.

Candidates for Idaho Congressional District 1, Congressional District 2, and U.S. Senate have been invited to participate. Each candidate will be asked the same questions on issues relevant to their congressional or senate race. Those answers will be edited together to give voters a clear picture of where the candidates stand.

Each program will be broadcast on Idaho Public Television and available online at the following dates:

Friday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m. – Rep. Russ Fulcher, Rudy Soto and Joe Evans are scheduled to appear in the Idaho Congressional District 1 debate, which will be moderated by Marcia Franklin.

Monday, Oct. 12, at 8 p.m. – Rep. Mike Simpson and Aaron Swisher are scheduled to appear in the Idaho Congressional District 2 debate, which will be moderated by Marcia Franklin.

Friday, Oct. 16, at 8 p.m. – Sen. Jim Risch, Paulette Jordan and Natalie Fleming are scheduled to appear in the United States Senate debate, which will be moderated by Melissa Davlin.

Though these are unusual times, The Idaho Debates is committed to bringing Idaho voters information about candidates in their own words. Find the most up-to-date schedule of virtual debates at

The Idaho Debates is a collaborative effort among the Idaho Press Club, Boise State University’s School of Public Service, University of Idaho’s McClure Center, Idaho State University’s Department of Political Science, League of Women Voters’ Voter Education Fund, and Idaho Public Television. Our goal is to give the public an unbiased platform to hear the views of congressional candidates on the ballot. We do not support or oppose political parties or candidates.

‘The 180’ Celebrates the Power of Turnarounds

In her 1993 Nobel Prize lecture, the writer Toni Morrison recounted a fable of an old, blind, wise woman, weaving the tale with the multilayered prose that only Morrison could conjure.

In her version, two children exhort the woman to provide them with an honest appraisal of life, as well as guideposts for their future.

“Tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light,” they say. “Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.”

“Language alone,” they went on, “protects us from the scariness of things with no names.”

We find ourselves now in an often frightening time, with many nameless threats. But our combined wisdom — shared through language and story — can help us find a path.

That path is not always straight, though. Sometimes it means turning completely around. In that light, producer Marcia Franklin started a new online series called The 180. For it, Franklin is talking with people who’ve had to make a turnaround, either during this pandemic or in the past. By hearing their experiences, we, too, can gain a new perspective, one that can propel us in new directions.

You can find installments of the series in The 180 playlist on YouTube, and on the Dialogue on IdahoPTV Facebook page.

Inaugural guests include artist Erin Cunningham; Tamara Cameron, the executive director of the Boise Farmers Market; and Dana Marsh, the spiritual director of Heart of the Dharma.

“The process has been a 180 for me as well, as I try to navigate the vicissitudes of Zoom, a finicky editing program, and an aging computer,” Franklin says. “But it’s also been a great learning experience. And there’s a nimbleness that comes with being able to call someone up one day and record them the next day from my living room. We’re fortunate to have the tools to be much more connected than our ancestors were during their times of crisis.

“Years from now, we’ll be those ancestors, with our descendants looking back at us for clues about how we weathered this era. I hope The 180 will be part of that tucked-away archive that gets opened by a wide-eyed journalist or schoolchild tracing history’s breadcrumbs back to this moment in time.”

Marcia Franklin welcomes your story ideas for future installments. You can reach her at

Funding for The 180 is provided in part by the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation.

‘Dialogue’ Conversations With Writers Now Available as a Podcast

For more than 25 years, host Marcia Franklin has been bringing viewers “conversations that matter” on Dialogue. More than 150 of those conversations are with writers, many of them conducted at the annual Sun Valley Writers’ Conference.

Now you can take those interviews with you wherever go! A new podcast, Dialogue With Marcia Franklin, is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Libsyn and elsewhere. Search “Dialogue With Marcia Franklin” to find it on your favorite podcast platform.

This growing collection includes conversations with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, investigative journalist Jane Mayer, historian Annette Gordon-Reed, and the late U.S. Representative John Lewis.

One new interview will be added to the collection every Sunday beginning Oct. 4, so be sure to subscribe to the podcast so that new shows download automatically.

Classroom Idaho Fall Session Broadcasts Free Lessons for Home Learning

Access to the internet is difficult in Idaho and that’s why, with COVID and online learning, IdahoPTV is bringing the classroom to the viewer with Classroom Idaho: Learn@Home. Last spring when schools across the state shut down and moved to distance learning, IdahoPTV knew there were thousands of parents and students without internet access and/or devices to access high quality instruction. In response to that need, we launched Classroom Idaho, a broadcast service, received for free over the air that connects students with certified Idaho teachers.

Classroom Idaho fall 2020 is available for FREE across the entire state via over-the-air antenna. Fall school sessions will air on our CREATE Channel. Additionally, many cable providers broadcast the CREATE Channel in your area.

Lessons are taught by certified Gem State teachers, and are aligned to Idaho content standards. Hourlong K-6 modules will air Monday through Friday, beginning at 8 a.m., September 14 through December 18. *There will not be classes during Thanksgiving week.

Hourlong English language courses (ELL) will air on Mondays and repeat on Fridays at 3 p.m., September 14 through December 18. These courses will be for both children and adults. *There will not be classes during Thanksgiving week.

College and career readiness sessions will be offered on Mondays and repeated on Fridays at 4 p.m. These courses will be taught by academic advisors and help prepare students and parents for college and career. *There will not be classes during Thanksgiving week.

During the 14-week fall session, K-6th-grade students will be given standards-aligned direct instruction from a certified Idaho teacher via our CREATE Channel. Students in grades 7-12 can tune in directly after Classroom Idaho for quality PBS programming and secondary teachers can find links to corresponding teaching resources on our website at

IdahoPTV’s over-the-air broadcast channels are free to receive. All you need is an antenna. Our signal is available to over 99 percent of the households in Idaho. For information on where to find our CREATE Channel and other free channels in your area, or how to re-scan to find our channels, visit our website.

Our full channel lineup is also available on many major cable outlets around the state. Check with your local cable provider.

Idaho Public Television General Manager Ron Pisaneschi shared the station’s enthusiasm for the project noting that “We are pleased to partner with the Boise School District, Jannus, Idaho Digital Learning Alliance and the State Board of Education to use the power of public television to deliver these lessons to students and families in homes throughout Idaho. PBS has always been America’s largest classroom, but now we are bringing Idaho’s teachers and their lessons directly into students’ homes.”

“For anyone who has studied another language, excellent instruction and opportunities to practice are key. Partnering with Idaho Public Television allows us to provide remote learning in new ways. The IdahoPTV platform allows families to learn English and access lessons from the safety of their homes. These lessons are meant to help build language skills in children and parents and to provide opportunities for families to practice together.”
— Kate Udall, Manager of the English Language Center at Jannus

“The academic needs of our students are consistently at the forefront of our Board’s work. Now more than ever, we must utilize every tool available to support moving into the new school year. Classroom Idaho is one of those tools. Every opportunity we have to highlight these opportunities is time well spent. We see so many partners springing to action and we need every one of them. Leveraging the power of IdahoTV, we can bring the needed supports right to homes and to students.”
— Debbie Critchfield, president of the State Board of Education

CLASSROOM IDAHO is a partnership of Idaho Public Television and Boise School District, the English Language Center and the Idaho Office for Refugees (projects of Jannus), Idaho Digital Learning Alliance and the State Board of Education.

Double Your Contribution During ‘Democracy in Action’

More than 200 years ago Thomas Jefferson said, “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.” And as our country prepares for this fall’s elections, that statement is more timely than ever.

As Idaho Public Television and PBS prepare to cover the 2020 elections and shine a light on our democracy in action, your active involvement and continued support are vital. 

Public media plays a critically important role in our democracy as a bastion of accurate, impartial information, providing clarity and context in a confusing world. We hope you’ll agree that supporting public media and the trusted, informative and unbiased reporting it provides is more critical now than ever before.

A generous group of statewide donors has created The 2020 Democracy in Action Matching Gift Fund.  These donors strongly believe in the power of public media and have created a fund to match all gifts received between now and October 31, up to $40,000! 

CLICK HERE to make a donation now, and your gift will be matched – so you can double your gift and double your impact!

This viewer comment from April perfectly captures the importance of public media’s role in journalism and the upcoming elections: 

“In these perilous times, public television is a beacon of hope, like a lighthouse revealing the breakers upon which this ship of state could wreck. I’ve watched my whole life and hope to continue living and watching.” – C. Wolfe, Boise

Sincere thanks to these statewide donors who made generous contributions to create The 2020 Democracy in Action Matching Gift Fund:

A.J. and Susie Balukoff

Anne Voillequé and Louise Nelson

Thomas and Marilyn Beck

Doug Oppenheimer

Carol Lloyd

Thank you!

CLICK HERE to contribute now, and double your gift to support this vital coverage of our American democracy in action!

Educators, Parents Invited to Online Screening of New Science-Themed Series

Join Idaho Public Television on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 10/9 a.m. Mountain/Pacific for an online preview of the new PBS KIDS program, Elinor Wonders Why.

The half-hour preview will be immediately followed by a discussion with Kari Wardle, IdahoPTV’s education manager; Gracy Ruddy, our PBS Early Learning Champion; and Joan Cartan-Hanson, the writer and producer of IdahoPTV’s award-winning program and website Science Trek.  The panelists will share strategies for parents and teachers to spark inquiry and ignite curiosity with children. Parents and teachers can type their questions in the chat bar during the program and throughout the panelist conversation for an interactive experience.

This free preview screening and discussion will be hosted on the interactive online streaming platform OVEE. To register for the event, and to access the screening on Aug. 29, click here.

About ‘Elinor Wonders Why’

The stories in Elinor Wonders Why center around Elinor and her friends Ari, a funny and imaginative bat, and Olive, a perceptive and warm elephant.

In each episode, Elinor models the foundational practices of science inquiry and engineering design — including her amazing powers of observation and willingness to ask questions and investigate. When she encounters something she doesn’t understand, like why birds have feathers or how tiny ants build massive anthills, she just can’t let it go until she figures it out. And in discovering the answers, Elinor often learns something about nature’s ingenious inventions and how they can connect to ideas in our designed world, and what it takes to live in a community. Elinor Wonders Why encourages children and parents to ask their own questions and experience the joy of discovery and understanding together.

Along with the television series, Elinor Wonders Why will offer digital content for kids, parents and teachers. Elinor Wonders Why games will be available on and on the free PBS KIDS Games app, along with clips and full episodes streaming across PBS KIDS’ video platforms, including the free PBS KIDS Video app.

An Elinor Wonders Why app will also launch after the series’ debut. Parent resources, including tips and hands-on activities to extend the learning at home, will be available on the PBS KIDS for Parents site, and PBS LearningMedia will offer classroom-ready materials for teachers, including video excerpts, games, teaching tips and printable activities.

Special Guests Featured in Online Screening of ‘Ahead of Her Time’

Join Idaho Public Television and Idaho Women in Leadership on Tuesday, Aug. 11, at 8 p.m. (Mountain time) for an online screening of the new Idaho Experience documentary “Ahead of Her Time: Women’s Suffrage in Idaho.”

The half-hour screening will be immediately followed by a live Q and A with Emmy Award-winning documentarian Jennie Sue Weltner; Idaho Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb; Rebecca Scofield, Ph.D., assistant professor of twentieth-century American history at the University of Idaho; and NNU student leader Mariela Esquivel-Rodriguez. The discussion will be moderated by IdahoPTV producer Marcia Franklin, who did research and conducted interviews for the documentary.

The screening will be hosted here on the video streaming platform OVEE. Viewers can create an OVEE account (it’s free) and then participate in the screening and Q and A session through a computer or iPad with a strong internet connection.

The documentary will also air on Idaho Public Television (without the Q and A session) on Thursday, Aug. 13, at 8:30 p.m.

About “Ahead of Her Time: Women’s Suffrage in Idaho”

In August, America celebrates 100 years of voting rights for women with the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. By 1920 women in Idaho had already been voting in — and winning — elections for 24 years. The documentary explores how Idaho became the fourth state to grant women voting rights.

“The fact that Idaho granted women the right to vote almost a quarter of a century before the rest of the nation is a pretty remarkable story and one that isn’t part of the national narrative about the history of women’s voting rights,” says independent documentary producer Jennie Sue Weltner. “Ahead of Her Time explores how and why it happened in Idaho and shines a light on some of the remarkable women who made it possible.”

In late 19th-century America, the idea of voting rights for women was radical and considered the most extreme social experiment since post-Civil War reconstruction.

“That Idaho was so ahead of the nation on women’s suffrage is a source of pride for our state and a cause for both celebration and exploration,” says Weltner.

Most of the history about women’s voting rights focuses on the East Coast. However, Western states were leading the way. Wyoming granted women the right to vote in 1870, followed by Colorado (1893), then Utah and Idaho, both in 1896. Utah and Washington states granted women the right to vote earlier, then revoked the privilege. After Idaho, it took another 14 years for a state to grant suffrage to women.

The reasons why Western states granted women the right to vote are complex — and Idaho is no exception. Religion, race, politics, paternalism and prohibition all factor into Idaho’s decision. 

Ahead of Her Time: Women’s Suffrage in Idaho features regional historians and scholars on the subject and digs deep to uncover lost history. 

The documentary is a partnership between Idaho Public Television, Idaho Women in Leadership, and the Idaho State Historical Society as a legacy project for Idaho Women 100.  

Major funding for Idaho Experience is provided by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Anne Voillequé and Louise Nelson, Judy and Steve Meyer, the Futura Corporation, the Richard K. and Shirley S. Hemingway Foundation, the Friends of Idaho Public Television, the Idaho Public Television Endowment and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Ahead of Her Time: Women’s Suffrage in Idaho was independently produced by Jennie Sue Weltner with funding provided by Idaho Women in Leadership, the Pottenger Family Foundation, Zions Bank, Idaho Power, and Midas Gold.

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