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FILMS BYKIDS: Inspire Learning with Cinematic Journeys

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST


Using Student Films as Catalysts for Cross-Cultural Understanding and Critical Thinking

Presented by Holly Carter, BYkids founder and executive director; Sandy Goldberg, Director of Education Programs at WNET; with Joe Troyen, founder of PenPal Schools
Sponsored by WNET


Their words. Their films.

This webinar was designed to give educators across the secondary curriculum insights into how documentary films by students can engage learners in the pursuit of global understanding, explorations of globally relevant issues, and ultimately serve as a catalyst for meaningful action. The presentation featured the new five-part series, FILMS BYKIDS, a partnership between THIRTEEN, the flagship station of PBS, and BYkids, a nonprofit organization. This documentary series brings the voices of five young filmmakers from different cultures to a wider audience through the reach of public media.

FILMS BYKIDS pairs master filmmakers, including the late Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter), Neal Baer (Under the Dome, Law and Order SVU) and Joyce Chopra (Smooth Talk) with teens around the world. The young filmmakers grew up grappling with the effects of exile, illiteracy, disease, ware and bigotry. Student filmmakers included the 17-year-old exiled king of Tibet; a girl from rural India striving for an education; an orphan in Mozambique; a Colombian girl displaced by civil war; and a Yemeni immigrant in New York, bullied because of her Islamic identity.

Holly Carter, BYkids founder and executive director, and Sandy Goldberg, Director of Education Programs at WNET, explored:

  • Approaches to fostering powerful classroom discussions
  • How to leverage messaging and context from documentary film
  • Strategies for guiding student reflection and critical thinking about globally-relevant issues
  • Techniques for using global pen pals to enrich and expand understanding from Joe Troyen, founder of PenPal Schools

Every educator who attended the live webinar will receive a complimentary copy of the collection of resources that accompany this five-film series that began airing on public television stations on January 24th. Films will also be available for free streaming on the FILMS BYKIDS website. Educator resources are available on PBS LearningMedia and on PenPal Schools. The presenters will field questions from attendees after the presentation. This webinar is for all secondary educators, especially those teaching social studies or journalism, as well as school librarians.

Join the How Video Empowers Education community to participate in online discussions with peers, for invitations to upcoming webinars, to view past webinar recordings, to take a quiz and receive a CE certificate for a past webinar, and for access to more resources.


holly carterHolly Carter is the Founder and Executive Director of BYkids. Holly started her career as a journalist at The New York Times and has worked for 20 years as a journalist, editor, documentary filmmaker, fundraiser and non-profit leader. Before founding BYkids, Holly ran the Global Film Initiative, a foundation bringing feature films from the developing world to major cultural institutions across the country in an effort to promote cross-cultural understanding. From 1999 to 2003, she produced Media Matters, a monthly PBS magazine show about journalism and concurrently worked as a consultant for The After-School Corporation, a non-profit initiative founded by George Soros that brings quality after-school programs to New York City public schools. In 1999, Carter co-founded North Carolina’s Full Frame Festival, which has grown to become the largest documentary film festival in the world. Before that, Carter co-produced the award-winning documentary, Margaret Sanger. From 1985 through 1988, Carter was a journalist and editor in the Business Section of The New York Times, and from 1988 through 1990, she served as a writer and editor on the Editorial Page of The Times, for which she received numerous awards, including a Publisher’s Award.


sandy goldbergSandy Goldberg is Director of Education Programs at WNET, where she is responsible for the strategic development, planning, implementation, and management of educational initiatives to provide valuable resources to educators and extend the reach of WNET programming. In that capacity she conceptualizes and directs the design, production, and dissemination of standards-aligned digital classroom and professional development resources. Ms. Goldberg has worked in the education field for over 30 years and is an experienced classroom teacher, technology staff developer, and educational software producer. Since joining WNET as a senior producer in the Education Department in November 2002, Ms. Goldberg has produced numerous educational projects associated with PBS broadcasts. She received an M.A. in Curriculum and Teaching from Columbia University Teachers College, and a B.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University.


joe troyenJoe Troyen is the founder of PenPal Schools, an organization that connects over 70,000 students from more than 85 countries to learn together through online PenPal exchanges.  Before starting PenPal Schools Joe worked for 5 years designing software for Education and other industries, taught English in Spain, and researched the effectiveness of after-school programs in the Bronx.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Pomona College and is passionate about connecting learners and expanding educational opportunities around the world. Follow him on Twitter @mrpenpal.



A CE certificate will be emailed to live attendees within 24 hours of the live event.
If you miss the live session, a link to view the recording will be sent within 24 hours of the live event.

wnet educationWNET’s award-winning Education Department (collectively representing the station efforts of THIRTEEN, WLIW21, and NJTV) is a local and national leader that engages the education community (formal and informal) through the development and delivery of high-quality and innovative media and services that are designed to enhance learning, enrich lives, and extend the impact of public media content.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST
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