PA Cyber Goes Super

Interactive technology takes students to site of Super Bowl XLV

DALLAS, Jan. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Veteran Pittsburgh sports broadcaster and Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School instructor Ellis Cannon is taking his students to Super Bowl XLV – and inviting football fans across the U.S. to join them.

Through the school's groundbreaking program, the Ellis Cannon Academy of Sports Media and Broadcasting, Cannon will use interactive technology to allow PA Cyber students to experience the world of Super Bowl sports coverage through their home computers.

Live online chats from 5 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 1, through Friday, Feb. 4, are prepared for his students, but open to any football fan who would like a unique, behind-the-scenes view of game day media preparation. Anyone wishing to join the conversation during those times can link to the chat room on the PA Cyber website.

Cannon is in Dallas to participate in media events leading up to Super Bowl XLV, when the Pittsburgh Steelers will face the Green Bay Packers. In addition to classroom video chats, Cannon, a longtime radio and television personality in Pittsburgh, will also be providing daily updates to radio stations throughout Pennsylvania - via RadioPA, a 63-station network - as well as Ohio, Maryland and West Virginia.

A former game-day anchor and broadcast team member of the Pittsburgh Steelers Radio Network, Cannon is a veteran when it comes to the NFL's biggest event. "Capturing this experience for the students is thrilling," said Cannon, who is also the publisher of Pittsburgh Sports Report, KidSports Magazine and A Parents' Guide to the Young Athlete. "I feel an incredible sense of responsibility to serve as a direct connection to the game and preceding events for fans and it is rewarding to bring that to the classroom," he said.

A former trial lawyer with dozens of national television appearances on sports and sports law issues, Cannon will offer additional extended daily coverage at www.pittsburghsportsreport.com and www.elliscannon.com, including an innovative combination of online audio and video featuring daily player and coach interviews as well as nightly video webcasts emanating from the Dallas Sheraton, the officially designated media center.

"This is really exciting since the Steelers are in the Super Bowl," said Anthony Priore from Pittsburgh, a junior in PA Cyber who is enrolled in the Ellis Cannon course along with his brother Daniel, a sophomore. Anthony Priore is looking at colleges that offer a journalism major and hopes for a career in sports media.

So does ninth-grader Erika Schneider from Butler County, just north of Pittsburgh, another member of what she called Cannon's "wonderful" online class. She plans to log into the chat room to follow students' questions and Cannon's comments. "It will be fun. You never know what will come up in conversation," she said.

Priore said he is a huge sports fan but has always been on the receiving end of sports news. The Ellis Cannon class is teaching him how professionals gather news and "convey it to the fans," he said.

Linda Burkley, a vice president of the Butler Media Group, a group of small market radio stations in western Pennsylvania (WISR and WBUT AM, and FM 97.7) said her stations will be among RadioPA Network members broadcasting the two-minute news segments that Cannon sends back every day from Dallas.

"Any small market radio station that has the opportunity to offer professional commentary from the biggest football event of the year — especially when the Steelers are playing — is thrilled," said Burkley. "Ellis's idea to deliver this type of coverage to small market stations in and around Pennsylvania is truly exciting and innovative, especially when you add on the opportunity Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School is providing to its students."

The Ellis Cannon Academy of Sports Media and Broadcasting course is a two-semester program at PA Cyber, Pennsylvania's largest online K-12 public school. The unique online class, hosted by veteran sportscaster Ellis Cannon, introduces high school students to practices and history of print, radio, television, and online sports journalism. Professional sports writers and broadcast journalists are regular guest presenters in the virtual class conducted over the Internet.

The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is the premier online K-12 educational provider for students and their families in combining the best technology, personal instruction and approved curriculum with highly qualified teachers. PA Cyber is a public charter school with more than 10,000 students.

CONTACT: Fred Miller of Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, fred.miller@pacyber.org, +1-724-777-5918

SOURCE Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School



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