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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014

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Chris Lazarski (right), a teacher at Wauwatosa West, recently spent two weeks in Oujda, Morocco, as a "Teachers for Global Classrooms" fellow.
Chris Lazarski (right), a teacher at Wauwatosa West, recently spent two weeks in Oujda, Morocco, as a "Teachers for Global Classrooms" fellow. (Photo: Chris Lazarski/Twitter)

Wauwatosa teacher earns spot in national PBS program

Chris Lazarski, a teacher at Wauwatosa West High School, has been named a 2014 PBS "LearningMedia" Digital Innovator by PBS "LearningMedia," an on-demand digital media service from PBS offering more than 35,000 digital resources for educators.

In April, PBS "LearningMedia" and Milwaukee Public Television selected 100 educators for the program, which rewards tech-savvy K-12 educators from across the country that incorporate digital media into their classroom.

"I am looking forward to participating in PBS LearningMedia’s year-long professional development program," said Lazarski, who teaches 10th grade Global Studies, and 11th grade American Public Policy and Journalism at Wauwatosa West High School.

"I am excited to learn new ways to adapt and use instructional technology from my fellow Digital Innovators as well as integrating more of the excellent resources available from PBS ‘LearningMedia’ and Wisconsin Media Lab."

Lazarski is an advisor for the extra-curricular student print, web and video journalism programs, helps develop curriculum for the weekly homeroom program, and is part of a small team which runs the 9th grade transitions "Link Crew" program.  Also, he recently spent two weeks in Oujda, Morocco, as a "Teachers for Global Classrooms" fellow, which is a year-long program sponsored by the U.S. State Department.

"Of course, I am even more excited to bring these new ideas to the students in my classroom to spark their learning and to share them with my outstanding and passionate colleagues in the Wauwatosa School District," he said.

 Lazarski said his favorite resource from PBS "LearningMedia" is an overview of civil rights activist Diane Nash, which he accessed from the Wisconsin Media Lab’s website at WIMediaLab.org. The Wisconsin Media Lab, an educational partner of PBS and MPTV, keeps cost-free multimedia educational content.

"MPTV is thrilled that a 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator has been named right here in MPTV’s viewing are…

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Disney's "The Jungle Book 2" was released on Blu-ray for the first time this spring.
Disney's "The Jungle Book 2" was released on Blu-ray for the first time this spring.

"Jungle Book 2" a great Blu-ray companion to the original

Sequels and film updates are always tricky. One wonders if the magic that was created in the first film will only build in the next installment, or if it will simply fade and not be the same in the second.

But when enough time passes, it is doubtful that the current generation is even familiar with the original. When Disney released "The Jungle Book 2" in 2003, it was far removed from the original that hit theaters in 1967.

I wouldn’t say that the magic fades, nor does it build. It simply is a nice companion to the original film, building on the relationships of the characters in and out of the jungle.

Last month, Disney released "The Jungle Book 2" on Blu-ray, and I had the opportunity to screen it with new musical numbers and tip of the hat to the older, original tunes.

As this film stands well enough on its own, it does make for a perfect companion to "The Jungle Book" that was released on Blu-ray as well earlier this year.

Parts of the two stories are still the same. Shere Kahan the tiger is still looming in the woods, and Mowgli has a swinging good time with Baloo the bear.

What is different is that Mowgli just wants to return to the good times of the past, but he forgets the dangers that still remain outside of the village.

The relationships between the characters have a lot of heart, and I believe it was Walt Disney’s take on the first film that brought that trait to what was a darker tale written by Rudyard Kipling.

"The Jungle Book 2" continues the light-hearted story and builds on the strength of those relationships to entertain children and adults alike.

"The Jungle Book" is known for Disney’s first time taking well-known actors and putting them in animated roles. Phil Harris, known for his full voice and famous laugh while working with radio and TV great Jack Benny, won audiences over as the care-free Baloo. In this second film John Goodman provides the bear’s voice and laugh, who acts as a big brother to the man-cub.

A young Haley Joel…

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