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Educational Television - Essay Example

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These trends were caused by popularization of new medium and its advantages for common citizens. A great number of innovative educational TV programs were developed in the United States during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The major force behind many of these productions was the Children's TV Workshop (CTW), which combined the talents of educational advisors, professional researchers, and TV producers. The programs made by CTW were carefully crafted pieces of TV which were guided by detailed research among members of target audiences. "The establishment of the Carnegie Commission in 1965 was critical to the survival of ETV" (Educational Television n.d.). During the next decades, educational TV was also broadly funded in the United States, particularly by substantial grants from the Ford Foundation and later by the U.S. Office of Education. Concurrently, regional organizations attempted to promote audience selectivity when they listened to radio, including choosing "better quality" programs from circulated lists, and communicating with radio managers of stations and networks about programs (Children's Educational Television 2006).
Education TV is popular because it has a positive impact on learners abilities and knowledge level. Education philosophy variously features deduction by lecture and analysis, or induction from experience and discussion, or a combination of both forms of instruction. Researches prove that how well viewers are able to learn and remember from TV can depend significantly on how the information is presented. Production practices routinely adopted by TV editors, for example, may result in programs which present too much information, too quickly, and with built-in (often visual) distractions. Under these conditions, even interested viewers may flounder. Ultimately, though, whether or not children learn from TV depends on a mixture of factors which relate to viewers' background knowledge and interests, reasons for watching TV, degree of concentration and attention while viewing, and the way that programs are produced (Razel 2001).
Some of educational TV productions are broadcast as part of mainstream TV for children, while others have been specially made for schools audiences. An impressive range of schools programs has been produced over many years in the USA, although these have met with a mixed reception from teachers and children. A considerable body of research has revealed that educational TV does have potential to improve children's knowledge about a variety of subjects. Failure to fulfill this potential frequently stems from program-makers' misunderstanding of audience needs, interests and learning abilities. When audience research is used wisely, however, some very effective, as well as popular, productions have resulted. It was found that with educational TV programs that contained more than one theme, recall and comprehension levels again indicated that children can and do learn from such programs. The children correctly recalled 60 per cent and correctly understood 53 per cent of material tested from these programs These global figures, however, conceal significant age differences. Older children generally scored much higher than younger children. Age was also highly correlated with general knowledge (Flew, 2002). It is possible that older children have more background knowledge to call upon and better information-processing skills. Indeed, ...Show more


Educational television is one of the tools used by parents and teachers in educational process. The new method draws serious as its presence becomes ever more widespread, stretching beyond occasional evening and weekend leisure time to most waking hours, and pervasively infiltrating the public's consciousness…
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