Educational Television: The Next Ten Years

Educational Television: The Next Ten Years

Educational Television: The Next Ten Years

Educational Television: The Next Ten Years

Excerpt

For many reasons this has seemed a highly desirable time to take a hard look at educational television and at the problems and potentialities in its future.

For one thing, the number of noncommercial educational stations has now grown large enough to have a substantial impact. At this writing there are 56 educational stations operating. In the whole history of ETV only one station has failed--56 successes, one failure. This is an astonishing success figure for stations which have no commercial income and depend entirely on financial support from communities, school systems, colleges, and universities. Up to this time, the educational stations have proved hardier than anyone except "dreamers," as they were then considered, would have predicted ten years ago. And thanks to this hardiness, they are now numerous enough to make a real difference in the television opportunities offered Americans.

In the second place, instruction on television has now been tried and observed widely enough to let people judge its potential. The third year of the widespread program sponsored by the Fund for the Advancement of Education to try out television in schools has been completed. As a result of this and other programs, several millions of children have had part of their schoolwork by television. In Chicago, an entire junior college curriculum is on television. In a university like Penn State, a substantial number of courses are being taught by closed-circuit television, and this teaching is accompanied by well-designed testing to find out where and how television teaching is effective. One of the best features of the introduction of instructional television has been the research which has been built into a great many of the early trials. Later in this book, the point is made that more than four hundred experiments have been conducted on the effectiveness of teaching by television. Although much more research is needed, we are now in position to say something about what instructional television can do and what it can't, and what hope it holds for education.

In the third place, there are important stirrings in the field. A very large number of educational systems and institutions are deciding whether and when to enter instructional television, closed circuit or open. The question of channel allocations is in the air again, and with it the question . . .

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