Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Broadly Speaking

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Broadly Speaking

Article excerpt

This month we speak to Sue Breckinridge, the Vice President of Public Affairs for the Time Warner Cable Charlotte Division. She's been in the industry since 1991. The Charlotte Division of TWC has won 5 national industry awards and 3 state awards for education projects.

T.H.E: How can cable programming be thoroughly integrated into existing curricula?

Breckenridge: Our commitment includes workshops to help teachers understand how to use this commercial-free educational programming creatively in their classrooms. The programmers (like CNN, Discovery, The History Channel and A&E) provide more than 540 hours of commercial-free, copyright-free educational programming every month. In addition, many of the programmers provide free lesson plans, developed with the assistance of teachers to ensure their applicability to current curricula. Cable operators and programmers work with state and national curricula development organizations, as well as local staff development offices to ensure these lesson plans meet state and local guidelines and objectives. The key for teachers is to work with their local cable operator. We try to make integration of our programming into their classrooms as easy and creative as possible.

T.H.E.: What educational advantage is gained by using cable programming in the classroom?

Breckenridge: The student of the 90's grew up with television. They understand and relate to this method of communication, so using educational cable programming in classrooms is like "speaking their language." If the applicable program is aired during the evening hours, this kind of "viewing homework assignment" is fairly easy to implement. Cable reaches more than 60% of the population so chances are the students will have access to these programs at home. This also creates an excellent opportunity for parental involvement in their child's learning process.

T.H.E.: Does it enhance traditional methods of instruction or herald a new approach?

Breckenridge: I think a combination of both. Some teachers utilize cable programming in traditional ways by using cable programming as an adjunctive tool to their lesson plans while concentrating on the traditional message. …

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