The Open Classroom: Distance Learning in and out of Schools

By Jo Bradley | Go to book overview

Chapter 9

Education by television: Telecurso 2000

João Batista de Araujo e Oliveira, Claudio de Moura Castro and Aimee Verdisco


Why education by television is not dead

In all but the poorest countries, television sets are commonplace. They have permeated far down into our social strata and have become a conventional and ubiquitous means of communication. By being everywhere and accessible to almost everyone, television has proved to be a convenient and cost-effective means for promoting and delivering education. Sesame Street, for instance, was launched in 1969 as an innovative way to supplement educational opportunities for children in the United States; the series is currently aired in 144 countries. And over the 30-plus years of its existence, there has been a proliferation of other educational programmes and projects. Kentucky's Educational Television, for example, features a lively classroom linked by closed circuit television to other schools that lack teachers in the subject at hand. South Korea supports a programme for high school drop-outs.

With technology creeping into all walks of life, these types of programmes appear to be strictly conventional uses of television. They are not particularly innovative by current standards, nor do they reach the masses. Indeed, in the United States, South Korea and many places in between, conventional schools deliver an adequate quality education to the masses of children and youth. Sesame

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