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EducationCan TV be more educational than books? If you have things like the History and...

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tesstyler84 | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted November 11, 2008 at 9:02 AM via web

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Education

Can TV be more educational than books?

If you have things like the History and Discovery Chanel they can be very education and informative.  You have visuals and pending on your learning type you might retain more.

Reading and lecturing often leaves you with 10% of what you've read and heard.  Now they have educational video games for children as young as 18 months.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 11, 2008 at 12:04 PM (Answer #2)

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Perhaps in some cases.  However, I fail to see how TV will substitute for hands-on learning and projects which target various learning styles and personalities.

I find that I don't always recall everything I've heard on TV, either.  I love the Learning Channel, Discovery, History Channel and National Geographic.  They are among the most watched in my household.  I do remember much of it, but not every single fact.  It is easier to be distracted by the phone, eating, conversation, etc. when you are not actively engaged in learning.

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lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted November 11, 2008 at 3:59 PM (Answer #3)

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You have a point about the visual aspect of TV, and there are some excellent programs available.  However, TV watching is far more passive than reading.  Reading requires the person to construct their own understanding of the material to a MUCH greater extent than does TV watching. Reading is not only interactive, the pace can vary as the person needs more, or less time, to process the material.  TV proceeds at its own pace.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 14, 2008 at 10:42 PM (Answer #4)

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In 1961 (before such worthy stations as Discovery, History Channel, etc) Newton Minow of the Federal Communications commission called television "a vast wasteland" of mediocrity.  Kurt Vonnegut, who wrote the story "Harrison Bergeron" concurred with this opinion; in his story Vonnegut suggests the importance of television as a means of controlling information.  Recently, jounalists surveyed across the country conceded that the media gave more favorable coverage to one candidate for president this year. In the first televised presidential debate, John F. Kennedy had "lost" according to a poll of radio listeners who heard.   But, television viewers said he had won.  On camera JFK looked so much better than his opponent. Ever since Goebbels of World War II, people are aware of the polititcal and psychological influence of television.  Television is certainly more influential, but studies show that brain waves of reading students are much more active.  Readers have better attention spans and command of their language, as well.

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pward55 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 10, 2008 at 2:24 PM (Answer #5)

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In some cases, television and other forms of visual aids can help some children who are not good readers grasp a concept that otherwise would be difficult to teach.  I have found that in my teaching, I will use some visual aids, such as videos to introduce a literary concept, however, I always stress to my students that this is an 'aid', a way to 'help' them 'get it'.  I rarely use a video in its entirety.  For one thing, my students are so very social sometimes that they will talk throughout the video and miss everything I want to teach.  I do believe that television has made us all very passive.  Our students don't 'think' enough for themselves.  They enjoy being spoon-fed.  I have found it very disheartenting that they are unable to write, creating images in their own minds.  They have a difficult time using their senses to create imagery and exploit their imagination.  I have found also that when I give them writing assignments, I will often give them something very simple (a thimble), or a picture with no words and force them to have to think about creating a story around it.  This has been the start of my writing process. Television has its place and I'm a big advocate of Discovery, Animal and other educational channels, but I hardly think that it can or ever will be the best way to educate.

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jenp1630 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted January 10, 2009 at 6:32 AM (Answer #6)

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The use of TV and other forms of media can be useful, especially to those who are visual learners. However, I feel that people (children, especially) associate television with entertainment. This can hinder the learning process to a degree. I do use visual aids, such as my computer and a projector, in order to help those students who are visual learners. However, I stress the importance of reading and researching through books or means other than media. I believe a good balance is the best answer.

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bhsonline | College Teacher | Honors

Posted April 26, 2010 at 9:30 AM (Answer #9)

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In 1961 (before such worthy stations as Discovery, History Channel, etc) Newton Minow of the Federal Communications commission called television "a vast wasteland" of mediocrity.  Kurt Vonnegut, who wrote the story "Harrison Bergeron" concurred with this opinion; in his story Vonnegut suggests the importance of television as a means of controlling information.  Recently, jounalists surveyed across the country conceded that the media gave more favorable coverage to one candidate for president this year. In the first televised presidential debate, John F. Kennedy had "lost" according to a poll of radio listeners who heard.   But, television viewers said he had won.  On camera JFK looked so much better than his opponent. Ever since Goebbels of World War II, people are aware of the polititcal and psychological influence of television.  Television is certainly more influential, but studies show that brain waves of reading students are much more active.  Readers have better attention spans and command of their language, as well.

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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted June 29, 2010 at 8:47 AM (Answer #10)

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Sometimes television can be very educational because content can be viewed instead of being read. It also depends on what topic we are talking about. A great deal can be learned from many television programs such as programs on Animal Planet or National Geographic. Reading is still incredibly important-I cannot stress that enough. Many students today hate to read and that is very sad.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 26, 2011 at 2:20 PM (Answer #11)

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I don't see why we have to choose one or the other. Some books are educational and some are not. Some television programs are educational and some are not. The advantage of TV is that it is both auditory and visual. The advantage of a book is that you can read at your own pace, taking the time to absorb the content slowly.
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dano7744 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted May 28, 2012 at 3:31 PM (Answer #12)

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I think it depends on the learner. Some learn better with visual aids. I really think audio-visual aids should be used as an adjunct to the text. In other words, use AV tools in addition to, not instead of. Most will agree that true learning comes from digesting the text and thinking about the material.

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acompanioninthetardis | TA , Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted June 18, 2014 at 3:49 AM (Answer #13)

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This depends on the person themselves, im a book person but will not hesitate to go to a video or a power point for reference or help. It is true that TV and videos may enable some people to remember better because of the whole audio visual factor, but i feel that having the words read to you is not as effective as reading the words out loud to yourself. True places like the history channel and discovery channel are very informative but in the end how much of that information can you recall? chances are its usually very little because i think that there is less effort required in listening and watching rather then actually reading out loud. just an opinion i'm offering but i do believe that for some people reading themselves is better, although admitting it is harder and sometimes you loose track of where you are at especially when it comes to subjects like history or science, i feel that you end up retaining a lot more of the information you read if you read it out loud rather then just jump into the subject by watching videos of it. 

When teaching the subject, what ive seen works best is having the lecture, then watching a video about it and then discussing the subject once more. 

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