Articles For Teachers

Use Media Education  |  Use TV Positively
Stanford Study  |  Stanford Curriculum

In the classroom (just as at home) television can be used positively or negatively. Television and video programming must be used to stimulate discussion and critical thinking. Fortunately, there are more quality materials available than ever before.

General Guidelines for Teachers

Learning Objectives
Start with specific, identified objectives.
Lead-In Activities
Lead-in activities should set the tone for viewing and let students know how the program material relates to previous lessons or subsequent activities.
Segmented Viewing Activities
Segmenting (showing only a portion of the program at a time, or pausing the video during viewing) can be a valuable technique to enhance students’ learning while enabling you to adapt the medium to your teaching style.
Follow-Through Activities
Activities should be planned to reinforce and integrate concepts presented: Role-playing, Research, Small group work, Field trips, Producing a class video.
Your evaluation of the success of the lesson is an important part of any instructional process.

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Use Media Education
Media education, (or "media literacy training") should become an integral part of classroom work. Students watch more hours of TV than they spend in school, so the "tube" is a huge influence over their lives. Media education in the classroom can be highly effective at helping students break the cycle of mindless absorbtion of commercial messages and oversimplified reality; critical thinking skills will help them imn every aspect of life. Media education helps undo the serious health effects (obesity, aggressiveness, eating disorders) that excessive TV watching produces.

Use TV Positively
Fortunately, the positive media resources today that are available to teachers are truly phenomenal. Use the television in your classroom to stimulate thought and conversation, not as a soporific babysitter. Television is best at conveying human emotion, and is also excellent to take us places we cannot go. It is not the best medium for detailed examination of complex issues. Brief sections of programs followed by class discussion are best.

Stanford University Study
While many studies have correlated exposure to violent media with aggressive behavior in children, Stanford University researchers have shown that such behavior can be unlearned by reducing the exposure.

"Reducing television viewing really will work to decrease kids' aggressive behavior," said Tom Robinson, MD, MPH, assistant professor of pediatrics and of medicine.

Stanford University Curriculum
The experimental curriculum used in the Stanford study is simple and easiliy implemented by teachers. The curriculum is not yet generally available; but as soon as it is you will be able to obtain it through this page.