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Educational Television Is Praised By School Superintendent

March 19, 1970

Third of a series

By Rowland Bond
Spokane Daily Chronicle

Is educational television really educational?

Does it warrant a substantial increase in the cost of the total education program?

Dr. Albert L. Ayars, city school superintendent who has served here during the time station KSPS-TV has been in operation, believes an affirmative answer to both questions is more than justified.

And a big majority of teachers seem to agree that the daily classroom program has been greatly strengthened.

“Change and improvement usually add to the instructional cost, and television is as an improvement,” he said. “It has enabled us to do a better job and the school districts that subscribe to our service feel they have benefited, too.”

“Spokane is bearing the brunt of the cost now, but as time goes on, our prospects for greater outside participation will result in stronger financial support from the participating districts. Montana schools are showing a real interest, and we feel improved support from Columbia Basin schools is forthcoming.”

Olive A. Lowry, curriculum director, and Robert H. Williams, assistant superintendent, are in daily contact with television in the classroom.

“While its use in the classroom seemed strange to the teachers at first, the children were not affected that way,” Miss Lowry said. “They had little or no trouble adjusting to it.”

She said she feels that by establishing its own station, Spokane has been able to develop a program fitted to the needs of the city and outlying areas.

Reactions Given

“The teachers themselves have had a chance to react to the offerings, and the follow-through has allowed a continuing development and readjustment,” she said. “Teachers note the techniques that spark the child’s interest, then come back to offer suggestions during the in-service programs that are conducted for teachers immediately after the regular classroom day has ended.

“We are able to repeat certain programs so that teachers are able to have greater flexibility in scheduling.

“Educational television has emphasized the fact that some children are ‘eye-minded.’ They may learn well in situations involving sight, while their response to words and sounds may be limited. And children in general do not separate learning from entertainment. If learning and entertainment can be constructively combined, learning becomes an exciting experience.”

There is not a child in the city public schools who does not have some classroom contact with programs offered by KSPS, and several programs actually are produced with the help of the children themselves. Book reviews are conducted by the children, and the program “Crossroads” features students and visiting lecturers. At the junior high and high school level, “Teen Talk” covers such subjects as budgeting, grooming and health.

Television is used in the teaching of French in grades 4 through 6, and Marion G. LeFevre, foreign languages consultant, this year has Jeanine Long of Marseilles, a visiting teacher, as an assistant in the French program.

Through the videotape process, some transient programs that cannot be worked into the regular classroom program are available for use as needed and as time permits.

Guide Printed

Teachers are provided with a study guide (printed by the district at a cost of $1.40) and with “feedback sheets” for comment. Typical of these is one from a third grade teacher in Davenport. Commenting on the program “You and Eye,” she said, “This is a great program. By watching Linda Schmid, the children are able to follow her instructions and, with some follow-up by the teacher, they can do many more creative things.”

Virginia Savage, a fourth grade teacher in Ephrata, said that by preparing in advance for a program, the children can compare their own research with the facts outlined by the television teacher.

Thursday, March 19, 1970

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From → KSPS

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