Monday, March 16, 2020

A Simple Suggestion For Broadcasting School Lessons

When Eli was but a little bunny, New York City owned a radio station, WNYC, which during the day would broadcast school lessons. Some of them were for extra credit as it were, interesting stuff that teachers could play in their classrooms during the school day. Broke up the monotony of reading, writing and adding stuff up (Eli was a little bunny, little algebra, no calc). But there were also things that kids stuck at home sick could learn from and not bug mom (most often) for an hour or more.

Thus a small suggestion:

Television stations could use their sub channels to broadcast lessons for the kids at home. Cable broadcasters have even more room for learning channels. If they were feeling nice, a lot of this could be openly streamed so all that was needed would be a cell phone

There are broadcast ready materials from online open ed efforts, but it should be possible to recruit from the local ed folk

Here is a place to start

105 tools for distance learning and strategies for student engagement


Currently open for the emergency

Math lessons by grade K-12

The Wayback Machine has some curated educational sites

Added 3/16 Curricula and other material from Minnesota


Tom said...

The good folks at Udemy, Coursera and particularly the Khan Academy might look at your proposal with a bit of horror.

EliRabett said...

Things are moving very quickly, but IEHO the ability to stream an entire day's worth of lessons to K-12 could be quickly put into action and would relieve a lot of pressure on parents and kids.


Will Mayor diBlasio read the funny papers between lessons?

It worked for Fiorello

EliRabett said...

That would be fun. Eli would volunteer to fill in.

Bernard J. said...

Completely off-topic, Eli's nostalgia brings to mind my own experiences a number of decades ago when as a very young boy my class would tune into the Australian ABC's radio every afternoon and listen to half an hour (I think...) of a children's program called "Let's Join In." We had magazines that accompanied the broadcasts and I remember being absolutely engrossed by the lessons.

There was an entire ritual that surrounded this part of the day. The kids would watch the clock like hawks, and just before the broadcast was about to start the teacher would reach up to a big square bakelite box over the chalkboard at the front of the class and turn an equally impressively bulky bakelite knob to 'On'. There was no channel selection - the radio only received the ABC. The program would start with a theme that commenced: "Let's join in, it's going to begin..." but unfortunately the rest of it has faded from memory. There were stories, and pieces about history and science, and singing.

The whole program of such broadcast education ceased very soon after I started school, which saddened me at the time. Those were the days...

I've tried dredging up the old theme that kicked off the program but it seems to be entirely absent from the internet, as do any examples of the accompanying material that used to be distributed. It's a pity because they would be a fascinating snap-shot of public-sponsored broadcast education in Australia before Gen-X grew too cool for such quaint systems. I wonder if I'm the only one around whose memory keeps so much detail archived in a corner of a cluttered mind...?

EliRabett said...

No, that is exactly on topic. At the start production values for the lessons could be quite rough but there are real professionals out there who could quickly make school at home a highlight of the day, and there are ways to do it that would be accessible to almost all.

It would require money, but a lot of that is being thrown around. This, Eli says, would be a good place to throw it.

john aussie said...

john aussie registered on Discus

There is distance education in Australia.
This was originally School of the Air.
Using short wave radio communication children were given lessons.
Now the lessons are using the internet with satellite communication.
This is for children on Station Properties or otherwise in remote areas.