Television has played an important role in family households for decades, and educational programs have been shown to benefit young children. However, with more and more programming being found online, the way that our families are watching TV is changing. Today, the number of videos available online and the size of those online videos are skyrocketing, as more people are ditching traditional cable TV and turning instead to our Internet-enabled devices as a way to watch our favorite programs. Fortunately, this is making the delivery of educational programs to children even easier, and there are numerous benefits to this technology that parents, teachers, and students can enjoy.
The Benefits of Internet TV on Education
The Internet allows businesses to operate more efficiently, so it is no surprise that the field of education has jumped on the bandwagon. In fact, there are numerous ways that Internet TV can improve the field of education.
Internet TV Offers Greater Reach and Accessibility
Internet TV and other technologies used in web content distribution can provide a vital role in delivering distance education. This delivery method can be especially beneficial for students who live in rural or inaccessible areas, or it can be useful to educate students who are unable to attend a traditional school setting due to behavioral issues, medical concerns, or other problems. Internet TV can also be used to discuss sensitive or uncomfortable topics like sex with younger people who might be too uncomfortable to talk about the issue in-person. By taking advantage of educational Internet TV, parents and teachers alike can ensure that all students are getting a thorough and proper education.
Internet TV Features Can Better Facilitate Learning
Many educators have described the user-friendly properties of Internet TV and how these features can lead to greater learning. Students, parents, and educators can use video features throughout their TV watching experience. For example, if a student needs to review something, they can use the Rewind feature, while pushing Pause or Stop will give them a chance to ask questions, write things down, or do further research on their own. These features allow students to learn at their own pace, which isn’t always available in a traditional learning environment. Even live TV channels generally archive programs so that students and young people can watch them again later.
Internet TV Can Connect Children to New Experiences
It is sometimes difficult for children to consider the world from beyond their community, but Internet TV can allow them to learn about different places and people. While traveling is arguably the best way to engage in this type of learning, this isn’t always an option, especially families with young children. Internet TV can help to open up a child’s world, whether this is through watching programs with multicultural characters or viewing documentaries. Internet TV is the best way to keep yourself updated with what is going on in the world, and it is extremely beneficial for children to also take advantage of this opportunity.
Internet TV Can Connect Children to Good Role Models
Children will be influenced by the people that they see on TV programming, and in some cases, this can be a positive experience. When educational TV shows promote a positive agenda like environmental awareness and healthy living, children will be influenced to make good choices in their lives, as well.
Education Via TV is Especially Important during the Pre-School Years
TV has been shown to serve as an important educational tool throughout the pre-school years, so allowing young children to watch educational TV channels online can make it easier for young families to access these programs. Researchers from the University of Texas found that kids who spent time each weak watching educational programs achieved higher academic test scores later in life than students who didn’t watch those educational TV programs. Researchers have also found that young children who watched educational TV as preschoolers engaged in more book reading as teens.
It is important to differentiate between watching TV shows that are educational with those that are purely for entertainment. Researchers found that students who spent many hours watching entertainment programs actually had lower test scores than the children who watched a few hours of educational programs. While TV can certainly be an important vehicle for children to gain some early learning, it is important that these Internet TV programs are educational in nature in order to reap the rewards.
Studies predict that by 2019, approximately 80% of the Internet will be made up of online TV and video. Much of this online TV can provide educational opportunities for children, and this is something that teachers, parents, and students should be prepared to utilize.