Television & Education

Can television be used as an educational tool?

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Education is very important to all and everyone learn in different ways. Television can be used as a great educational tool in many ways. Because you may forget what you’ve read somewhere, but it may be easier to recall something you’ve watch on television. Some prefer books and the traditional ways of learning. But some learn better with oral or audio instructions and visual aids. I think it should be a balance of both books and television.

Television can never take the role of a teacher/instructor but if you combined classroom work, hands on approach, and television together it can be a very useful tool to educate. It can prepare preschoolers for success in the classroom.

Before children start school, they learn many basic and fundamental tools from television. Most kids learn the alphabet and how to count from shows like Sesame Street and Barney. As children get older there are many story-telling shows that either feature stories with good morals or they tell masterpiece stories like Hercules, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and more. Some of these stories are now a part of our culture and children know and understand them because of television (

One thing that concerned me over the years is how parents let the television basically become the babysitter for their children. Television is a great learning tool and even teaches how to be more sociable but you want to watch television in moderation.

I remember being a babysitter as a teenager. And when I noticed the kids spent more time watching television programs then they spent with parents. I promised myself not to ever let television raise my child. Not only does it have a major influence on the children due to the fact that children sometimes take television literally and don’t understand some of the programs are make-believe. But letting children watch too much television, takes away from family time together, and doing outdoor activities which builds much needed muscles and mobility that young children need since they are still developing. Television can be both a form of entertainment and as an educational tool. But keep in mind as a parent you can allow your children to watch television as entertainment but in a responsible way.

Some people prefer to read contents, but the new generations are so used to technology, they rather learn through visuals and audio aids. For example, if a student learn through a video lecture versus a text book. They are more like to remember what they’ve thought. Why? I think it’s easier to remember a song then poetry.

Notice when reading children’s books, how the pictures help the child understand the story. If they can see the picture on the television screen and hear the words at the same time. This will enhance the learning process.

Using television or movies to educate in some ways can help a child learn. Some classes in school have their students read a novel followed by watching a film or the movie based on it. Melissa Weber’s article, “Using TV and Movies as a Teaching Tool” has a few interviews by teachers that discuss their ways using television in the classroom. Natalie Moser, from Michigan had her students watch “Ice Age” to express the importance of a mother’s role as a protector. A preschool parent used “Transformers” to show the role of self sacrifice. He explained to his son, “why Optimus Prime chose to suffer over letting his human friend get hurt and die” (Weber). These examples are only a few that could use as ideas when having children watch television. Finding the theme or moral to a show and educating them can allow a child to watch a different view other than just the entertainment. Allowing children to enjoy a book with later watching material associated can increase their ambition to read (

I was born in the island of Haiti. When I arrived in the United States I was 10 years old. All could speak was French and Creole. The language barrier was a challenge for me in the classroom and in my day to day life.

We didn’t have cable television in my household at the time. So I watched a lot of shows on PBS and WPBT. Programs like Barney and Sesame Street’s helped me learn English more than ESOL classes and in school in general.

By watching these programs I was able to memorize the alphabet, learned how to count in English, learned my colors, and even thought me the value of family and friendship. It is way easier to learn a new language by watching a video then it is to read.

I now have great reading and writing skills, but I do struggle in math. The television shows I watched as a kid offered a lot of grammar but not as much mathematics. I think if I watched as much kid friendly shows that focused on geometry I would also excel in math. Not to say television alone improved my grammar, but when combined with what I’ve learned in the classroom it helped a lot.

I’d rather watch a documentary than read 20 pages of a book. When you see and hear at the same time, it makes it almost impossible to forget and it’s easier to recall.

Another reason why television can assist in educating, is because you multiple senses working together. Television provides both pictures and sounds at the same time so it can be useful in many ways.

Television is now being used more in school because it is proven that students remember and comprehend better than from a regular class lecture (

I think we can learn quicker if we watched a documentary on an issue then to read a book on the issue. Through television, we are able to learn about places and cultures we would have never learned about if books were the only educational tool. For example watching the news may be depressing at times, but it’s educating us about other parts of the world and how people are living. Which help us improve our way of living and also allow us to be grateful of the resources we have.

Although there are some disadvantages for TV education, there are many advantages.


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