Some people say that television is a very useful tool when it comes to education. Others argue that television is a much overused, ineffective teacher.
Discuss both of these views and give your opinion as to the usefulness of television as an educational tool.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
You should write at least 250 words.
Model Answer 1:
There is a lot of controversy on the topic whether TV can play a role of a teacher. Some people hold a viewpoint that it can never be educational at all. Others, although, disagree, referring to TV’s high potential of teaching through amusement.
As a matter of fact, television nowadays can hardly be called educational. All those talk shows and soap operas we see every day are a complete waste of time and can even have negative effects by distracting young and undisciplined people from their studies. Moreover, the most of the so-called educational programs in channels like National Geographic channel can not replace books and academic lectures because they tend to entertain people and have not an aim to give deep and concentrated knowledge.
However, TV can be a powerful mean of delivering information and a nice part of learning process. Educational Methodists have proved that the more senses are involved at the time of studying; the more effective result can be achieved. Television produces both picture and sound, so its usefulness is obvious. Many teachers already use this advantage actively by showing students video cassettes which go as supplementary material to many language courses. So why not to broadcast such movies through television?
The problem of the ineffectiveness of television as an educational tool is in fact not a problem of television itself, but of people who decide the content of the particular channel. It is hardly unlikely that content directors would abandon their high profits and change talk shows to lectures and video lessons. Therefore, those, who insist on the uselessness of TV, maybe right, but let us not forget that as technology improves new cheap ways of broadcasting appear, for instance, video broadcasts. They can prove the exclusive power of such learning tool as television.
(Approximately 288 words)
(This model answer has been prepared by the site developer. However, please note that this is just one example out of many possible answers.)
Alternative Answer 2:
People are divided in opinion if television is a great source of education and knowledge or not. Both of these two groups have their reasoning and logic. In this essay, I will discuss both the viewpoint to represent the effectiveness and drawbacks of TV as the source of education.
To mention the disadvantages, television channels are too much commercial nowadays and they would produce any program to attract people no matter if they are authentic or not. There are plenty of choices for channels and people tend to use their TV as an entertainment media than an educational source. The biased news, politically influenced talk show etc. often mislead people and that has a very negative impact on the society. Programs that contain violence, the negative impression often distracts young people and the addiction on TV programs often restrain people from doing other important activities. TV is a great source of knowledge sharing but the programs choice must be prudent to learn something from it and most of the people fail to do so.
On the other hand, there are lots of advantages of TV according to a group and these advantages supersede the disadvantages as they opine. There are always options for a TV viewer and if s/he takes it as a medium of educational sources, the can always do so. It is an effective medium for updating people about the current news, different viewpoints and current affairs. People no longer need to travel a great deal to learn about other countries and it is TV that actually made it possible. Channels like Discovery, National Geography have been successfully broadcasting education channels and they are hugely popular around the globe. This is a strong tool for a government to communicate with mass people to deliver a message. After a stressful day at work people often find it refreshing to watch music, movies, soap opera, reality shows, travel shows at their homes and there is no argument that those things have their educational references well rooted into.
In conclusion, TV can be a great source for education if properly and prudently watched and also can be a negative factor for some people if their program choice is somehow negative.
Model Answer 3:
With the popularisation of high-end television being introduced to people, the functions of it have significantly influenced the public regardless of the extent. Some people think it is an effective as well as an entertaining device to educate, while others dispute that it has been abused and cannot play a key role in teaching.
People’s reactions have been affected dramatically due to the contents are shown on television. For the teenagers, the impact can last for a very long time, sometimes even forever. Nowadays, the coverage about juvenile delinquencies has been noticed frequently and parts of it are caused by the violent contents or extreme thoughts shown on TV whose original purposes should be entertaining and educating. Also, not only have young people been affected, some adults also became victims of television. The TV shows currently being shown are sometimes compelled to put on schedule due to the pressures exerted by sponsors. They want to boost the rating rather than entertaining the audiences. However, some shows are extremely long and they oblige the audiences to keep watching. As a result of it, audiences forget their works and get idle, sitting on the couch and staring at the meaningless TV shows regardless of the length of them. Furthermore, for increasing the profits, different companies put exaggerated commercials on TV and encourage consumers to try their products. Although some of them may really satisfy customers’ need, others only want to promote their products to the public. If the people sitting in front of the TV had no ability on self-control, especially for shopping, they would dial the numbers displayed on the screen as soon as possible.
On the other hand, not all the programmes are educational; especially the ones are specifically designed for little kids. They can learn the basic communication skills by watching cartoons. In addition, they can learn how moral code is essential while their parents have not adequate time teaching them. Television programs are sometimes politically biased and can mislead people. News presented incorrectly can harm some people and can mislead others. TV programs are becoming more commercial now a day rather than their original purpose of education and entertainment.
In conclusion, television is showing public the downward trend in terms of the contents. The main purposes have shifted from education to misleading even instigation in some cases. In my opinion, authorities should censor the programmes exigent before they are shown to the public.
( By Kaiwen Liu )
Model Answer 4:
Nowadays, television has become an essential necessity in most homes. While some people think that television serves as an efficient tool to enhance learning, others are of the opinion that this is ineffective. This essay will discuss both points of view.
To begin, television in isolation may not be too effective as a learning aid. This is because there might not be programs that are specific to what people want to learn. For example, if a person is interested in learning the construction and function of an automotive engine, it would not be possible for him to get a program scheduled as per his requirement. Further, even with those programs appearing on television, the viewer might not necessarily get the complete content and depth of understanding that he is looking for. Thus, television has limitations with regards to the customization it can offer to different people with varying learning requirements.
Nevertheless, in my opinion, television does provide considerable opportunities for people who are looking to improve their overall general awareness as well as looking for subject- specific information. For example, viewers can check the program content online on different channels and tune into programs that are of their interest. Further, they can purchase CD’s on topics of their specific need and watch them on television to gain a better understanding. The viewer has a choice to select a CD that offers him the required depth of understanding of the subject. Watching the content on a 40-inch television may keep viewers more engrossed and interested, and give them a better learning experience than looking at the content on a laptop/computer.
Additionally, programs on channels like National geographic and Discovery are quite exhaustive and provide vital information to viewers. For example, the program on analysis of aircraft disasters can actually teach viewers/students the right approach to be followed in carrying out failure investigations and performing root cause analysis.
To conclude, people being dismissive of the role of television in education is not entirely correct. To a large extent its importance as a learning aid will lie with the user and the way it is utilised. Television can certainly be an efficient tool to aid learning and enhance the overall quality of education if the right approach is adopted.
(By Rajesh )