Instructional television

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Instructional television (ITV) is the use of television programs in the field of distance education. Educational television programs on instructional television may be less than one half hour long (generally 15 minutes in length) to help their integration into the classroom setting. These shows are often accompanied by teachers' guides that include material to help use this program in lessons. Instructional television programs have historically been shown during the daytime on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations in the United States. However, fewer public television stations devote their airtime to ITV today than they do in the past; these days, ITV programs are either seen on a digital subchannel of non-commercial educational public television station, or passed on to a local educational-access television channel run by a public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable TV organization.

Instructional television has been granted 20 microwave channels, administered by local educational institutions, through a service known in the US as ITFS, or Instructional Television Fixed Service. Instructional television may also be programmed on terrestrial television stations.

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Public-access television is traditionally a form of non-commercial mass media where the general public can create content television programming which is narrowcast through cable TV specialty channels. Public-access television was created in the United States between 1969 and 1971 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), under Chairman Dean Burch, based on pioneering work and advocacy of George Stoney, Red Burns, and Sidney Dean.

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Public, educational, and government access television refers to three different cable television narrowcasting and specialty channels. Public-access television was created in the United States between 1969 and 1971 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and has since been mandated under the Cable Communications Act of 1984, which is codified under 47 USC § 531. PEG channels consist of:

  1. Public-access television – Generally quite free of editorial control, a form of non-commercial mass media where ordinary people can create television programming content which is transmitted through cable TV The channels are reserved free or at a minimal cost. The local origination television content revolves primarily around community interest, developed by individuals and nonprofit organizations.
  2. Educational-access television – Is distance education, a curated form of educational television, it is a synchronous learning educational technology unique to cable television systems and transmit instructional television, on Time Warner Cable channel 21, programming within city limits. Educational-access channels are generally reserved for educational purposes and are not for government-access or public-access television. Many schools have adapted educational access channels to enhance school curriculum. Some schools have done this better than others. Although the use of television in schools can be traced to those schools serving the bedroom communities of Manhattan in the 1960s, where executives and technicians of early television lived, the creation of PEG channels expanded the value of television as a school or community resource. Students produced and aired community stories in part to serve community stakeholders and in part to engage in active learning. These schools developed school-based community television as a storytelling laboratory.
  3. Government-access television – Cable channel capacity for the local government bodies and other legislative entities to access the cable systems to televise public affairs and other civic meetings. Government channels are generally reserved for government purposes and not for education-access or public-access television.
  4. Leased access – Cable television channels that are similar to commercial television where a fee is paid-for-services of reserved channel time.
  5. Municipal-access television – or "Community Access television" are ambiguous terms that usually refer to a channel space assigned on a Cable TV System intended to provide the content to all or some of the above listed access channels, and may contain other "access" programming such as "religious access" or the TV programming of a local institution, such as a college or a library. These channels are usually created as cost saving measures for the Cable TV company if their franchises or governing authorities allow it.
  6. Hybrid – Often, one channel will take on the role of another channel type on a regular basis. An example of this would be a college with a strong television production curriculum assumes the roles of educational access and public access. Beyond the typical curated educational access programming, a public access television element would be added where public access television producers would make shows using college owned equipment and college students as crew. This can be very beneficial to both entities, as the students earn credits for the work while contributing to the public access channel. However, difficulties can arise when the programming made for public access is of a type that does not reflect the values or tastes of the supporting college, and in such situations, colleges often make the decision to downplay or abandon the public access element of the channel, depending on how much funding is earned by assuming the public access television duties.
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Educational television or learning television is the use of television programs in the field of distance education. It may be in the form of individual television programs or dedicated specialty channels that is often associated with cable television in the United States as Public, educational, and government access (PEG) channel providers. There is More... There are also adult education programs for an older audience; many of these are instructional television or "telecourse" services that can be taken for college credit. Examples of these include Open University programs on BBC television in the UK.

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