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Column One: Media

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Instructional video has reached a critical point in its development, according to the first director of educational projects for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and greater support for the teacher will be needed if schools are to take advantage of the growth in programs and equipment.

For a new book on the subject, Video at Work in American Schools, Robert D. B. Carlisle interviewed teachers, administrators, and media coordinators and specialists in 12 states. From them, he learned that, to be used effectively systemwide, instructional video often has to be championed by a "sparkplug," an "enthusiastic teacher next door," or an administrator with a high-priority commitment.

"Teachers are up to their ears in paperwork and discipline and teaching to the text," a New Jersey educator told him. "This is just one more thing they have not had an opportunity to internalize into their teaching systems. They really need an opportunity to see how it could help them get where they're going."

The book shows how public-television stations, statewide systems such as asset (Arizona School Services through Educational Technology), and regional agencies such as New York's Boards of Cooperative Educational Services aid this process.

It also explores the impact of district superintendents, curriculum coordinators, principals, district media coordinators, building media specialists, and teachers.

Video at Work in American Schools is being distributed by the Agency for Instructional Technology and represents the end product of a project conceived last year as part of its 25th anniversary celebration.

Copies are available from ait for $5.95 each, including shipping and handling. For further information, call ait at (800) 457-4509 or (812) 339-2203.

The Public Broadcasting Service and the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory are planning on Feb. 11, 1988, to run a second national teleconference for educators on "Teaching Reading as Thinking." Their Aug. 26 joint broadcast on the subject was the first venture in teleconferencing for each.

Beau Fly Jones, program director for ncrel, reports that the initial experience with linking viewers and participants at a variety of sites identified a number of technical problems that the agencies are working out, but it was overall a promising beginning that both are eager to expand upon.

State or local education agencies interested in finding out more about how to participate in the project should write or call: pbs, Elementary and Secondary Services, 1320 Braddock Place, Alexandria, Va. 22314-5080, (703) 739-5038; or ncrel, 295 Emroy Ave., Elmhurst, Ill. 60126, (312) 941-7677.

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