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"The New Literacy," a television series created as a for-credit college course on computer technology, will be aired on public-television stations beginning in January.

The 26-part series documents the capacities and potential uses of computers, reviews hardware and software systems, and examines developments that will advance information processing. The half-hour segments cover such topics as: communicating with a computer; adding, retrieving, and storing data; personal computing; systems analysis and design; programming languages; operating systems; and computer files and databases.

The series was financed by the Annenberg/Corporation for Public Broadcasting Project, a fund set up to provide grants for telecommunications projects which address problems in higher education. "The New Literacy" is the first of 17 television courses being developed under the project. The courses following "The New Literacy" will include "The Constitution: That Delicate Balance," "Congress: We the People," ''The Brain," and "The Write Course."

Colleges and universities nationwide are offering credit for the telecourse. Contact local institutions of higher education for information on how to obtain credit.

A New Orleans television station is violating government regulations and policies on the separation of program and commercial matter, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Communications Commission last week by Action for Children's Television.

act, a Massachusetts-based advocacy group, charged that "Popeye and Pals" violates an fcc regulation that states: "Advertising should be confined to identifiable commercial segments which are set off in some clear manner from the entertainment portion of the program." The stage set in "Popeye and Pals," a Saturday morning program broadcast by CBS affiliate WWL-tv, includes props that replicate the logo of the show's primary sponsor, Popeye's Famous Fried Chicken Restaurant, the act complaint charges.

WWL-tv is owned and operated by Loyola University of the South.

act had previously filed a complaint with the fcc over what it called "program-length commercials." Television shows, such as NBC's "Smurfs" and ABC's "Pac-Man" interweave noncommercial program content so closely with the commercial message that the entire program must be considered commercial, said Peggy Charren, act president. (See Education Week, Oct. 19, 1983.)

That complaint is still under consideration, act officials said.

A report on the progress of "the excellence movement," an update on federal education legislation, and a review of desegregation hearings held by the National Education Association were included in this month's premier broadcast on ednet, a new television network owned and operated by the nea

ednet is the first satellite television network operated by a profes-sional education association, nea officials said. The network's weekly telecast is now available on local cable-television outlets in 11 states: California, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia.

The Texas Board of Education has established an advisory committtee that will plan the development of a statewide information and telecommunications-instruction system.

Joe Kelly Butler, the board chairman, announced last month that the committee will study ideas for establishing and administering a cost-effective educational telecommunications network. The group will also make recommendations on possible uses for the system.

"In coming years," Mr. Butler said, "the education community in Texas will be affected by the revolution in information technology and telecommunications." The new advisory committee will, he added, "act at the earliest possible moment to embrace the new technolgy."

Members of the new committee will include state legislators and education leaders.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Public Broadcasting Service have provided funding to WGBY-tv in Springfield, Mass., to develop a proposal for a series that would introduce young children to the fine arts.

In one proposed segment of the series, Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Moose, a character on the Captain's television show for children, introduce children to the members of the American Symphony Orchestra and the sounds of various musical instruments.

cpb has also announced that it will continue its support of "Reading Rainbow," a program designed to encourage children to read while they are not in school over the summer months.

The original "Reading Rainbow" programs will be rebroadcast during the summer of 1984, and five new shows will be aired.

"A Walk Through the 20th Century with Bill Moyers" will debut Jan. 11 on public television stations nationwide.

The program is a series of 19 documentary specials which explore the major events, personalities, and mores of this century.

Bill Moyers, a journalist, is executive director and host of the specials. The first segment of the series, "Marshall, Texas; Marshall, Texas," is about the changes that have occurred during this century in a small town in eastern Texas.

"So many of us now live in urban areas that we forget that at the turn of the century America was a nation of small towns," says Mr. Moyers. "I thought it appropriate to begin these essays on our century by looking at how one small town changed. I arbitrarily and happily chose my own home town."

The football star Y.A. Tittle, Lady Bird Johnson, and the civil-rights leader James Farmer also are from Marshall.--cc

Vol. 03, Issue 15

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