New curriculum expectations demand more dynamic resources as teachers extend learning
opportunities beyond the classroom walls. Fortunately, educators hunting for quality
television programming can focus their search on Cable in the Classroom, a non-profit,
public service initiative by Canadian cable companies and programming services.
Launched in 1995, Cable in the Classroom (CITC) provides engaging, commercial-free,
copyright-cleared educational programs free of charge to publicly-funded schools across
The fact that local cable companies contribute free cable installation and service to
eligible schools has been much appreciated by educators with shrinking budgets. Once the
cable is in place, the school has free access to some of the best programs available in
English and French, including A&E, The Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, CBC
Newsworld, History Television, CNN, YTV, MuchMusic, The Life Network, TSN, TFO, TV5, Canal
Famille, Canal Vie and RDI.
PROGRAM YOUR VCR
The only mandatory learning curve to be overcome is the programming of a VCR (ugh!).
Most of the programming supplied by Cable in the Classroom airs during the night or early
morning hours. Teachers record the programs of interest to them, and then utilize them to
assist students in the attainment of curriculum expectations. Helpful lesson plans and
other resources are available for much of the programming, and most are easily accessible
on the web sites of the networks.
Teacher-librarians are obviously valuable partners in the use of Cable in the Classroom
programming. Acting as an information specialist and a partner in action, they can help
tape desired programming, collect related materials and organize a CITC videotape
If you are familiar with the Cable in the Classroom magazine, you are aware of its
value. The magazine, along with the web site, provides readers with a schedule and
descriptions of all Cable in the Classroom programs. It also features engaging articles
written for and by teachers. The latest issue of the Cable in the Classroom magazine is
forwarded directly to the principal of your school. For more information, contact the
national office at 1-800-244-9049 or visit the web site at www.cableducation.ca.
CABLE IN THE CLASSROOM BENEFITS
classroom resource available free of charge with no strings attached
all programming completely commercial-free
quality, educational programming that is curriculum-relevant
copyright clearance for flexible use of recorded programs
up-to-date Canadian and international content in both official languages
support for media literacy and career exploration
application of multiple intelligences in learning
opportunities for student video production
integration with computers in the classroom and telecommunications.
In order to avoid potential pitfalls, consider copyright infringement when using
programs not officially designated as Cable in the Classroom. And always refer to the
official schedule of programming in the magazine or on the web site. Educators have a
choice of over 360 hours of quality, copyright-cleared programming per month.
This commercial-free treasure is no longer buried!
Mike Budd is a teacher-consultant with the Greater Essex County District School
Board. His e-mail address is email@example.com