Picture the comical expression of a person from two hundred years ago being told, “In the upcoming years there will be a box that has the power to compel humans into a hypnotic state. It keeps eyes locked onto it for hours upon hours, while various moving images are being played.” When stated so directly, it sounds crazy! Little did anyone know this ‘magic box’ would become the greatest and most influential invention of the 20th century. There is high educational value in television programs for teenagers, because there are various educational programs that don’t only impart education, but also entertain students, which helps weaker students learn easily the lesson which otherwise seemed difficult in the classroom. The educational series’ that create potential for learning is ‘Dark Tourist’ (culture), ‘Abstract: The Art of Design’ (computer/contemporary design), and ‘Suits’ (business). However, another angle on this debate suggests that prolonged television watching decreases viewers’ self-efficiency in maintaining personal health.
‘Dark Tourist’ is the first example of a series that creates potential for learning, because it broadens cultural, intellectual, and spiritual education. It allows people to see the world from a different perspective, which can be ideal for teenagers who are unable or cannot afford traveling. Travel makes learning come alive. It sparks interest in many fields of life, therefore increasing a teenager’s knowledge. Journalist David Farrier visits unusual tourist spots around the world, such as Japan, taking some ill-advised trips to areas of Fukushima still drenched in nuclear fallout. It creates an uncomfortable yet fascinating experience, which educates teenagers on cultural differences. Another argument in favor of using television series’ to promote educational value is how ‘Abstract: The Art of design’, shows the minds of the most innovative designers in a variety of disciplines and learn how design impacts every aspect of life.
‘Abstract: The Art of design’ is the second example of a series that creates potential for learning, because it allows left-brained and more creatively inclined teenagers to see the design of our world. The documentary series discusses the creativity of visionary designers who shape the world around us – from architecture to illustration and cars to typography. It motivates teens to ponder new concepts and ideas which provide them with regular opportunities to think creatively. The series shows properties of a wide range of tools, machines, materials and systems which is useful if a student wants to pursue a career in design. It focuses on the beauty in our modern society that shows cultural insight into institutions, communities and political situations. Teenagers can be immersed into these different creative fields which shows countless art-forms come to life. Another example in favor of using television series’ to promote educational value is how ‘Suits’ shows the true realities of the business world with many lessons in between.
‘Suits’ is the third example of a series that creates potential for learning, because it has many elements of business culture. It teaches teenagers aspects of business life, and the hard work needed to cope in the stressful environment of a business. ‘Suits’ uses many elements from the business term known as the ‘organizational structure’, which helps teens learn values and behaviors that “contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization”. It teaches teenagers something that can’t always be taught in school, to never give up.
However, another point of view suggests watching television can negatively impact a person’s health, because recent research from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) found that viewing more than two hours of TV daily was linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Allowing teenagers to view television programs in the 21st Century is of importance because television does not diminish educational value, it only increases it. This is due to the various educational programs imparting education, ‘Dark Tourist’, ‘Abstract: The Art of Design’, and ‘Suits’, which continues to help weaker students excel in the classroom to this day.
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