When I was young, I watched shows like Sesame Street, Barney, and especially Blue’s Clues. I followed along, yelling at the television, telling a small blue dog that only exists on a 19 inch screen that his paw print was on a refrigerator. I thought I was helping Steve, the host of the show Blue’s Clues, find out what those clues meant. My four year old self had no idea that I was actually learning something worth of value. Basic math, sounding out letters, the simple things that a child should learn were being silently driven into my head without me knowing it. The interesting part was that I enjoyed it.
Before I read “Tele[re]vision” by Jenny Price, there were few things that I knew about educational television. I knew that educational television was occasionally used by parents to keep their young children entertained, while they can finally have a chance to relax and have a few minutes of peace and quiet. That’s every parents dream when they have a young child. For the kids to learn something from the show was an added bonus. That article told me that there was much more to educational television than keeping a child entertained.
Blue’s Clues, the show that affected me most as a child, is probably the best example of how an educational program should be. The show keeps children entertained. The kids feel engaged in the experience like they are part of the show. More importantly, it teaches them basic skills for learning in life. I believe that the extreme level of engagement that Blue’s Clues had on not only myself but other children around the world is why it became so popular. Now, because of Blue’s Clues, I believe that we will now see a trend in this style of educational television. Shows that are like the old school Sesame Street will start to fade away. Children’s active engagement will become the new standard for educational programing.