Short essay on Mass media as non-formal agency of education

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Communication within the social group is one of the important functions of every agency of education. This becomes essential because human beings feel the necessity of exchange of ideas and experiences, feelings and emotions on inter-group and intra-group levels.

Home and school, in their own way and with their own methods, help in this direction. Each of these two agencies helps in direct communication between one individual and the others. There are other ways also through which important messages are conveyed to a large section of people one and at the same time. For example, the Prime Minister of a country wants to address the whole nation. He has to use a means, agency or mode which can help him to communicate his message to the whole nation. He may do so through newspaper, radio or television. Such means, together, are called mass-media.

Meaning of Mass Media

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A mass medium may be defined as any means, agency or instrument through which ideas, attitudes, impressions or images are simultaneously communicated to a large number of people. Such media forms include not only the print and electronic forms such as newspaper, magazines, radio, television, films etc. but also a wide range of other forms such as comics, drama, puppet shows, graffiti and music.

Mass Media as Non-formal Agency of Education

Mass Media are a popular non-formal agency of education. Although the mass media have been widely utilised in adult education, development activities, agriculture and family planning, yet their use for formal education, that is, for primary, secondary or tertiary education has hardly been systematic or effective.

However fact remains, if mass media are integrated with the total system of education, they can help in streamlining work in the fields of primary education, adult education, providing educational opportunities for continuing education, education of special groups of children and so on.

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The educational role of a few important kinds of mass media is given in the following paras.

1. Use of Educational Radio

The educational radio has far reaching advantages in teaching- learning process. It has numerous functions to perform in the school as well as in the classroom. Its chief educational values are:

(i) Enriches school programmes. If properly used and efficiently organised, radio service can help a lot in enriching the existing programmes in the school.

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(ii) Stimulates pupil’s interest. Frequent broadcasters on national and international activities stimulate pupils’ interest in national and international affairs.

(iii) Supplements classroom instruction. Radio provides rich material to supplement existing sources of classroom instruction and courses offered.

(iv) Furnishes up-to-date information. Radio programmes and school broadcasters furnish up-to-date and correct material on day-to-day happenings.

(v) Develops critical thinking. Radio broadcasters if listened to attentively and carefully help a lot in developing critical thinking in intelligent children.

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(vi)Leisure-time interests. Radio is an important medium of useful and interesting leisure-time activities.

Highlights

1. Use of Educational Radio

1. Enriches school programmes

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2. Stimulates pupils interest

3. Supplements class room instruction

4. Furnishes up-to-date information

5. Develops critical thinking

6. Leisure-time interests

2. Class room use of Radio

1. Preparation

2. Reception

3. Discussion

4. Application

Classroom Use of Radio

The class-room use of radio is a real test of the teacher. The best teacher is the one who is able to make the best use of every kind of experience-in or outside the class-room. In case of radio, it is not enough to tell the pupils, “Now close your books. Let’s have a radio programme.”

There are four major phases of class-room procedure in the use of the radio: preparation, reception, discussion and application and follow-up. The relative importance of each phase will depend upon the nature of the broadcast and upon its significance for the particular class which uses it.

1. Preparation.

Preparation for the experience of listening is very important if the radio is to become a useful tool of teaching and learning. Preparation involves the following aspects:

(i) Clear Objectives ;

(ii) Gathering advance information;

(iii) Motivation.

2. Reception.

This is the second important phase of class-room procedure. Reception, which involves proper listening, can be facilitated by providing suitable physical conditions in the class-room. The class-room should be well arranged for learning and listening.

There should be no overcrowding. Provision must be made against interruption from without or distractions from within, such as incorrect lighting, poor ventilation, or uncomfortable seating facilities. The teacher should make sure that the radio is in perfect working condition and its volume is adequate enough to enable all the students listen to the broad-cast properly.

3. Discussion and Application.

Immediately after the broad­cast, a good discussion on the main points of the broadcast should follow. The information gathered may be applied properly.

4. Follow-up.

A proper follow-up of students understanding of the information gathered from the broadcast will serve a useful purpose. It will remove fallacies and misunderstandings, if any. The follow-up may be done in the form of a short test covering the major points of the broadcast.

2. Use of Educational Television

Educational television, a product of mid 20th century, remains “one of the most versatile audio-visual aids ever developed.” More and more teachers as well as students running with the flowing stream of progressive education are being influenced by the potential value of the television or are eager to begin with its use in the class-room.

“The ‘eye-and-earl mindedness of students,’ observe Profs. Hass and Packer, “makes television one of the most present day educational forces. Television has been said to be the blackboard brought to life. So, it offers and newness which attracts attention creates interest and stimulates a desire to learn.

Educational television-“the electronic blackboard of the future” as Wayne Coy calls it, may be said to have the following most useful educational values when used as a teaching device:

1. Also combines the Qualities of Radio.

It combines with it all the qualities of the educational radio and there is an improvement on it in many ways. The voice of the broadcaster as well as his figure, his movements, the illustrations used by him, the demonstrations presented by him, etc. are transmitted simultaneously.

2. Combines Sight and Sound.

Educational television combines sight and sound together and thus makes the experience real, concrete and immediate. It can bring us into contact with events in an exciting and clarifying manner.

3. Uniformity of Communication.

Television offers uniformity of communication. It is the means by which teachers, parents, children, and all citizens may share a common experience at the same time. In the class-room, it does not ignore any student. Even the back-bencher feels the pleasure of ‘front row seat.’

4. Versatile Educational Vechicle.

Television is a versatile educational vehicle. Any telecast may use a battery of audio-visual devices like models, charts, demonstrations, exhibits, the chalkboard etc.

5. Stimulates and Reinforces Ideas.

Television, like the film, tends to stimulate and reinforce ideas, beliefs, and tendencies already possessed by the onlooker.

6. Viewing on-the-spot events.

Television offers opportunities of seeing and listening to on-the-spot events as inaugurations, committees in session, investigations, and current happenings. Useful information can be disseminated from speeches, current news, broadcasts and informational lectures.

7. Watch and Study.

The learners can watch and study various processes as how to make, how to care for, how to construct and how to manipulate.

8. Leisure time Activities.

Television enables the viewers to profit from leisure and recreational activities by participating vicariously in sports, dramatizations of light stories and plays, pictures and accounts of travels, and musical productions.

Highlights

1. Use of Educational Television

1. Also combines the qualities of radio

2. Combines, sight and sound

3. Uniformity of Communication

4. Versatile educational vehicle

5. Stimulates and reinforces ideas

6. Viewing on the spot events

7. Watch and study

8. Leisure-time activities

2. Merics of Educational Television

1. Maximum learning

2. Direct attention

3. Provide technical advantage

4. Economical

5. Expert teaching

6. Up-to-date information

7. Model for classroom teacher

8. Motivates gifted children

3. Limitation

1. One way communication

2. Adjustment problem

3. Not related with school curriculum

4. Financial difficulty

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