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Ted's teaching tips;Parting Shots

This intriguing, even frightening picture, opens up several avenues.

Information Technology

Digital television offers thousands of channels. How does it work? Firstly, digital breaks the signal down into 0 and 1, binary numbers, so there is no loss of quality. Secondly, fine fibre optic strands carry billions of signals; every person on the planet could have a personal channel in a six billion channel cable thinner than a human hair, the so called "Superhighway". Computer and television fuse into one.

Media Studies

Children watch on average 25 hours television a week, roughly the time spent in school. Will more channels be a dream or a nightmare? Will people become lazy spectators? Or will they learn more? What about interactive media, where you can contribute (for instance, make local television or take part in phone-ins) or use (download pictures and sound)?

Maths

Construct a questionnaire about television: what and how much do you watch; what might you watch in future? Analyse and display the results (pie chart, histogram). Are there significant differences between boys and girls, now and the future, types of programme preferred?

Writing

Finish the story: "When they first locked me in the Infotainment Centre for a week with 500 television sets, I had to think seriously what I was going to do . . . " Ted Wragg is professor of education at Exeter University

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