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Six of the Top Ten Most Popular Programs for Educators Are PBS Programs

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 29, 2003 -- Recent research commissioned by PBS has confirmed that television / video programming remains one of the most often-used types of educational media, and is viewed by educators as a highly valuable teaching tool. And, in a highly promising development for PBS and its local stations, the survey showed six of the top ten most popular programs for educators are PBS programs: READING RAINBOW, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SPECIALS, ARTHUR, SESAME STREET, NOVA and BETWEEN THE LIONS.

Included as part of PBS's "Digital Classroom" initiative, the national survey, conducted by Grunwald Associates of San Mateo, CA, asked educators how they use video in instruction, which content providers they rely upon, what qualities they value in video content, and what improvements they would seek in this area of education.

Other survey findings show PBS as the most popular single source of content by educators, thanks to what respondents said were high quality educational programs, considered particularly age and educationally appropriate. The most popular channels for educators taping content, according to the survey, were PBS (49 percent) and Discovery Channel (48 percent), followed distantly by The Learning Channel (34 percent) the History Channel (30 percent), National Geographic (21 percent) and A&E (17 percent).

"We're delighted to learn that educators place such high value in the video programming that PBS and local PBS stations provide," said Mary Halnon, director, PBS TeacherSource. "We rely on feedback from this critical audience to improve the content and services we offer to schools, paying special attention to the new opportunities that public television's digital broadcast capacity affords us."

The survey also showed that teachers who use video and television in class perceive substantial benefits, the most common being the ability of the media to stimulate class discussion, model complex visual concepts, and increase student motivation.

Grunwald Associates conducted the survey, including 1,010 online interviews among full-time K-12 classroom teachers during Sept. 2002. To assure a representative sample, quotas were established for geographic location, gender, teaching experience, grades/subjects taught, and district size.

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 350 public television stations. Serving nearly 100 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet.

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Kevin Dando

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