1. Television was first introduced in the South by WSB in 1948. Describe the immediate effect it had on people’s lives, especially children.
Children did not play outside as much, get as much exercise, read (comic book industry was less popular), play family games or listen to the radio.
2. Examine ways that television changed the way people thought.
News events were seen as they happened. An example was the impact of the Civil Rights movement on people’s opinions. Coverage showed the marching and activities of the activists and altercations against the camera crews, police and reporters. The Vietnam War in the 1960’s became more personal. People began to question why Americans were involved in the War after they watched all the killing and atrocities on the screen. The War became very unpopular.
3. Compare types of programs in the early days of television with the programs shown today.
Early programs were very family oriented. There were some that were strictly for kids. They were innocent and basically provided entertainment for the viewer. Today programs air more adult themes. Language and story lines often reflect violence and are unsuited for young people.
4. Write a short story or scenario that depicts a person who time travels from 1948 to the present. Focus on the impact of TV on American life. How might this person react to television?
A timeline of inventions such as TV, the computer chip, Apple and Microsoft innovations, etc. - all the technology of the 20th century - would help students be able to realize how much life has changed since 1948. Teens have difficulty imagining life before they were born. The timeline would be a graphic picture of all the changes. In addition, the teacher might want to make sure that modern day inventions do not creep into their story/scenario. We take so much for granted until we realize that we haven't had certain conveniences for very long.