Remember The Electric Company?
No, not AEP, or Pacific Power, or Duke or all of those new “energy providers”.
The Electric Company was a PBS kids educational show…. for the kids who had outgrown Sesame Street. (Can you really outgrow Sesame Street?) I discovered it in the 70’s while I was teaching second graders. My class and I watched it once a week on Friday as a “treat”. It was full of phonics and learning situations made fun via music, jokes, funny skits, and of course TV. What teacher can compete with that?
Morgan Freeman was one of the stars as well as others who made guest appearances; Bill Cosby, Rowan & Martin, Carol Burnett, and Rita Moreno. Freeman had a character named “Easy Reader” who shared his adventures. It was all pretty “hip” and the kids really enjoyed it.
Television has played a part in education for most of my life. My first experience with TV learning was in elementary school in the early 60’s. Several classes would meet in the cafeteria. There was one television in the entire school, and we would have a Spanish lesson each week, which consisted of the Spanish teacher in front of the screen doing what a regular teacher does every day. We would repeat the words in Spanish and our classroom teachers would watch us carefully to make sure we were paying attention. It was not very high-tech, but it was the beginning. Space launches were important stuff back then, too. I can remember our entire school cramming into the gym to watch the launch of one of the first space capsules.
By the time I was in college, Sesame Street had arrived on the scene and that forever changed how children learned from the media.
Today, the use of technology in education has evolved far from its simple beginnings of a single black and white TV set in a gymnasium.
Here is one of my favorite segments from The Electric Company. I always felt this was meant for me!
How, Ruth, how on earth do you keep up with 3 blogs? Oy, vey! I only had Canadian TV growing up on the island, but I remember hearing about the Electric Company and they remade it a few years ago and my kids really like the new version. 🙂
I just have one blog and lately I have been having trouble keeping up with it! Thanks for reading and for your comment…. glad your kids are enjoying the new show.
Watched that and ZOOOM! Oh-two-1-3-four!!!! Send it to ZOOM!
yes…you’ve taken me back…and the video …is that not the “Truth”…
That’s hilarious, Ruth. Not having kids, I missed a lot of their programming, though I remember that the Electric Co existed. God bless you Big today–love, sis Caddo
Oh, Ruth, that video is wonderful! And, yes, I think it was meant for you. Very funny ending. 😉 Because we homeschooled, we watched PBS a ton. Two of our all-time favorites were Julius Sumner Miller, the physics instructor who seemed like a mad scientist at times Sometime his experiments would go awry. We learned a lot from him, but we laughed a lot, too. The other was The Art Maker – Mr. Mihuta. His show provided many of our art classes. He was kind enough to visit out county homeschooling group and give an art lesson. It was a real thrill for me and our son to meet him. Thanks for a trip down memory lane! 🙂
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I used to watch it, too and one day my daughter was watching it (they started a new version in 2009), but it’s entirely unrecognizable without bell bottoms and scary hairdos and the funky theme.
I can remember seeing Morgan Freeman, with a white wig, dressed as George Washington. I laughed out loud… of course it was over the head of my second graders…..
That’s funny. Sesame Street made it across the globe but I never heard of the Electric Company.
Never saw it before but it tickles me. Fun!