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Luskin and TV

Luskin applied a relatively simple business model that still has value. Colleges and universities using the telecourse would pay a licensee fee to the telecourse distributor, which paid telecourse producers, copyright to be negotiated. Using this model, Coastline Community College, arranged for classes with top instructors to be broadcast by public television station KOCE to colleges, universities and libraries in Orange County. Having no physical campus, Coastline was the first "virtual college."

Dallas Community College started producing pre-packaged tele-courses on video tape for export to other colleges. Their vision called for students choosing from a menu of instructional material that they could view any time, "video on demand" in preference over "appointment TV". They evolved a policy of producing tele-courses that could hold up year after year, now called an "evergreen" title because the material stays fresh through many seasons. The California model spread across the country, repeated during the eighties in Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Florida. PBS settled on being a provider by satellite of adjunct educational content, single programs and series like Bill Nye: The Science Guy, which local PBS stations could buy outright or license to air at specified times for use by local schools and colleges.

Today, about 240 consortiums of public and private educational and creative enterprises in the U.S. are producing tele-courses, licensed by about a thousand colleges and universities using the material as a regular part of their degree programs. "Pay TV" services have gained a large market share by delivering educational content. Two world champions in educational TV content production are Jones International and Discovery Communications.

Cable companies provide content that teachers can record and replay, royalty free, to educate students from kindergarten through high school where "Cable in the Classroom" reaches more than 90 percent of the public primary and secondary schools in the United States.

The biggest barrier to the success of educational media has been the difficulties of students interacting effectively with instructors, an ability inherent in the live classroom. Answering this need in the early days, Coast College set a precedent in the Seventies by buying 15 answering machines to record students' messages.



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