Cable in the Classroom is an American organization that assists the cable television industry in providing educational content to schools. The organization was founded in 1989. A Canadian organization, also called "Cable in the Classroom" ("La câblo-éducation" in French), was founded in 1995, and has the same scope as the US organization.
Cable stations broadcast educational programs at specific times (usually early in the morning) commercial-free and notify Cable in the Classroom as to when the shows will be on. This way, educators are able to record the programs for free and use them in school as learning tools for children.
Twilight Zone's Participation
Each Sunday night/Monday morning at 5:30 A.M. EST, Cable in the Classroom presents educational programming made available through the Sci Fi Channel, commercial free, for teachers to videotape for classroom presentation. In addition, lesson plans are available to accompany each episode.
Instructional designers Laurie Blass and Pam Elder had this to say about The Twilight Zone's inclusion in the program:
"Characters portrayed people caught in unusual circumstances where fantasy intrudes into reality or moral or ethical decisions come into question. There is always something to think about after the episode ends. A simple message runs through the series: that only by reaching out to others and trusting in their common humanity can people overcome fear, alienation, and despair. Giving in to fear means total loss; only through imagination, beauty, and our relationships with others can we transcend the darkness.
By today's standards, The Twilight Zone may appear dated or perhaps even heavy-handed to some viewers. There is no doubt television arts have developed considerably since Rod Serling and his crew created The Twilight Zone some forty years ago. Compared with today's color video with its seemingly unlimited possibilities for digital special effects, black and white film is a completely different, almost rustic, medium. As for content, today's primetime TV fiction features more situation comedy, serial drama, and suspense than analysis of moral and ethical dilemmas.
Although derived from and set in a different era, The Twilight Zone still captivates. Its twisting plots, interesting characters, surreal settings, and existential questions endure, as those of classics will. Young audiences who look beyond the surface, who suspend their techno-sophistication and allow themselves to explore the fifth dimension that Rod Serling drew upon, will find rich reward for their efforts."