Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 08, 2009

Old-school TV stations finish switch to digital era this week

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Find coverage of this week's change. Is local help offered for people who are elderly, don't speak English or need assistance for other reasons?
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Technology reports and reviews may appear in the main news section, lifestyle pages or business section. Look for a tech development related to entertainment, business, vehicles or home appliances.
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Even adults don't always understand how common things work. Read any major article on a technical topic to see if it's explained clearly. List any unanswered questions.

Here's something to tell your kids about some day when you recall old-fashioned technology: You remember when local television stations joined the digital era, ending six decades of over-the-air broadcasting in a format called analog. It began way back when all TV shows were in black and white (really - ask your grandparents) and when there were no digital cameras, videos, cell phones, computers, iPods or even CDs.

This Friday, June 12, about 1,000 broadcasters complete a national conversion to digital programming. Even though the widely publicized switch has been under way for months and was delayed four months by Congress to give Americans more time to assure uninterrupted viewing, federal officials say millions of households will lose TV reception because they didn't install a converter box. Cable and satellite TV customers are unaffected, as are those with digital-ready TVs bought since 2007.

Digital TV brings better picture and sound quality because televised information can be sent more efficiently in digital form. In very basic terms, digital broadcasts are encoded streams of zeroes and ones -- the same binary language used by computers. Programs still are sent over the airwaves to be received by your TV.
The new form allows more programming options and interactive features, such as electronic program guides, while leaving more of the broadcast spectrum available for new uses. The government has spent more than $2 billion to ease the transition.

President says: "The number of households unprepared for digital television has been cut in half. Still, some people are not ready." -- Barack Obama

Commerce secretary says: "There are so many people who are always waiting until the last minute -- whether it is college students doing term papers, or people filing taxes, or people like me who wait until Christmas Eve to do their shopping. -- Gary F. Locke, federal Cabinet member

Get help: Visit www.dtv.gov or call a toll-free government hot line at (888) CALL-FCC (225-5322).


Front Page Talking Points is written by Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2014
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