TEC Then & Now


Imagine the moment when a child comprehends something for the first time and the light bulb inside their head turns on. Now, imagine millions of light bulbs shining in the homes of children across the country. This is the power that Sesame Workshop is aiming to unleash with the re-launch and reinvention of its classic children’s series, The Electric Company.

Taking the essence of the original The Electric Company (whose name was derived in 1971 from the light-bulb metaphor) and customizing it to relate to kids today, the new version uses pop culture to teach literacy through the use of music, animation, technology, humor and graphics. The show has been re-energized with a hip young cast, new format, and multiple platforms recognizing today’s media-driven generation. Weekly episodes will run nationally on PBS KIDS GO!sm, and will be supplemented with a richly interactive online environment as well as community-based outreach activities taking place in cities with high populations of at-risk children. The Electric Compa platforms will focus initially on TV, outreach and internet, but will eventually include books and other print materials, portable media, hand-held and console games. 

1971

The Electric Company
  • Designed to combat the literacy crisis facing children ages 7-10 
  • Magazine  format
  • Curricular goals: Decoding, Comprehension of Connected Text
 






Television Landscape
  • Only 4 basic TV channels
  • Limited children’s programming
2008

The Electric Company
  • Designed to combat the literacy crisis facing children 6-9 
  • Narrative format interspersed with phonics-based music videos, beat-boxing segments, silhouette blends, comic wordplay sketches, etc.
  • Curricular goals: Decoding, Comprehension of Connected Text,  Vocabulary, and Motivation
  • National Outreach Program
  • Integrated Website
 
Television Landscape
  • Over 800 basic and cable TV channels
  • Multiple children’s networks
 
Plus entertainment via computers, cell phones, internet, text messaging, hand-held games, iPods, etc.


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