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     National Association of Educational Broadcasters Convention Keynote General
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It's been stated we're going to start in one minute. I hereby called to order the 40th annual convention of the National Association of educational broadcasters. I am very gratified to see that so many of you have managed to make it to Austin and I can assure you of that by the time you're ready to leave that your luggage will manage to make it also. And I'm glad so many of you also managed to get out here to the auditorium today despite the fact that this is a dry state. Those of us who have been here for several days have been enjoying a lovely warm summer weather with a great amount of sunshine. So this is very unusual and no fault of the municipal administration. Actually it's all due to our
overzealous exhibitors. They were complaining yesterday that because it was impossible to curtain the top of those huge windows out there too much sunlight was falling up on the monitor screens so they said well if we can't get curtains we're just going to have to pray for clouds and they just overdid it a bit. And now for the purpose of pronouncing the invocation I introduced Brother Francis the whaler the academic dean of St. Edward's University. Let us pray almighty and eternal God who rules the world will die adorable Providence bless all of us who are assembled here today realizing our responsibility towards
those whom we educate. May we strive to know the truth accurately and to disseminate it fully and honestly through the instrumentality of thy intelligent creatures. We have been given two of the most important media radio and television that mankind has ever known. We pray that we may use them according to thy designs but we fear that we may hinder the accomplishments of thy designs for we know that self-seeking has often darkened our minds and perverted our hearts. Come then we ask thee into our midst and direct our actions by thy holy inspiration and carry them on by that gracious assistance that every work of ours may begin always from thee and through the be happily ended. Instill into us all our the virtues of truth and justice. Guided by a charity which encompasses not only a
love for the but also a love for our fellow man. Bless this great nation of ours and grant that it may continue to derive its strength from the generous support of its citizens and from the grace of thy benediction Amen. Thank you Father. And now it is my great pleasure to introduce to you the honorable Lester PALMER The mayor of the city of Austin. Thank you President Harley and delegates to this your annual convention. We want to welcome you to the capital city of the state of Texas where I honored that you selected our city to hold your convention Austin means many things to many people. We know first of all to all
of Texans it means a very heartbeat of our state government and where history is made. To many of you from out of town and especially to you from Oklahoma you probably think that Austin is a vast football training center for a team that creates nightmares in the Cotton Bowl. But to all of you I hope that Austin will mean the inspiration and the complement from your convention here that you will always come back and see us. Not too long ago we had the privilege of course of having our president here and while the president is here of course we have the reporters and the broadcasters and the newscasters from all over the world. It's amazing thing how we're so apt to take readymade opinions today and someone can start an anecdote and no matter how
ridiculous I observed it is we accept it for truth. One of our fine commentators from England when he visited Austin he so often is a repository of that southern hospitality that we don't find too often in cities anymore. Another gentleman from one of our national magazines all he saw was a bawdy halfs with a certain little tap to go on. So it's a difference of opinion as to what you may think of our city when you visited present hard to ask me how I was going to explain this weather. And I think this depends on the point of view also. If you want credit for it we'll be happy to give it to you because we need it here and all but we did have a political rally here Saturday and I noticed among one of the signs it says we need rain water instead ate a you H2O. So if you don't like the weather we'll blame it on him. But. But we're delighted to have you here in Austin and we hope that you will come back and visit us often.
Thank you so much President. Thank you for the warm welcome Mr. Mayor. I believe Mr. Heath is. I mean I. Was to he's the germ of the border regions of the University of Miami to be with us. But Gurley has been able to make it. I've had the opportunity of introducing many a speaker in my time. But I can assure you of that on no other occasion. Have I ever been so confident that I was about to unleash upon a friendly audience. And educational presentation so entertaining and so appealing as the one you are about to enjoy. My first exposure to our speaker was at the DA VI convention last year.
When he spoke on organizing educational resources for creativity. At first I thought I got into the natural history lecture. Or maybe an illustrated tour of the zoo. But it soon appeared that everything going on did have relevance to creativity. And as soon as he finished we rushed in to sign him up for this convention. The plea that educational broadcasters would also be interested in his insights into the nature of creativity and I am sure you will be. Lester BAC is a professor of psychology with the Oregon State System of Higher Education. Last year he was on leave to produce a demonstration film college teaching by television. He's done a number of films for children with lovely titles. Take me back to my old radio program days like squeak the squirrel. And I will talk.
And he's done some notable adult Instructional Films such as human growth. And I'm conscious motivation. Dr. Beck's observations in poking around living with his animal film subjects incidentally keeps a couple of alls in his home. Have given him some very interesting insights into the relationship between animal and human reactions to their environments. These analogies as you will see provide some absorbing clues as to the nature of human creativity. It is my very genuine pleasure to present to you and to discuss fostering creativity through radio and television. Our keynote speaker Dr. Lester Beck. Mr. Chairman. Members of the. And A B
and gas. As I was coming across earlier this morning in a cab in the rain was coming down and I was looking through these 20 pages of notes that I have. I was reminded of the delightful story of the farmer in the Midwest who in the dead of winter braved a snowstorm go to church Sunday evening and when he got there he was the only one with a minister. The minister said Well since you're the only soul we might as well. Not have services this evening and the farmer said look I have to get back through this 20 mile stretch and it's snowing outside and sleeting and everything. That you will have to give me some message it will carry me through. So the minister much touched. Gave him a very long sermon lasted until midnight after he was through we asked the farmer how it was. The farmer said Well it was pretty good.
But he said let me tell you something when I go out to feed my stock of only one steer shows up I don't unload the whole load on him. So I'm going to abbreviate some remarks this morning and I have modified this considerably from what was delivered because I see many of those people in the audience and I would feel uncomfortable if I were merely repeating what has been said before. The title of the speech is fostering creative thinking through radio and television and the next 40 minutes I should like to review with you. Some observations relative to the nature of creativity. Using a short film clip to illustrate some of the phenomenon question. Then I should like to review some factors that apparently inhibit creative thinking in children. And adolescents and adults and then finally to
mention how radio and television perhaps can be used to nurture creativity and to give you some examples of the way that these media are so being used. And they get underway very quickly. I should like to show you now a film clip that will run about four minutes. This clip is taken from a brand new film with the title. Understanding the gifted. This is a splendid picture that runs about 30 minutes in its entirety. It has just been released. It was produced by Bob Churchill of Churchill films in Los Angeles in association with some branches of the California State Department of Education with financial assistance as I'm sure you would all suspect from the National Defense Education Act. Now as we look at this four minutes I should like for you to be particularly sensitive to some of the problems that teachers apparently
have in identifying the creative and the gifted as implied in the film and then look to at the interview where the gifted boy who among other things that he mentions in this little interview as he's 12 years old he's been producing films for the last three years he and his associates writing very clever scripts and shooting them an 8 millimeter and these would do credit really to any professional audience. So as I say you sort of set the stage for the remarks to follow. Let's look at this four minute clip with these two objectives in mind. If we can have the houselights and the clip. Board here and there were
easy here that you were able. To work. For one or the other. You're right. You
and. Me. Good morning.
That way can you. This should give us a little sample to work with. Now with this boy
whipped it's obvious that he is. He's very intelligent and it's also obvious that divergent thinking are the exploration of the new the novel is attractive to him and I'll have more to say about that a little later. Likewise I shall have more to say about his interest in Greek a little later. But for the moment let's look at some of the data presented in the film about the work of these teachers and identifying the creative in the gifted. We are told that there are some in this particular school system that there were some 50 of the 91 gifted youngsters missed by the teachers but picked up by the tests and the tests of course were majors of intelligence. Then we are told that there were 113 named by the teachers that were not so identified by the tests the implication being that the teachers were attracted to the conventional or those who can farm or those who
do of the teachers bidding and if they do it well they feel the teachers then get the impression that these are exceptional youngsters. The conclusion that one might draw from this sequence and which I'm sure was not intended by the filmmakers was that teachers are miserable judges of the creative and the gifted. But I think this conclusion is unwarranted and I wish the film had gone just a little further in making the following points explicit. Let us look for a moment at the Organization of the intellect. The composition of the intellectual factors that lie behind all creative thinking and the best theory today based upon and that a mathematical analysis of various kinds of tests and problems presented to growing people indicates that we probably have in our mental make up some 100 20 elements or factors much
like the elements in the periodic table of the physical world. Now our current intelligence tests measure only about eight or 10 of these one hundred twenty factors an intelligence test by their very design tend to put a premium on convergent thinking our common thinking and we speak in terms of norms by which people are appraised in their performance on intelligence tests. So it is not at all unusual to think that perhaps intelligence tests don't reflect many of the abilities that these teachers can see in their youngsters every day and the teachers were judging the gifted on a dimension or several dimensions that are broader than intelligence tests that the teachers perhaps are sensitive to divergent thinking and divergent thinking is the very essence of creativity. So I
rallied to the defense of the teachers who named 131 youngsters that were not picked up by intelligence tests on the grounds that they were in a sense seeing factors or sensitive to factors that intelligence tests do not detect. On the other side of the coin however why didn't the 50 bright youngsters distinguish themselves so that they had become clear and outstanding to the teachers. And there are suppositions that we can make here. Some people are inclined to say well the bright are impeded by our schools they find the curriculum on interesting they find the teaching challenging. But I submit that there are other factors that need to be brought to our attention this morning and that we should reflect upon. Maybe there are strong social pressures from home from community and from other sources that move towards conformity and youngsters or
make them afraid to take chances to take risks and to display the talent which they really possess. And we see that much in our world today that those who identify themselves with the liberal wing and try to speak out against conservatism or conformity very often find themselves abused in their characters impugn and that this tendency runs through education just as much as it does through our social and political fabric. DO indicate how early these tendencies towards conformity can be detected. I'd like to show you now a few slides reflecting some of the work of Elizabeth Starkweather at Oklahoma State University who is doing some ingenious things in measuring ventures dimness and creativity versus conformity and rigidity in preschool children. I regret that these
slides aren't a little more transparent but you can see something of the nature of the task that she is using in her findings are startling in connection. In my opinion in connection with the way in the past we have been inclined to blame the school and the teachers in the curriculum for a lot of failure of the bright who are the creative to fully express themselves. So let's have the lights down again and go to our first set of slides and I'll keep you in the dark now for quite a while. In fact I'm in the dark myself. While I do I think I can get along all right. Here is one of the tests that Elizabeth Starkweather is using with youngsters three four five years of age. She first shows a model there at the top under the caption which one do you want to do a model of a little ship
with an anchor. And then she shows the youngster an empty frame below it and some scrambled pieces of the same model which can be put together and make a completed figure like the model she shows a pair of these to the youngster. One she says. This one is easy. The other she says. This one is hard. Now you choose the one that you want to put together to be just like the one at the top. In other words this is a little major for the child of his willingness to venture into difficult areas and surely an individual who with brightness remains in the simple in the easy and the relatively accessible is not one who's going to distinguish himself very much by his original thinking. Let's go to the next slide. Here is another one that touches on venturesome
this are the willingness to explore the ill defined she first shows some little models on white papers and talks about it with a child like there's the star and there are some movie. And then she shows a pair of figures afterwards. One clearly marked like the pink hair one clearly marked with a star in the moon and then she says this one is a surprise. Now you may have either of these to take home with you. Which one would you lie. In other words will he take the one that is rigidly define clearly obvious to a boy or is he interested in venturing into the area of the surprise and not knowing really what he's going to get and if he chooses the surprise he gets the little figure way over on your right. The same with the blue figures again. A major of the willingness of the child to venture into the as I say the ill defined and the unknown.
The next line. Here is a real cutey. You're probably sitting so far from it the details won't show up but the test I think is a dandy. The child I think you there. That's about right. The child first is shown the form board that you see in the center and that form board is made like a sandwich so that you can slip various panels inside the form board and then each of those little apertures carries a picture a picture of a flower pot or a picture of a barn door or a kitty with a bunch of kittens or a goat and so on. And then over here on the left hand side in the initial application of the test the child has a choice of what he'd like to put in each aperture. One choice has the picture that appears through the aperture likewise defined on the little block that goes in the aperture but more beautifully colored. So all of that are better drawn so that if he wants to use it he can embellish.
They form board after a fashion but he can be highly creative if you wants to he can use other things that appear in there and this is a sort of a little test of how stimulus bound the individual is. And this can be quantified through one trial then with the next trial she's got some additional blanks missional forms on the other side that you can use and she has several of these far more. The next one. And then here are some free farms. And the child first goes through with quite versions of these forms and names each one identifies it. Then they come back and go through the colored farms trading the colored forms back and forth and the child naming them again and discussing them. And she assesses each child in relation to the originality of the response in relation to the first time through so that each child sets C's own standard. And you can see that if a child would name one of the forms doodad that might be a kind of an original
response if you used it once. But if he calls all of these things do dads obviously he's not displaying much originality Now the interesting thing is that Dr. Starkweather is able to show with children as young as 3 or 4. This lack of venturesome this despite the measured intelligence of the youngster or on the contrary youngsters who are not do do not measure too high on intelligence tests. IQ of ninety or a hundred who are extremely spontaneous and original and free. And she believes that it is this kind of organization and the personality if you will are some of the intellect the factors that are not reflected intelligence tests that play such a critical role in whether the child distinguishes himself in school and the teachers perceive him as being gifted or creative. Now we can ask ourselves the question what can we do with a radio and television to counteract the kind of imposition that
apparently is a contributing factor through parents and the organization of the home that stifles the youngster. Before you haven't ever gets to the first grade and I think in the designers I'll point out later on I think in the design of programs that we make for children we can do much these programs beamed into the homes we can do much to keep children free and elastic before they go to school and thereby prevent the necessity of the first grade teacher and gaging in remedial mental hygiene before she teaches the youngsters. Now let's look at Carrie this on a little further going into the area of cultural deprivation. And I'd like to review just a brief experiment with your case because you're good. The president said I talked about animals in my previous talk I feel compelled to introduce some animals to in this one.
So let's look at a series of slides involving cultural deprivation with animals and its implications for human learning. Here is a nice little Scottie dog in a box. And this Scottie dog can be maintained in a very healthy condition. The food there is water there. His litter changed and he never sees anyone. That is for the first seven months of his life. But he is a so he has a sibling. He has a litter mate and this litter mate has in the meantime has been farmed out on the community. This is in the city of Montreal. And there are some people taking care of him taking for rides in automobiles and racing up and down the streets and the like where he has his genetic counterpart is in this box and he's being raised very much like a child who was underprivileged within the four barren walls of a home. Now let's see the next slide.
At the end of seven or eight months this disparate kind of environmental living the two dogs are brought back together again and given some psychological tests involving various novelty situations here we have a little car that can be operated with remote controlled little car races back and forth and here is the dog that's been on the town. Notice how he approaches the car with these head up. He explores it with these paw his eyes are high and he can see the situation and there is a picture there of general composure as he works through this problem. The litter mate however lets look at him. He's down on the floor he's got his nose close there he doesn't use He's paw. He shocks himself repeatedly from those little barbs that stick out there. And he is in effect held in the immediate environment of the object and the the quality of the solution of
the problem or their exploration of the problem is much inferior in him by virtue of his previous and lack of prior environmental experience. And the next slide. And if you open an umbrella. They deprived dog barks at the umbrella worries around it. Whereas the other dog looks over the situation may yap at it for a time or two and goes on to better things in life. Now this is precisely what happens to an children. And if we may have the next slide you probably saw this report of Martin Deutsch as work in New York that was delightfully presented in Life magazine. A big break for poverty's children released children come from underprivileged culturally underprivileged homes a lot like our Scottie dog and the next slide shows exactly the same kind of if we may have the next slide. But here we have a child behaving just like our
little dog around the umbrella where he is attacking the environment barking at it. Adjusting to it in a kind of a hopeless fashion. People looking in will say well that child is destructive or hostile. I doubt it. I think he is merely testing his environment. Likewise here with a novel situation the child from the culturally deprived environment simply doesn't know how to cope fully explore things as the judges are able to and so we accuse the child of being stupid and a lot of other things when as a matter of fact psychologically he's really stimulus bound to such an extent that some of these youngsters even are not aware of their own identity. Well so much for cultural deprivation. Teachers are where these youngsters have to come together the teachers take them on field trips and point out common things and name common things for them in order to get these children out of their psychological box.
Well that's cultural deprivation let's look at the other side of the coin what about cultural enrichment in the preschool years. And here is a delightful experiment but I'd like to review for you. This is an experiment that comes out of Ohio State University that great and noble institution from which we have many representatives this morning. I thought there'd be somebody would say boo to that but I didn't get any feedback. This is an experiment conducted many years ago before the advent of home television. Here is a psychology professor as you suspect. Well there's a little sign there on the floor and he is reading Greek to you son. Now this is an English speaking hall nobody else in the family except the Father knows how to read Greek or speak Greek. And the father is reading Greek couplets from Sophocles.
This is when they began this experiment when the boy was 18 months old and every day systematically he ran he read 60 couplets from Sophocles in the original Greek. And he kept this up for three months until the boy was 21 months of age when he shifted to another group of 60 couplets and he continued this until the boy was three years of age in other words seven sets of 60 Greek couplets all of the sensually the same difficulty and the red from the left hand pages of Sophocles. Then no more Greek until the boy was eight and a half years old and the next slide portrays this. And when the boy was eight and a half the father said sign me. We're going to have some Greek lessons in the father Reza recit resurrected to Sophocles and had the boy learn these couplets now up to one airless repetition the couplets that had been read to him before plus couplets from the right hand
pages of the same difficulty that the boy had not heard prior previously from eighteen months to three years and what were the outcomes. An eight and a half years of age the boy could move her up to one airless reputation. Those couplets previously heard with 30 percent fewer trials than he could the couplets that had not been read to and in other words this prior experience between 18 months and three years had a profound and significant effect upon the resourcefulness of the learning of the boy. At the age of eight and a half if we were studying Greek in school he would have been in the third grade. Now I think there are some and I might say that some of the couplets were reserved and saved until the boy was fourteen years of age and there was still a 10 percent saving in re learning.
Now we can get some of the feeling here I think of the importance then of early prior experience. This is sort of our cultural heritage that we pass on and can have an impact upon later learning. This child is obviously privileged if he had to learn Sophocles later in school and all of us would have been culturally deprived by comparison. And I think there is some other significant lessons for television and radio in this experiment done back in the 30s. We see here that it is not necessary for the boy to recycle back to the Father what is heard for significant learning to occur. I don't think it is necessary for all of our learning to come by way of programmed instruction where we have to write in words and so on we can learn a tremendous amount through absorption. If our environment is so structured and filled that we have the opportunity to learn the material on this I believe radio and television can beautifully provide in homes throughout the nation.
Then we also note that it is material that was highly abstract that the ceiling really for the material to be learned was very high. And I believe that many of the programs they can be structured Zolo that they in a sense are over the individual's head with more learning occurring more significant learning occurring if we measure it by later real learning. Then if we have a low floor to our programs and we see that significant verbal learning occurs as early as 15 months and as I say all of us when we look at learning in this light creativity in this light are culturally deprived. Now what is going on around the country then in these early years through Television and Radio 2 and sense create a different kind of learning environment for youngsters to foster intellectual development and the kinds of resourcefulness necessary for
creative thinking and I'd like to show you just a few slides from spots around the country let's go to Miami Fla. and I should say before we even look at these these are only representative. I'm sure that many of you in your home stations are doing highly significant things in this area of special broadcast for young children and preschool age children. And if I haven't contacted you and if I don't speak favorably of what you're doing please get in touch with me I'm vitally interested in this area and I'm trying to organize some kind of report on this. But let's go to Miami in Channel 2 down there if we have the next slide. This is. This program is paid for by the school systems here is a monograph on time for school. A series of programs
1964 65 for the preschool youngsters throughout the Miami area and they're especially interested in this in as much as they have children of so many refugee Cubans there. The next slide. The people who are involved in these programs include a full time musician and the next ally and the director I believe we can focus that a little better than the other way there. We went by the critical area on your ride as Cecile hack who is the teacher in this preschool series formally a first grade teacher. Her associate you know we went by again her so shipped as Miss Robinette who among other things is an excellent puppets here. And here is rehearsal of course before the program goes on the air the next one. And we get underway now there are three 15 minute broadcasts each do each show a little different
graded difficulty in the mornings and these programs are rebroadcast in the afternoon five days a week. The next line. These programs go out to homes and to organize groups nursery school groups and kindergarten groups that meet under the auspices of churches and welfare organizations. The Miami schools themselves have no kindergarten program organized kindergarten program and you see here they youngsters being introduced and some of their names and there is the little boy in the middle is called Tiger and it's his name. The little girl that we saw previously Her name was Jasmine and now they're trying to get some group activities going here. And in the next slide we say that the one child has given up and Jasmine is working on Tiger to get him to fold his arms and cooperate in relation to the game that's being played.
Because among other things we can hope we can stop there now among other things in this series of programs there are 60 junior college students that have been given fellowships by the Miami schools to go out and work with these groups each of these students gets 500 dollars a year for going out and meeting with organized groups of preschool youngsters and help with the reception of the telecasts. This kind of programming is fact and vocabulary oriented Nol discuss that a little more in just a few minutes what I mean by that but this is essentially a preschool series of broadcasts based upon the first grade curriculum. But introducing the youngsters to the material at a little lower level I can see great value for this in connection with the Cuban refugee children and the children who come from underprivileged homes. Nah let's go on to Denver and we may have gone by or first Denver slide I'm not sure
no there we are. Now the orientation here is a little different. There is a manual preparing your child for reading which was written for parents and accompanying this manual are our 16 1/2 hour programs to teach parents how to teach their children prepare for reading. Some of the material in this manual is like this if we can see the next slide. Here are alphabet cards if parents want to teach and want to teach the children the alphabet and cards the same as would be used in the first grade. The next card. This is a series of cards devoted to phonics. Mary I have the AM with the mountain imposed on the M there you have the ass with the seal imposed on the ass. The L with the lamp imposed on it and the G in the form of a little girl teaching both discrimination and phonics at the same time. Now you should realize
and this slide will hold on to it now for a little while this is the slide that shows parents exactly how to teach their children how to read. I mean right. According to the dictates of the first grade with a little arrows indicating how to proceed step by step. Now last year in the Denver area when these 16 programs were broadcast they sold twenty six thousand of these teachers hand books. They have all kinds of appeals this year again for the rebroadcast of the series which will occur after the first of the year. This study has been pretty carefully researched. I had some reservations about it in the beginning about whether we should let parents try to teach their children and compete with the schools but I don't believe it's competition any more and all the research indicates that children who have these kinds of prior experiences do significantly better in the first grade
than those who do not. And likewise if the teachers in the first grade use the system in this book and if the system carries on through the second grade and third grade the impact of this preschool teaching can be detected clear up to the third grade and probably further beyond two in terms of the reading skills of the individual. Now I submit that television here is doing an extremely valuable job then and providing parents with the necessary tools to stimulate them to give prior experience to youngsters that help them with their learning in school. Let's go on to Memphis by comparison. And here we have all aboard with Mr. B. And I I got a great charge out of these programs I must confess. So I like the whimsy of them. There you see Mr. B and the engine over there on the right and he's got a puppet with a
lie. We'll see shortly that he called Ponce de Leon and the kinds of questions that he asks I think are pertinent. Is there any beauty in a bucket. And does the average bear need eight hours sleep. And does a bunch of flowers have any practical use at all. And have you ever seen a tiger in a watermelon patch. And what's a sand. And can a witch find true happiness in a bird cage. Now I ask Mr. Bates Alan Bates who is responsible for this highly imaginative series Well that last question had any political overtones. And he declined to answer. Let's go to the next slide. Now here's Mr. Bates out of costume riding in the little
model train that goes tooting around in the studio there. And this train appears as a dissolve from a film clip that shows Mr. Bates on the famous civil war engine or train the general the next line. And here are his puppets. There is Ponce de Leon on the left and on the right with him is Troy Les the train loving troll. While these are a half hour program for children there broadcast every day at 12:00 and again at 7:00. There are widely viewed throughout the area many first grade teachers who have youngsters from underprivileged homes to knees in at 12:00. The programs are supported in part by the Junior League. There are 135 of these already recorded in cans and by the end of
the year there will be 185. The next slide. Now compare this background for this program of what you saw in Miami the Miami one was beautifully designed nicely worked out and this looks like a junk shop by comparison. What I found is utterly entranced in preschool youngsters looking in on this the camera trucks in on some of these things and back again there are pictures of Sigmund Fraud. There are pictures. There are pictures of Olympic athletes. There are pictures of stuff fish there are clocks these are changed all sorts of things. Here's a man a fully rich environment as I sat there and looked at this I felt like Professor Burt was reading Greek to me that there is so much to be learned in the deserved and so on. And moreover Mr. Bates capitalize upon that as his background.
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National Association of Educational Broadcasters Convention Keynote General Session
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