ALPHARETTA, Ga. – When the C-SPAN Bus rolled up to King’s Ridge Christian School the other day, students were excited. They knew they were going to get out of class to see it. And at the end of the day, they had a new tool for learning.
C-SPAN’s Chris DeManche said many students don’t know what the C-SPAN mission is or how they as students can use the public TV channel as both a resource for school papers and to learn how their government really operates.
C-SPAN is a publically funded, nonprofit organization that brings the U.S. government into the classroom or the den with no spin, no commentary, DeManche said. Comcast Cable sponsored the bus to come to King’s Ridge.
“Our mission is to give a fly-on-the-wall perspective of government at the federal level. There is no opinion injected,” he said.
The C-SPAN website has the day’s schedule of events – these could be anything from Senate or House hearings on anything from the fiscal cliff or the confirmation of the new secretary of state to a White House or Pentagon press conference and congressional hearings on former CIA Director David Petreus’ fall.
“Students can access our video library to research papers for class and even clip an event as an email, or twitter or send it to Facebook. All of C-SPAN’s material is open-source. It belongs to everybody,” DeManche said.
The C-SPAN Bus Program is an umbrella term for the activity surrounding several vehicles that have been used by C-SPAN since 1993, starting with the C-SPAN School Bus.
The C-SPAN digital bus was introduced in June 2010 and the Campaign 2012 Bus launched in August 2012.
“The Campaign 2012 Bus attends events across the country. You can see the bus at book festivals, education conferences and political gatherings. We work with local cable providers to bring the bus to community events including high schools, universities, libraries and various other locations,” DeManche said.
“The bus is equipped with the latest interactive technology. We hope to connect visitors to our public affairs programming while providing a greater understanding of C-SPAN and our free resources.”
The bus is equipped with computer kiosks that access C-SPAN’s many websites, including the video library, C-SPAN Classroom, Congressional Chronicle and Book TV. Visitors can also test their knowledge of public affairs with quizzes, learn about StudentCam and follow the Road to the White House.
The bus is also equipped with a Smartboard and presentation area for discussions on the video library, C-SPAN Classroom, Campaign 2012 and other topics.