This article explores closed-circuit television (CCTV) and its ‘bright promise stage’, as it was contemplated, marketed, and implemented as a low-cost classroom tool. After the Federal Communications Commission issued the 1952 Sixth Report and Order, many schools and communities sought to bring educational television to the classroom. However, this model was financially out of reach for most. CCTV was a more affordable version of educational television that could cater to specific classroom needs and allow schools to create their own in-house network. CCTV represents just one of many new technologies that have been promoted as ideal for classroom instruction over the last century. Using articles and advertisements from popular press magazines, educational journals, books, and archival materials, this article seeks to illuminate the ‘social practices and conflicts’ that contributed to the conversations around CCTV’s classroom utility. It concludes by connecting CCTV’s promotion in the 1950s to more recent new media technologies.