video killed the lecturing star
i'm an arrogant teacher. more specifically, i'm arrogant about my lectures. i'll ask: what could possibly be a more efficient and effective way to spread the knowledge and the love than for me to just get my lecture on? well, incorporating well-placed bits of multimedia into said lectures for a start. several department grad students digitized short film clips, sorted them thematically, and made them available in our teaching resources center.
while i still maintain it is cheating to show two-hour films (what am i, an overpaid projectionist?), the five minute clips fit my attention span and that of my students. i've learned that breaking up a lecture with a taste of fight club or gattaca often brings home a point about consumerism or labeling even more effectively (gasp!) than my lectures alone.
on this point, i got the coolest email today from jon smajda, a star minnversity grad student and zappa-esque technophile. in his capacity as our department's infotech fellow, jon compiled the following list of sites offering lecture-friendly film and video.
1. video.google.com - a growing collection of videos online, downloadable to your hard drive.
2. www.youtube.com - another collection similar to google video.
3. www.apple.com/trailers - jon says movie trailers can be fascinating under a sociological microscope (e.g., representations of race, gender or class). hmmm. maybe so.
4. www.archive.org - a massive collection of free online video, audio and text, including video subcollections such as:
- the beat within - video diaries of young people incarcerated in california.
- shaping san francisco - a participatory social history of san francisco.
- cinemocracy - 1940's pro-war propaganda films, by some of the best directors of the time.
- mosaic middle east news - english translations of middle east television news clips.
- media burn - historical, political and social reality, 1972-2002.
5. old tv commercials - from the 1980s, especially advertising directed at children.
6. richard beach's teaching media site - minnversity professor beach's site for his text on media literacy, with links to video materials and ideas for integrating them into your classes.
7. comedy central - for social commentary, try the daily show and the colbert report.
8. media education foundation - short preview videos to most of their stuff.
9. pbs frontline - dozens of documentary episodes available for free viewing online.
thanks, jon, for the authentic list and for granting permission to make a cheap copy (is that a real poncho or is that a sears poncho?). and thanks also to katherine fines, keith cunnien, and carla mantel for setting up our department's teaching resource center's clip library.