Chris Uggen's Blog: video killed the lecturing star

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

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. - a growing collection of videos online, downloadable to your hard drive.

2. - another collection similar to google video.

3. - jon says movie trailers can be fascinating under a sociological microscope (e.g., representations of race, gender or class). hmmm. maybe so.

4. - a massive collection of free online video, audio and text, including video subcollections such as:

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.


At 10:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jon's list WAS really spectacular, wasn't it? I just had to comment, because now I feel like a star -- my name's on Uggen's blog! I've been reading for awhile, and I love your honoraria (that spelling looks all wrong) plan -- you've gotta have the biggest heart in all of Criminology, man, and crim folk are a pretty good bunch, so that's saying something!

At 10:51 PM, Anonymous chris said...

thanks carla, i couldn't have done the clips without you.

on the other thing, i truly appreciate the kind words. but seriously, that fund is 99 parts guilt to 1 part heart. sometimes good things come from bad places.

At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a real poncho.

- Jon

At 9:29 AM, Blogger Mike W. said...

I tried using "Raising Arizona" for a section on Life-Course criminology; although it seemed like a good idea at first, I don't think the connection went through so easily. I think there are better videos out there, without getting into tedious documentaries that may be interesting to us, but not so much students.

I also try to teach reflexively (as if Bourdieu gave us a clear idea of what that entails, or, rather, that I've grasped it) aware of my political bias. Knowing that, I'd be scared to death to use "The Daily Show" in the classroom, no matter the relevance it may have.

At 10:35 PM, Anonymous chris said...

mike, sara wakefield used raisin' AZ to good effect in a presentation on parenting and recidivism. on politics, my students think i'm a big-r Republican when i'm lecturing on deterrence and an unreconstructed instrumental marxist when i'm lecturing on class, state, and crime. and that's the way i like it. but funny is funny, right? one can always mix in a little pj o'roarke with one's jon stewart...

At 8:38 AM, Anonymous free directory said...

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