Viewing Whole Films: Babysitting or Valuable Learning?

When technology integration specialist Wes Fryer discovered that his son would be watching 10 films in his middle-school Leadership class, he wondered about the legal and pedagogical implications. Do you know of teachers who are over-relying on films and videos in the classroom? Read Renee's blog post about how to handle this issue.

Whether we like it or not, teachers may use media as a way to reduce the demands of the job or the perception that video is entertaining and motivating to students, but not as ‘serious’ or deserving of full-press intellectual effort as other sorts of texts.

As educators at all levels (from pre-K to post-graduate) have become increasingly comfortable in letting students learn by viewing, it has become acceptable to depend on this same strategy to accomplish other, non-educational goals: to calm students down when they are agitated, plug them in when there is no substitute teacher, or let the tape roll through the entire period when a teacher is unprepared for a lesson. Just as parents across America use television as an electronic babysitter, it appears that many elementary, secondary (and even college) teachers do the same.