Showing posts from August, 2017

Teaching with Documentaries

As I prepare for fall classes, I am having my annual dilemma over content I want to share with my students. This semester I'm teaching two classes that I've taught before: 1) Global Perspectives on Natural Disasters and 2) Global Change (I'm team-teaching the second one). In both classes, I use a textbook but also assign additional readings and show short and long documentaries during class.  I like to think of the videos as multimedia reading assignments that give students something to think about and discuss. But just like articles and books, I can only show the same documentaries for a while until they become outdated. So each time I have to decide if it's time to retire that favorite video or show it one more time.

A great example is The Trouble with Malaria. It's an episode of the CBC series "The Nature of Things" and gives an excellent overview of the disease and struggles to fight it. But it was made 20 years ago! I've been showing it in GEO 33…