Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s most famous works, but to the average teenager or young adult Romeo and Juliet is a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. People weren’t aware that as they were watching the movie the words being spoken were the exact words from Shakespeare’s tragic tale. The point is movies can sometimes hold an educational significance that are translated through a more widespread medium such as movies. As technology increases, the ways in which educators are trying to reach students have fostered into more innovative ways. Most people consider movies, television shows or video games a form of entertainment, however some of them can also serve as educational/ fundamental development in one’s life or skill set. Today’s generation is dependent several modern ways with advances in technology, different entertainment mediums have proven to be an indispensable influence on the younger generation.
Movies have long told the stories from different walks of life. They can be different genres and translated into different languages in order to appeal to a broader audience. Movies can be engaged in storytelling of historical events and allow for meaningful illustrations of explaining scientific principles. Movies have the ability to give teachers and students a different option of teaching that helps English as a second language students and students with learning disabilities. In order to properly use movies as an educational tool is to properly identify the central themes and engage in quality discussion immediately after viewing. Movies have the power to enhance teaching lessons and excite the minds of students with thought provoking and powerful subjects. Movies can teach students how to write, teach students scientific procedures, and other important subject matters. Movies can extend the lesson plan beyond the textbook, and movies can help students get a feel of past eras and events. When educators show visually intriguing movies it can spark students’ interests and can provide teachable moments on significant subjects such as race, class, diversity, and other social issues.
In movies there are several major genres that movies typically fall into. One of the biggest genres is action movies. This is a genre in which the main themes are violence, fights, shooting, races, terrorism, kidnapping, and corruption. Although some may feel that this genre does the opposite of education, action movies have a way of educating on historical events such as on 9/11, Civil War, on political unrest, and social issues. They present real issues that have been plagued in violence but have utilize the silver screen to spread more information and awareness to those around the world. Action movies can help teach on the skills on negotiation, political influence, and invigorate a sense of humanity and need for justice such as in the movie Blood Diamonds. Another genre that is major in movies is adventure movies. The genre of adventure movies are the types of movies usually contain exciting stories depicting nature, adventure and exploration to name a few. In contrast to action films, in this genre the main accent is displaced from the major violence to main characters head piece.
Movies such as Indiana Jones, Sherlock Holmes, and others can have educational as well as entertaining value as they provide scientific and historical references throughout their movies. These types of movies also have the ability to inspire and influence viewers to pursue career fields that they might have never thought about before such as being in physics or being a professor and archeologist that explores mythical artifacts. Another popular movie genre are comedy movies. Comedy movies are generally light-hearted dramas and are made to amuse, enrich, and entertain the audience. These films can be displayed through several methods which include cartoons, shorts, plays, pictorials, or parodies. Animation is a popular mode for comedy films that helps when illustrating theories and events in order to appeal to people’s imaginations. These films can provide a central way for teachers to provide usually complicated lessons into a more relatable format. The skills assessed from comedy films can lead to several possibilities that include the power of persuasion, negotiation, and comedic relief in tension events.
Televisions shows have always provided a mixture of educational and entertaining TV. From the likes of shows that cater towards children such as “Sesame Street”, “Reading Rainbow”, and just about every show on PBS for Kids just to name a few. Studies have shown that television shows often depict several lessons within the shows in order to teach children about consequences of bad behavior and how to handle conflict. Television shows like movies have the ability to spark interests in the minds of people as young as 2 years old. Cooking shows, cartoons that cater to subject matters such as animals, explorations, and shapes helps with development and learning useful skills that inspire children to read. Shows that are delivered on prime time appeal to a broader audience showcasing several attributes that can be taken away as an educational lesson such as “American Idol”. An American reality singing competition program showcases talented individuals from diverse backgrounds competing for a record contract and national notoriety. In each segment they show where the singers learn vocal training, the history of music, and that anyone can be a star.
Sports and other athletic games can also hold value in education. Basketball is one of the world’s most popular and widely viewed sports. Each team in the NBA plays from a learned and crafted skill that has been developed over the years to compete to win games. Basketball is a very technical sport that requires hand-eye coordination, timing, physics, and fitness. Reality shows can be a lesson in management, marketing, and media. “Housewives of Atlanta” known as an American television show series on the BRAVO cable network that premiered in the fall of 2008 is one of the highest rated shows on cable television. The women showcased all bring good drama and ratings to the show but also teach the viewer a lesson in money management, self-esteem, relationships, and the on teaching about decency. Other reality shows that prove to educational include such as “The Biggest Loser” that helps with teaching the importance of nutritional value, dieting, and exercise also teaches useful skills in overcoming diversity and helping others. “The Amazing Race” helps provide educational content in the places they race, geography, and the advantages of working together that spill over into the classrooms.
Video games offer educational value as well. Although shrouded in controversy over the impact of violence in popular games, video games have proven to be an effective educational tool in the classrooms. Many teachers and parents have utilized the platform of video games to engage, interact, and teach different skills, foundations, and techniques that help students excel in and out the classroom. Unlike the skills of just literacy, reading, and writing, video games provide students with the skills of interpreting visual concepts and ideas. Video games provides students with the platform to use their thought process to react to different situations that include solving puzzles, deciding how to get out hard situations, and role playing. Video games help inspire creativity and having a new way to highlight personal interests and personalities. Comedy games are comic video with humorous overtones. For example, “Bugs Bunny”, “Tom & Jerry”, and “Madagascar” games teach young children counting, colors and other useful lessons for school. Video games help to inspire interest in history and geography, and encourage students to research and read on the concepts and subjects they encountered in the video games. Children use video games to pick up on complex languages and explore ideas related to mythology, cultures, and acquiring technical skills. Video games also have the purpose of helping children make friends, learning to share, create competition, and help children with learning disabilities to interact with other students. Video games also developed games just for the purpose of education. Educational games provides educational value to the player through enrichment, brainstorming, develop leadership and mediating skills. Other skills include providing teachable moments for other students to teach their peers, and use critical thinking that help build skills that help with problem solving and analytical thinking.
In conclusion, the evolution of technology has broadened our horizons by enhancing the entertainment spectrum. There are many different genres of movies, television shows and video games which reveal the diversity of science, fiction, nature, and fame to name a few and are entertaining to the audience that attract audiences. These mediums if used wisely not only offer entertainment but provide educational and learning experience that enables one to make informed decisions. Movies, television shows, and video games can provide an entertaining yet enriching formula to aid educators in reaching students, however educators must use wisely in order to reap the benefits that each provide. The skills and lessons access through the different mediums varies but educational value drawn from each is evident in the impact that each has on the generations that continue to develop and create new media to enrich and innovate others.