Entertaining Education

notes

Photo Credit: Victoria Alpaugh

Throughout the semester we have had the opportunity to learn in many unconventional settings. We have observed the low crab population while trot lining, identified organisms walking through a salt marsh, experienced the cultures of countless communities and all of these experiences have been imprinted in my mind. I will not forget them. There is such a difference in the effectiveness of learning in these unorthodox classrooms as compared to sitting at a desk and reading from a chalkboard. I have always heard students say that “hands-on learning” is the most effective way to learn, but over the last few months I have found that it is more of making a subject entertaining than it is making it hands-on.

It may be that our generation expects to be entertained because of the way our society has evolved, but we have surely evolved to thinking old learning techniques are boring because they do not excite us. While talking with Sandy Cannon-Brown, an environmental filmmaker, I was intrigued by her profession. How is it that there is such a profession? It is no longer acceptable to send out a data sheet and a paper explaining how our environment is in danger. Posters and fliers will not get people to listen anymore. We want to be entertained while we are learning. Mrs. Cannon-Brown must produce informative and entertaining documentaries to engage her audience and get them to be interested in an issue. On one hand I find it amazing that she can reach more people by making these amazing videos, but on the other hand it is a little saddening that we have to go through all this work to make a documentary so that we do not get bored while we are learning.

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