Castle Librarian

Almost Helpful

In Educational Technology on July 11, 2013 at 8:33 pm

I spent today looking for websites, images, and videos related to the Apollo 11 Moon mission. As always happens, searching for something on the Internet results in finding something else you weren’t looking for. I stumbled upon Discovery News Videos, specifically this one:

New Star Proves Einstein is a Badass

I applaud the effort to make science exciting and hip, but I think Discovery News has gone a bit too far. Using the word “badass” is one thing and could probably be overlooked, but calling Einstein a bamf is another thing altogether. (If you don’t know what a bamf is, turn to our friend Google who knows everything about pop culture, slang, and curse words. Hint, it isn’t the sound that X-men’s Nightcrawler makes when he transports.)

So, imagine you are a teacher showing this video to your students hoping they will develop some interest in science or learn something when a student raises their hand and asks “What’s a bamf?” All science learning goes out the window. Now, native English speaking students might not ask, because it may be part of their vocabulary already. However, I work with 100% English as a second language students who are more likely to ask about words they hear that weren’t in their class vocabulary list.

There’s a secondary reason why I can’t use or recommend these videos to our students. The narrators speak at the speed of light. Apparently, they have a quota of information they have to spew in a tight time limit. Really limits the educational value of these videos.

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