“Netflix in the classroom? Sounds odd, but there are five great reasons to look into it, right here from Gaby Arancibia writing for eSchool News.”

While teachers look to find new ways to make the classroom more interactive, some might look to Netflix, a video-streaming site

Netflix-classroom-educationImagine yourself back in a high school classroom and the teacher is getting ready to discuss how the next 40 minutes will play out.

It’s your last class of the day and all you want to do is finish so you can catch the bus home and forget about what you learned. Now imagine yourself as a high school teacher getting ready to teach a group of students. It’s the last class of the day and you already know every student is just counting down the minutes until the bell rings. How do you construct your lesson plan so students will become intrigued and want to learn?

Enter Netflix.

While the big video-streaming site technically does not allow  its content to be used in a commercial setting, using its content in a classroom might be a solution for teachers trying to get students to participate in class.

1. Instant access to content  Teachers typically have to submit paperwork and give supervisors ample time before being able to play a movie to students. Instead of spending so much time trying to get the content, why not instead use snippets of a movie to get the general point across?

With programs like Netflix, teachers can login and search for a movie about the lesson. Students on the other hand are supplied with real-world examples that can automatically cancel out their questions regarding how the information they’re learning can be used outside of the classroom.

2. Provide students with documentaries and films Is anyone prepping a lesson on the works of Charles Dickens or The Great Gatsby? No? Maybe you’re getting ready to explain the water cycle to students? Either way, teachers are only a click away from providing students with material that can give them more of an in-depth view of how lessons they learn in the classroom can be applied elsewhere.

Not every student is created equal; some prefer other subjects to the one they’re currently learning. Using videos to supplement the lesson plan can increase the likelihood of getting their attention. If it’s either watching a Bill Nye video or the film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, teachers can be assured that students will definitely have something to talk about during discussion. Students can give their own views and opinions regarding the film and provide the class with their own take on the viewing.

With an easy access to video streaming teachers can always count on students participating in class.

3. Foreign language films  ¿Hablas español? Learning a new language can be difficult at times and when you’re learning along with peers, it can be even more nerve wrecking. Teachers tend to recommend reading a Hispanic newspaper or even watching telenovelas, but if students want to look for something more than a drama series, watching a foreign film has many benefits for its viewers.

Students learn the accent and fluidity of the language, while also learning about the culture. Take for example the movie Machuca, set in the midst of the Pinochet era of Chile. Students can learn and adapt their listening skills to grasp the Chilean accent while also learning about the country’s past.

Knowing a language is also understanding the culture, students can enrich the sense of know by watching films that blend the two.

4. Program series that target specific niche topics It doesn’t matter if you were in high school in the 70s, 80s or are currently enrolled; everyone remembers watching documentaries. Whether you’re learning about prohibition or the pyramids, streaming videos enhance the experience of actually seeing the process and how life functioned. While students may have an imagination, seeing what the teacher is talking about helps even more.

Take for instance the nature series that National Geographic has continued to put out or even the PBS series on music and arts? With technological advancements in online video using, schools can also join in on the fun that others get to have for leisure.

5. Save money Of all the reasons to jump on the Netflix bandwagon, saving money might be the most important. At a point where funds for schools are already limited, using Netflix in the classroom can allow for grants to be used towards other necessities.

Instead of paying for physical copies of a film, it is more financially sound to subscribe to a $7.99 account that includes unlimited material. Teachers would be able to stream movies without having to take away funds from other departments.

To the person making the school budgets, rest assured if more teachers use video streaming sites in their classrooms there will be more funds to go around. Gaby Arancibia is an editorial intern at eSchool News. 

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