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Learning with Documentaries

With the abundance of technology, many students are losing focus on the traditional textbook type of studying. Instead, they tend to look for new, more engaging learning experiences. Hence, students and educators should actively incorporate multimedia into their studying habits: documentaries can offer this experience. Since the key purpose of documentaries is to provide information in the form of a video to their viewers, it is one of the most influential forms of media that can be utilized in education.

Find Your Own Interests!

College students are going through the pinnacles of their learning life. Unlike high school, universities allow students to study in areas of their own interest. Therefore, it is essential to discover your own passions and interests. To do so, you should be aware of your social, political, and environmental surroundings. Of course, there are many ways to do so, such as reading books or newspapers, but these methods are relatively time-consuming and frankly, quite dull. This is where documentaries step in. Many studies show that students focus more on audio-visual techniques. Although you may be watching a video for entertainment, you may learn new information in the process as well. Furthermore, documentaries are accessible anywhere. Instead of carrying heavy books, you can watch them on your smartphone or electronic devices. How about watching a few clips while traveling or in between lectures?

Searching for the Right Documentary

Benefits of Watching Documentaries

Do you want to learn more about a historical event, a famous person, or a social cause? There is likely a documentary out there to check out. Documentaries are one way of expanding your map of reality and becoming more well-rounded in how you view the world. The following are three benefits of watching documentaries.

Academic Aspect

Documentaries have got you covered, no matter which topic you are looking for. If you want to come up with an innovative idea or stretch your mind to a new direction in your essay, check out a documentary about a topic you know nothing about. For example, in the documentary The Bit Player, you can learn about the extraordinary life of the computer scientist Claude Shannon. Also, the documentary In the Name of Confucius might give you insight into the great mind of a Chinese philosopher.

Cultural Aspect
Documentaries deliver information of different cultures and lifestyles you have never experienced. Of course, you cannot share these experiences firsthand, but they offer the next best option to open your eyes to different people and cultures. For example, you can learn about the quiet lifestyle of a Christian monk through the documentary Into Great Silence. Also, you can experience the daily life of a humble honey collector by watching the documentary Honeyland.

Social Aspect
Watching documentaries can strike up a new conversation topic. They provide you with new and unique subjects to talk about. Documentaries help you expand your knowledge and become a more balanced person with wisdom and social skills. The more you know about the world, the more chances you will have to connect with others and engage in various conversations. For instance, watching a documentary about current issues will help you add to or enter new discussions about multiple topics.

Recommendations for Kingos

Silicon Cowboys (2016)

Silicon Cowboys (walmart.com)

If you are interested in computing, this documentary is for you. The film is about three friends’ journey to instituting International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), the world’s most influential technology company. From the thrilling course of the competition to establishing new friendships, this documentary offers a variety of meaningful values.

Road to Roma (2020)

Road to Roma (netflix.com)

Road to Roma is a documentary film about the creative decisions behind the film Roma, which depicts a middle-class household in the Colonia Roma neighborhood of Mexico City. The documentary explains the cultural meaning behind the movie and essential details the audience may have missed.

World War Ⅱ in Color (2010)

World War Ⅱ in Color (netflix.com)

To know the world, it is only logical to understand its history. This documentary recounts one of the most important events in world history, World War Ⅱ. By learning how the war unfolded in detail, as well as how it affected our lives, we can also learn about our present day and the actions we must take to refrain from repeating the same mistakes.

Documentaries can make your everyday life more fulfilling and provide a great way of learning. Of course, you should remember that not everything in the films is accurate. Try your best to think critically, expose yourself to different viewpoints, and do not take anything for granted! Do not be afraid to research further if you find yourself questioning something you see or hear in a documentary. Overall, documentaries can be an excellent tool for self-growth and improvement.

강민서  kminseo0606@g.skku.edu

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