Students are used to typica l classroom routine. They go from lesson to lesson throughout the day, from one form of text to another. It is easy for students to become mentally lost while staring at yet another sea of words during their day at school.
Roberta Seret recognized the disinterest her students had, and sought to change that. Her history lessons have tran sformed thanks to a teaching tool she developed called FILMeds. Each FILMed is specific to a lesson having to do with a country or a certain time in that country’s history.
“It’s almost like Masterpiece Theatre. I’m sitting on the couch and I welcome the viewers to come and learn,” said Dr. Roberta Seret, who has been a teacher for fifty years. From there, the video transitions to a map, and a history lesson begins before a 20 minute clip of a movie is shown. The movie chosen for that FILMed perfectly shows that time in history. Students are not only learning the facts, the people attached to these times become incredibly real. These times of the past are no longer two dimensional words seen on a sheet of paper, they have a very relatable voice.
Creating a visual tool that combines history as equally as historical films has been invaluable to Dr. Seret on her mission to have the class be fully present and attentive during the lesson.
“They retain it and share it,” she says of their enthusiasm for FILMeds. She viewed the same lack of interest in public schools and the best private schools, insisting that classes like this are more effective “because they are visual learners.”
“In my class, we have be en talking about fast food restaurants and how unhealthy they are,” said Milton Pon, a health teacher at World Journalism Preparatory School. “The kids truly saw the impact after seeing the ‘Super Size Me’ documentary. It’s a way to engage students that doesn’t happen in a lecture where teachers are stating facts.”
Contrary to popular belief, learning does not have to be boring. Dr. Seret’s fifty years of experience is something other educators should seek out and emulate.
For more information about FILMeds, please visit here.