binge watching 101.

Browsing through the prompts provided for this month’s challenge, I was curious to find Netflix pop up in one. I mean, it’s my go to procrastination stop when I should be doing so many other more valuable things. It has in fact probably helped me delay the writing of this post!

Now having been distracted searching for Netflix memes, I’m trying to refocus on the task at hand!

I took a few minutes and checked out this video from the PBS Idea Channel.

The overall premise of the video was to discuss what might be the type of work that will carry through from this current period of time. They stipulate that in the past, novels, film, and TV have all become formats that resonate in history. The creators of this video argue that this decade will be remembered for the “Streaming Series”, those that are ‘screen agnostic’, they are on demand and always available and there are no ads. These shows are designed to be binged.

And, as we know, they are!

The video goes on to argue that a type of media that makes a lasting impression ‘doesn’t just change the way we consume, it also changes how the story gets told.’

Because of the popularity of these series, more and more producers of media must rethink their programming and what will capture the audience. I almost always choose short episodic TV shows vs. a full length film. My attention span is surely shrinking and I just don’t have the stamina for a two hour movie. (But I can watch 10 hours of episodic nonsense…don’t worry.)

But, at the end of the video I was contemplating how this type of media can and will change our students and their learning needs.

I did a quick search to see what information was already out there about these streaming series providers, like Netflix, and students. Here’s a couple links if you’d like to read more:

Netflix: is it every student’s worst addiction?

What Netflix Research Teaches Us About Student Study Habits

I think the advent of streaming shows continues to build the human desire to get what we want at the moment we want it. We need to take this idea and determine how it translates into an education setting.

Most schools today are still building very prescribed programs for students. These are often driven by a standardized testing experience that sets guidelines and standards that must be met. Why do we continue to pursue such narrow pathways for student learning?

It quickly makes me think about the work my friend Madeleine Brookes is doing at WAB right now that allows students to personalize their learning journey.

And Sam Sherratt’s stance on Breaking Moulds, encouraging schools to step away from boxed-in models of education.

The idea of challenging ourselves as educators to rethink the current vision of a school is often scary and difficult to conceptualize, but overall so exciting! It gives me such encouragement for the future. I’m glad to know that there are educators out there looking to push boundaries and take the challenges today’s students offer and use them as a springboard for future planning.

What are your thoughts on “streamed series” and the role they may play with our students? Are you a Netflix addict? And, of course, I’m happy to hear which series I should include in my summer viewing! #suggestionsplease

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