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Old 10-12-2017, 03:26 AM
Asuka Asuka is offline
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Has there ever been any "cool/hip" educational pieces of media that actually worked on you?

You know how educators or other professional groups are trying to make learning fun, so they attempt to "update" things to cater to the newest generation. Not just the basic idea of making learning fun (which have succeeded in various ways by making edutainment games like Oregon Trail or SimCity) but rather attempts that involve specifically including current pop culture or trends.

What inspired me to make this topic was learning the YouTube series "Epic Rap Battles of History" made censored versions of their original videos so they could be shown in class-rooms. I can't imagine being in a classroom nowadays and seeing one of those videos and not cringing at the attempt, like how they had MacGruff the Crime Dog rap in videos I watched back in my youth and even when I was 10 I knew that was incredibly lame.

I also remember as a kid they tried to make educational comic books under the idea that kids like comic books so if you put Anti-Drug messages or Historical Figures in them kids would enjoy them, not understanding that kids read comic books because they were exciting not because they just like the medium.
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Old 10-12-2017, 04:03 AM
galen ubal galen ubal is online now
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Schoolhouse Rock!

"Conjunction junction, what's your function..."
  #3  
Old 10-12-2017, 04:30 AM
Olentzero Olentzero is offline
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Some of the ERB episodes are amazing, however. Thomas Jefferson vs. Frederick Douglass is a personal favorite, as is the Western vs. Eastern Philosophers - I love how the squads end up quibbling with each other at the end! I can see how some of them could be used as supplementary material to try to get a point or two across.

And to back up galen ubal, I'm from the generation Schoolhouse Rock was aimed at, and it certainly worked on me.

Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, get your adverbs here...
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  #4  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:01 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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TED Talks seem to have built a business model around it. I don't get it, but there it is.

Love Schoolhouse Rock!!

I have gotten started on a number of topics I have been curious about via graphic novel books. The Cartoon History of the Universe by Larry Gopnik, for example, is frickin' brilliant.
  #5  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:04 AM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galen ubal View Post
Schoolhouse Rock!

"Conjunction junction, what's your function..."
Came in to post that. Like, I can still recite the Preamble, but only in tune.
  #6  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:07 AM
ExTank ExTank is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galen ubal View Post
Schoolhouse Rock!

"Conjunction junction, what's your function..."
Exactly what sprang to my mind when I read the thread title.

"I'm just a Bill, yes I'm only a Bill, and I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill..."
  #7  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:45 AM
Gyrate Gyrate is offline
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Yep, I think Schoolhouse Rock is the big flashing neon sign of an answer here.

I have all the Cartoon History of the Universe/Modern World books (by Larry Gonick) but read them as an adult.

However, my daughter was heavily influenced by the children's videos by They Might Be Giants - they had a series of video podcasts (I refuse to call them "vodcasts") using material from their Here Come the A-B-Cs and Here Come the 1-2-3s CD/DVDs, and their excellent Here Comes Science DVD resulted in her deciding to be a palaeontologist at age 3, an aspiration she continues to maintain six years later. Very highly recommended.

Sesame Street also did (and possibly still do) an excellent series of short video podcasts as well, for the parent on the go.
  #8  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:51 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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I have all the Cartoon History of the Universe/Modern World books (by Larry Gonick) but read them as an adult.
Gonick. Argh.
  #9  
Old 10-12-2017, 07:19 AM
Gyrate Gyrate is offline
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Oh god - how could I have forgotten Horrible Histories? The books are good but the television show is phenomenal. I don't know how available they are outside the UK but they are both very funny and very informative.

ETA: Since the OP mentioned rap battles, here's a Horrible Histories video featuring King Charles II holding forth in a distinctly recognizable style (and I'm pretty sure they shot that at Hampton Court Palace). It's not all song parodies, mind you, but this seemed to fit the thread.

Last edited by Gyrate; 10-12-2017 at 07:23 AM.
  #10  
Old 10-12-2017, 08:24 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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I don't know how hip it was, even at the time, but You Are There stoked my interest in history. It showed historical events as they would have been covered by TV news.
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  #11  
Old 10-12-2017, 08:43 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Well, I can honestly say that I haven't copied a floppy in quite a few years, so it must have worked.
  #12  
Old 10-12-2017, 10:32 AM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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He signed you, Bill, now you're a law!

OH, YEAH!

Bart and Lisa weigh in:
  #13  
Old 10-12-2017, 11:12 AM
Jophiel Jophiel is offline
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For what it's worth, my son just started college this year and liked the Epic Rap Battles series while in high school. Granted, he saw the straight versions and not a bowdlerized classroom version but the concept worked for him.
  #14  
Old 10-12-2017, 02:05 PM
Gatopescado Gatopescado is online now
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I introduced Bill Nye the Science Guy to my kid when he was younger. I thought it was pretty a good series. Educational, entertaining and not condescending.

I would recommend it.
  #15  
Old 10-12-2017, 02:45 PM
lisiate lisiate is offline
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TED Talks seem to have built a business model around it. I don't get it, but there it is.

Love Schoolhouse Rock!!

I have gotten started on a number of topics I have been curious about via graphic novel books. The Cartoon History of the Universe by Larry Gopnik, for example, is frickin' brilliant.
Smug hipsters glibly raving about banalities seems the antithesis of cool.
  #16  
Old 10-12-2017, 02:46 PM
Trancephalic Trancephalic is offline
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Not mentioned: Beakman's World. It kinda went down in history as a Bill Nye The Science Guy wannabe, but it's good stuff even in retrospect. Beakman even cameo'd in a recent Captain Disillusion video. And on that note, Captain Disillusion, too.

Also, the Carmen Sandiego franchise is pretty hep, sometimes, particularly Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego, however all the cool is concentrated on Carmen herself and she isn't the focal point.
  #17  
Old 10-12-2017, 03:58 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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Why Man Creates wasn't labeled "educational" but it certainly fits the bill.

A graphic designer and I once showed it to the 20-somethings in our office and it suitably impressed them.
  #18  
Old 10-12-2017, 04:05 PM
Inner Stickler Inner Stickler is offline
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Crash Course started as an extra-scholastic youtube channel and has developed into a bit of an educational materials empire.
  #19  
Old 10-12-2017, 04:32 PM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisiate View Post
Smug hipsters glibly raving about banalities seems the antithesis of cool.
Are you posing in a Power Stance(tm) when you say that?
  #20  
Old 10-12-2017, 04:48 PM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is online now
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Another vote for Schoolhouse Rock.

I remember a film I saw at least twice back in school called Hemo, the Magnificent; part of series of films made by Bell Laboratories back in the '50s. Don't know if it was ever cool/hip, but I definitely remember it years later. I wouldn't have recognized the name back then, but it was directed by Frank Capra.

I also remember the Life Science Library book series. My uncle had the full set and I thought they were fascinating (well, a few volumes more than others). I happened to see him when he was planning to get rid of them, so he gave them to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatopescado View Post
I introduced Bill Nye the Science Guy to my kid when he was younger. I thought it was pretty a good series. Educational, entertaining and not condescending.

I would recommend it.
Nye got his start (pretty much) on a local Seattle show called Almost Live. He did Science Guy stuff, and other characters like a superhero who fought crime while racewalking. Considering how far he has come, it's interesting to see some of the early evolution of the character.
  #21  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:16 PM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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I loved Watch Mr. Wizard when I was growing up.
  #22  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:30 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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Quote:
"cool/hip"
Why are you saying it like that?





I'll add my vote to Schoolhouse Rock for its memorability.
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  #23  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:44 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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IAN the OP and cannot speak for yadda yadda yadda, but I'm not sure Schoolhouse Rock was ever what the OP would have called "cool/hip". Catchy, yes, and pleasant in that laid-back but earnest Sesame Streetish way. Nerdyfun, like Tom Lehrer's Periodic Table song or the songs about "Silent E" and "-LY" on the Electric Company. But not cool.
  #24  
Old 10-12-2017, 06:42 PM
Trancephalic Trancephalic is offline
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What about Animaniacs?
  #25  
Old 10-12-2017, 06:59 PM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robot Arm View Post
Another vote for Schoolhouse Rock.

I remember a film I saw at least twice back in school called Hemo, the Magnificent; part of series of films made by Bell Laboratories back in the '50s. Don't know if it was ever cool/hip, but I definitely remember it years later. I wouldn't have recognized the name back then, but it was directed by Frank Capra.

I also remember the Life Science Library book series. My uncle had the full set and I thought they were fascinating (well, a few volumes more than others). I happened to see him when he was planning to get rid of them, so he gave them to me.

Nye got his start (pretty much) on a local Seattle show called Almost Live. He did Science Guy stuff, and other characters like a superhero who fought crime while racewalking. Considering how far he has come, it's interesting to see some of the early evolution of the character.
The prequel to Hemo was "Our Mr. Sun," co-starring >trumpets< Eddie Albert (and his red hair).
  #26  
Old 10-12-2017, 07:26 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is online now
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Old 10-12-2017, 07:35 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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Cheech and Chong got me interested in chemistry.



I watched Mr. Wizard.

My daughters and I watched Mythbusters. Some of the episodes do a nice job showing problem solving and the scientific method. For example, they took samples throughout the building and grew cultures to find the dirtiest places.

Last edited by aceplace57; 10-12-2017 at 07:39 PM.
  #28  
Old 10-12-2017, 07:48 PM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor View Post
What was *ever* cool or hip about that song?
  #29  
Old 10-12-2017, 09:03 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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You'll be happy to know Yakko's World has been somewhat updated.
  #30  
Old 10-12-2017, 09:09 PM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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why are you saying it like that?





I'll add my vote to schoolhouse rock for its memorability.


"You're eating hair!"
  #31  
Old 10-12-2017, 10:08 PM
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I also remember the Life Science Library book series. My uncle had the full set and I thought they were fascinating (well, a few volumes more than others). I happened to see him when he was planning to get rid of them, so he gave them to me.

I remember those when I was a wee one, and getting bummed out after reading that section about the woman with severe depression in...it was either the "Health and Disease" or "Drugs" volume. Devoured those things.

Wonder Showzen could be educational, with a little bit of swagger.
Or ... something .
  #32  
Old 10-12-2017, 10:48 PM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is offline
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Similar to Schoolhouse Rock and Horrible Histories, there was a show in my native New Zealand in the 90s called The Trivia Company, comedy sketches involving interesting historical facts.

We also had Tiki Tiki Forest Gang, which I puppeteered for briefly. It was a natural history puppet show, covering topics about animal conservation.

*made by some people I knew (I submitted some scripts too, but they didn't get picked)
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:22 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Érase... una vez... un planeta triste y oscuro. Y la luz... al nacer... descubrió ¡un bonito mundo de color!

It wasn't sold as "cool" or "hip", just as "educational", but Once Upon A Time had a lot of people of all ages stuck in front of the TV. Of course any series involving history will have details which are told differently on different sides of a border, but even in those cases many people considered it interesting to see how the French looked at events for which we'd been "the other guys".


* There was at least another series, Once Upon A Time - The Human Body. It wasn't as successful but let's face it, the enormous soap opera we call "history" is a lot more interesting than capillaries and proteins. And I say that as someone whose dream job would have involved biochemistry.




La bola de cristal, featuring Alaska as la Bruja Avería ("Breakdown, the Witch"), is considered to have been groundbreaking in many ways (for starters, picking a punk diva as the star, instead of someone cheerily bland). It was on screen when I was in college so I haven't really watched much of it but I know it had high audiences and dared to speak about things other children's programs did not.
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Last edited by Nava; 10-13-2017 at 06:27 AM.
  #34  
Old 10-13-2017, 08:12 AM
LVBoPeep LVBoPeep is online now
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It's definitely NSFW and adult oriented but I love Thug Notes... like this gem:

Jane Eyre
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  #35  
Old 10-13-2017, 05:34 PM
Loach Loach is online now
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I loved the show Connections. I know it was cool and hip by the lapel size of James Burke.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078588/

Last edited by Loach; 10-13-2017 at 05:36 PM.
  #36  
Old 10-14-2017, 09:01 PM
Yookeroo Yookeroo is offline
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Hamilton

Drunk History?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
I have gotten started on a number of topics I have been curious about via graphic novel books. The Cartoon History of the Universe by Larry Gopnik, for example, is frickin' brilliant.
It really is.
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  #37  
Old 10-15-2017, 09:29 AM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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Érase... una vez... un planeta triste y oscuro. Y la luz... al nacer... descubrió ¡un bonito mundo de color!

It wasn't sold as "cool" or "hip", just as "educational", but Once Upon A Time had a lot of people of all ages stuck in front of the TV. Of course any series involving history will have details which are told differently on different sides of a border, but even in those cases many people considered it interesting to see how the French looked at events for which we'd been "the other guys".
Oh wow, you guys had that too? The show had a huge following here in Israel (although our opening titles were a bit more terrifying). Great - if somewhat dated - program, with a surprising amount of violence and nudity for a children's show.

Last edited by Alessan; 10-15-2017 at 09:30 AM.
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