Thursday, May 30, 2024

Can Netflix become a medium of education?

Priya Kumari – Enigmatic Horizon Staff (Sub editor)

Netflix was launched in 1997 by American entrepreneurs Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. Although when it started in 1999, it was a subscription-based system where subscribers received movies in the form of DVDs, in 2010, Netflix’s services became limitless, and they began offering their content online without the use of DVDs. By 2016, it had started streaming in more than 190 countries. 

Netflix has both positive and negative impacts on society. We can say it depends mostly on the subscriber and how they use it. According to reports, children, adults, and especially teens are impacted by what can be termed the “Netflix effect.” A typical Netflix series generally consists of multiple episodes, and they are generally quite addictive- therefore the term- the Netflix Effect. Netflix shows are usually popular among college-going teens. It can commonly be seen that college-going students even create groups for discussing and watching popular shows on Netflix, even bunking classes or during their break times. Thus, the youth can be seen using Netflix mostly for entertainment purposes. 

Nowadays, people stress out a lot due to heavy workloads. When it comes to students, even they are under stress due to the pressure of their studies. Netflix helps people in this as it allows one to relax in their free time, through their shows and movies. However, problems occur when people begin skipping their valuable time to watch Netflix shows, especially teens who wake up till midnight and watch some random series with friends that is not of much use. Therefore, many parents see Netflix as a curse for their children. Most of them get worried when their child subscribes to Netflix, and the reason is obvious. 

There are various educational and informative shows that Netflix streams, and parents should be aware of them so that they may guide their children to watch such kinds of educational series and not just random ones. In their free time or during holidays, children can watch these kinds of informative shows with their friends, and even have a group discussion about them. Let’s have a look at some of the popular series on Netflix for different age groups.

Today, for children, the most efficient learning method is through the virtual medium. Teachers can also make the children watch such educational shows during one of their class periods. 

For Elementary School Kids, some of the best educational Netflix shows are-

Brainchild – In this series, the producer, Pharell Williams, describes the various types of scientific experiments.

Disney Nature: Oceans – It is a documentary about marine life. It digs into the depths of the oceans to examine various kinds of marine creatures.

The Mind, Explained – This series focuses on how our mind acts when performing various activities. 

Best educational shows for middle school- 

Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History – This is a comedy show that portrays black history and many black heroes. It highlights the first black woman who aspired to become an astronaut and the first black man who journeyed to the North Pole.

Big Miracle – This is a biographical drama based on a real-life incident in the life of a reporter who found himself stuck in the Arctic Circle. 

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind – This is a biographical drama about William Kamkwamba, who invented a windmill to save his village. 

72 Cutest Animals – It portrays some of the cutest animals in the universe and how their unique features act as their defense. 

Night on earth – It portrays the nightlife of wildlife by using the latest technology. 

Best informative educational shows for high school-

Abstract (The Art of Design) – It highlights the best designers across the globe working in different industries. 

Dangerous Animals – It portrays some of the deadliest creatures in the universe.

Explained – It portrays 20-minute episodes of some of the best informative topics in the world. 

The White Helmets – This movie is very inspirational and a must to watch for each age group. Through this series, it is described how a group of people risked their lives to rescue the lives of the victims from the daily war that is occurring in Syria. It totally focuses on the lifestyle of the people of Syria. 

BABIES – This documentary is all about the life of a baby. It reveals how a baby communicates and what they mean by crying. It also explores whether crying is the only way a baby communicates. This series will be beneficial for students who study human growth or home science. 

Dream Big, Engineering the World – This is a documentary that is beneficial for the youth who aspire to become engineers in the coming future. It gives an overview of how an engineer works or creates big dams, skyscrapers, roads etc. 

Zion – This is an 11-minute documentary film revolving around a wrestler named Zion who was born without legs and was brought up in foster care. He fought against all the challenges of his life and fulfilled his dream of becoming a wrestler.  

Street Food, Asia – It is a documentary series that describes the street foods of various countries in Asia, including India. This provides knowledge about the food habits of different cultures across the world. It is one of the best series on cultural studies around. 

The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes – This is a reality TV show about interior design that features styles of homes in different countries across the globe. It is the best show for those whose dream is to pursue careers in interior design.

Netflix is not only a medium of entertainment, but it also streams various kinds of educational shows that kids and youths can learn from. Parents can play the role of a watchdog on whether their children are using Netflix for informative purposes and, if yes, whether they are using it efficiently or not. How much time they are spending on it should also be taken into consideration. We can come to the conclusion that online streaming has both positive and negative impacts on society. Since an overdose of everything can be wrong, there needs to be a balance of entertainment, education, and information. 

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