Showing video clips to supplement teaching is nothing new. And with the advent of online streaming platforms and AV projection equipment in most classrooms, it’s never been easier. The arguably larger challenge at this point in time is how to sift through the millions (literally) of videos currently available online.
Well for teachers who include population and related issues in their classes, the new website Planet Populous is a useful tool. At its most basic, the site is a clearinghouse of videos relating to population growth and the impacts of this growth. The videos are grouped into themes through which visitors can explore population dynamics, population-science or population-religion connections, and the impact of a growing population on nature. In addition to Population Education’s World Population “dot” video, you’ll find videos from demographer Hans Rosling, the Atlantic, National Geographic, and a variety of other credible sources.
The videos on the site are not specifically meant for classroom use, but rather for a general audience. As such, some are fairly long (though the average length is closer to 10-15 minutes) and of course teachers will want to pre-screen before sharing with students. But the videos all stream in full from the Planet Populous website, making them easy to find and use in real-time.
One particular classroom-friendly favorite from the site is NPR’s How Population Growth Reaches 7 Billion and Beyond. A simple visual of colored water moving in and out of glass cylinders shows births and deaths. And helpfully, the representation shows the speed of births vs deaths not just globally but regionally, and not just today but over time. It is a wonderful introduction to basic demographic concepts that will form students’ foundation for understanding population challenges to come.