Education Video Clips

I am starting to index, annotate, and put on the web various video clips focussing on education. So far the collection is small, but I've started with some of my favorites.


Father Guido Sarducci (Don Novello) discussing his Five Minute University
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~4 minutes.


Apple Computer's first advertisement for the Macintosh (circa 1984). This ad caused quite a stir at the time. Apple paid to have it broadcast only once, during the superbowl. But, because it was so captivating and clever, it was rebroadcast many times by news outlets, thereby giving Apple a tremendous amount of exposure for free.
Format: Quicktime Movie; playing time: ~1 minute.


Ben Stein plays an incredibly inept and boring teacher in the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. For a time, Stein had many roles like this one in movies and on TV.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~1 minute.


The UCI Race: How to Think About and Win the UCI Race.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~10 seconds.

Computer Science is Hard: Tom Hanks explains why, from the Movie, A League of Their Own. Crank up the volume when playing this one.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~10 seconds.


The Paper Chase is my all-time favorite movie for students (for teachers, it is Dead Poets Society see below). Kingsfield and Keating, while appearing adjacent in the alphabet, are poles apart in their teaching styles: in their own ways, both are mesmerizing and unforgetable educators.

The Paper Chase follows James Hart through his first year at Harvard Law School, concentrating on Professor Kingsfield's course on contract law. While a bit dated for students in the new millenium (it was released in 1973), I believe that this movie makes more interesting observations and raises more interesting questions about college life than any other film that I have seen. It especially speaks to survival skills at a school populated by smart students with high expectations. Mr. Hart spends a lot of time trying to understand Kingsfield, but in the end, he understands himself much better.

The clips below are a few of my favorite (short) scenes, in the order they appeared in the film, providing a limited narrative. Watched individually, they cannot do justice to the film, which has a much richer and more detailed texture. So of course, I recommend skipping these clips now and watching the entire movie first. Watch the whole movie now, before even reading the descriptions of the clips below. I have tried to remove references to the most interesting plot twists.

Clip 1: At the start of the first day of classes, Kingsfield randomly calls on Mr. Hart to discuss a case that was assigned before school began.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~3 minutes.

Clip 2: Kingsfield explains the Socratic method of teaching.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~1.5 minutes.

Clip 3: Hart tells his girfriend (they are in bed together, but there is no nudity) about the three factions of students at Harvard, and vows to enter the upper echelon in Kingsfield's class.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~1.5 minutes.

Clip 4: Kingfield responds to one of Hart's classmates, who has a photographic memory.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~.5 minutes.

Clip 5: Hart and and his friend/confidant Ford break into the "red set room" in the Law Library to read the notes that Kingfield took in his contract law class, when he was a first year student.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~3.5 minutes.

Clip 6: Hart approaches Kingsfield after class to further discuss a point, and gets a job from him.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~2.5 minutes.

Note: I had to edit out a few words to ensure that this clip doesn't disclose a plot twist.
Clip 7: Hart discusses Kingsfield with his girlfriend, and in the next scene "passes" when asked a question by Kingsfield in class.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~3.5 minutes.

Clip 8: After taking his final exam in contracts, Hart runs into Kingsfield in the elevator, and tells him the impact Kingsfield and his class has had on Hart. A major part of the movie concerns the many levels of interaction between Hart and Kingsfield (many of those interactions are missing from these clips). Note what happens when Kingsfield asks Hart a surprising question: the slow take and look on Hart's face is all-telling.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~1 minute.


Dead Poets Society is my all-time favorite movie for teachers (for students, it is The Paper Chase see above). I try to watch it before every semester starts. The older I get the further away I get from the aspirations and life-experiences of my students, who are mostly barely out of high school, and now at a new and wonderful place, with millions of "distractions" competing for their attention. This movie helps me recenter my thoughts. Kingsfield and Keating, while appearing adjacent in the alphabet, are poles apart in their teaching styles: in their own ways, both are mesmerizing and unforgetable educators.

Dead Poets Society follows a group of seniors through the first half of their last year at a New England prep school, and the effect a new English teacher, Mr. Keating, has on their lives.

The clips below are a few of my favorite (short) scenes, in the order they appeared in the film, providing a glimpse of Mr. Keating's teaching style. Watched individually, they do not provide much of a narrative of the film, as most of this "coming of age" story occurs outside of the classroom. So of course, I recommend skipping these clips now and watching the entire movie first.

Clip 1: On the first day of classes, Keating introduces himself to the boys and introduces them to the phrase "Carpe Diem" -seize the day- and tells them to "make their lives extraordinary".
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~5.5 minutes.

Clip 2: The boys read an essay about measuring poetry, titled "Understanding Poetry" by Dr. J. Evans Pritchard, Ph.D. in the introduction to their textook. Warning: includes scenes of extreme violence to textbooks.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~6 minutes.

Clip 3: By standing on his desk, Keating reminds the boys that "we must constantly look at things in a different way." He assigns each to compose a poem of his own, to be delivered aloud in class.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~2 minutes.

Clip 4: Keating teaches a short lesson on the soccer field.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~1.5 minutes.

Clip 5: In class, the boys read the poems that they composed.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~4 minutes.

Clip 6: Keating teaches a lesson on conformity.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~2 minutes.


The following videos show demos that changed the face of Computer Science.

Douglas Engelbart: "This is an edited record of Douglas Engelbart's historic presentation of the NLS System at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco, on December 8, 1968. The video captuers what was projected onto a 22'x18/ screen at a 2000-chair convention center. The soundtrack reproduces what came over the loud speakers. On stage was Doug Enbelbart at the controls of an on-line computer display whose output was projected onto the screen. Behind the scenes, Bill English and the crew manned cameras and signal switchers, connecting the conference center with SRI, 30 miles away. Many concepts in today's interfaces were first introduced in the NLS system and this presentation. These include: modern word processing, outlining and hypermedia, a mouse and 1-hand keyboard, shared files, messaging, email and filtering, video desktop conferencing."

Engelbart is most well know as the inventor of the mouse. In the early 60s, he did groundbreaking work at SRI (formerly the Stanford Research Institute) on the augmentation of human intellect. This work was a direct outgrowth of the Vannevar Bush's Memex, and the work done by J.C.R. Licklider on Man-Computer symbiosis. For more information on Engelbart, see Bardini, Boostrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing, Stanford University, 2000.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~21 minutes.

Ivan Sutherlad - Sketchpad: This video is a TV show made about the software Ivan Sutherland developed in his 1963 thesis at MIT's Lincoln Labs, "Sketchpad, A Man-Machine Graphical Communication System", described as one of the most influential computer programs ever written. This work was seminal in Human-Computer Interaction, Graphics and Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs), Computer Aided Design (CAD), and contraint/object-oriented programming. While watching this video, remember that the TX-2 computer (built circa 1958) on which the software ran was built from discrete transistors (not integrated circuits -it was room-sized) and contained just 64K of 36-bit words (~272k bytes). For more information, you can view/download a .pdf file of Sutherland's Thesis a remarkably clear presentation of his ideas.
Format: Microsoft Media Player; playing time: ~21 minutes.