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An educational film is a film or movie whose primary purpose is to educate. Educational films have been used in classrooms as an alternative to other teaching methods.
Determining which videos should count as the first educational films is controversial. Some researchers suggest that the first educational films were shown in St. Petersburg in 1897, while other studies determined that the first educational films were inspired by the newsreel in 1913.  Regardless, the increasing number of educational films could prove that the production of such films started in the early 1900s. 
Educational films are productions aiming to inform target audiences about designated issues.  The topic of study varies. Educational cinema was normally divided into three main categories: instructional, educational, and scholastic. 
Educational films can be used to inform the public about social issues and raise public awareness. For example, an educational film, What About Prejudice?, published in 1959 discussed the prejudice of the white middle class.  Land and Space to Grow, released in October 1960, was a story about a typical young American couple who pursue the great adventure of buying land and building a dream home. 
Challenging questions or debate over social issues are also raised in educational films, such as labor reform, communism, civil rights, and nuclear proliferation. One of these was "An Educational Film on Land Reform," which examined the question "Why is building enough housing for everyone difficult, when everyone agrees it is needed?" The film was shaped into a compelling soft-sell story that allows the audience to reflect on social issues. 
Educational films can be a powerful aid to teaching, bringing things that students may not be able to experience first-hand into the classroom, and thus improving teaching efficiency. For example, educational films can be used in the teaching of architectural subjects, giving a tour of a structure without needing to bring the students to it physically. Similarly, when teaching a complex principal, such as cell division, a loop of video can demonstrate the processes involved as many times as the students need. Specific techniques, such as the close-up showing particulate forming in a chemical mixuture, can show fine detail in a process that would otherwise be difficult for a group of students to all see clearly in a live demonstration. 
Documentaries, used as an educational resource, are a major category of educational film. They were mostly shown in schools for educational purposes and used to introduce various topics to children. However, documentaries were also used to train teachers. By 1950, prominent educational film institutions like New York University's Educational Film Library, Columbia Teachers College, and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) believed that documentaries intended for children, such as A Better Tomorrow (1945), Tomorrow's a Wonderful Day (1948), and The Children's Republic (1947), were suitable for adult audiences interested in teacher training, child care and development, and even the rehabilitation of so-called delinquents. 
Educational film was also used as a promotional tool. For example, after World War II, teenagers why many of their educational environments separated the genders. For example, shop classes were almost exclusively male and home economics classes almost exclusively female. Filmmakers attempted to address this concern by making films, such as Why Study Home Economics? in 1955. 
In China in the 1930s, educational film became one of the most important educational tools. During the period of Republic of China, many citizens were illiterate, so the national government focused on educational films as a way to efficiently educate the public on various topics. The government established official film studios to create educational films. 
In addition, the potential of educational films had been explored for educating deaf people. Captioned Films for the Deaf, also known as The Described and Captioned Media Program, was established in 1950, and created 15 volumes of Lesson Guides for Captioned Film. 
During World War I, both the US Army and Navy made training films and established instructional procedures for such media as slides, film strips, and models. Both organized film divisions for the twofold purpose of supplying information to the public and of instructing officers and troops. 
Likewise, there were a large-scale introduction of audio-visual media in schools and an expansion of the non-theatrical film circuit during the Second World War. For instance, instructional films were made for military personnel or industrial labourers.  The use of educational film was a part of the official policy of Department of War in America. 
Even after World War II, some of the educational films remained in use. Low budgets and a narrow profit margin handicapped the production of new, high-quality educational films. 
Before World War II, ERPI Classroom Films, Eastman Classroom Films, and Film Incorporated were the leading producers of educational films. ERPI had entered educational film production because it wanted to sell its equipment. The Eastman Kodak Company, meanwhile, had envisioned the films themselves as a profitable commercial venture. Neither company, however, enjoyed overwhelming success. Silent films created when other films sometimes had sound were less popular with audiences. During World War II and in the post-war years, many old and new companies increased the production of educational films, including Coronet, Vocational Guidance Films, Young America, McGraw-Hill Book Company, United World Films, Films Incorporated, Simmel-Misery and others. 
There are several notable educational film producers from the 1960s onward. Producers like Encyclopædia Britannica Films, Coronet Films, and Centron Corporation were the leaders of the educational film industry. With the rise of social media, both corporations (such as PBS) and private individuals post a wide variety of educational videos to sites like YouTube. Many of these are shown in classrooms or watched by students as part of their studies.
Film companies have produced films about geography and world culture. They concentrated on three treatment forms through the 1960s: the geographical-industrial film, the travelogue, and the ethnological film. 
The geographical-industrial film talked about the industry and customs of foreign land. Filmmakers often included insights into the makeup of the country beyond the locations and basic statistics, describing cultures politically, socially, and economically.
For the travelogue, rather than professional cinematographers, many travelers, explorers, scientists, and missionaries produced travelogues. They traveled the world and sold the footage to studios and distributors.
The ethnological film featured different ethnicities, cultures, and social practices from around the world. It helped students and professors study anthropology, as it showed real-life footage of local events and daily life. Audiences could see how the featured group dressed, ate, and interacted socially.
Typically, historical films from before the 1960s defaulted to a white, conservative, Christian perspective, such as Ray Garner's Ancient World: Egypt (1954) and Greece: The Golden Age (1963).  Both films were composed mostly of footage of artifacts and ruins, with narration comparing them to then-current American culture. In other films, characters meant to be seen as civilized or sympathetic where played by white actors, while non-whites were cast in less desirable roles, if at all. Such filmmakers largely left out the roles African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, and women, focusing instead on wealthy industrialists or the Founding Fathers of the United States.
Educational films often included painting, sculpture, architecture, and other "high" arts. In the 1920s and 1930s, filmmakers began to take advantage of the movie camera to capture the visual art in new ways, such as moving around a sculpture while filming it. This type of cinema became seen as a legitimate component of an artistic education at universities. After World War II, film became an ideal medium to carry the visual arts out of the museum, the artist's studio, and the gallery and into new locations, such as educational institutions (mainly art schools), non-theatrical venues, and, for a time, even commercial cinemas. 
This type of film includes non-narrated short subjects, poetry, and journalism. Educational film companies in the United States began acquiring dramatic content from sources overseas in the 1950s. They were commonly from France, which included several well-known non-narrated short dramas, director Albert Lamorisse's The Red Balloon (1956) among them. 
Many sociodrama films were based on topics such as racial equality or civic engagement. Because of the advent of the Civil Rights Act (1964), and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965), educators had a greater interest in presenting the world from perspectives closer to those of their students.  Young filmmakers produced the films which encompassed racial, age-related, and inter- or intra-cultural issues. They focused on history, literature, and social sciences. Most of the films were 30 minutes, or even less, allowing a teacher to provide context before and answer questions after within a one-hour class.
Many educational films shown in schools are part of long series - for example, films demonstrating scientific principles and experiments tend to be episodic, with each episode devoted to a specific experiment or principle.
Many schoolchildren in Britain in the late 1980s and early 1990s watched hundreds of episodes of British-made educational films (all very similar in style and production) over the course of their primary school careers. As a result, the delivery-style and distinctive colour-palette ("scientific" looking neutral-blue backgrounds etc.) of these films is instantly recognizable to any child of the appropriate generation. This was used to great effect by the British television series Look Around You which parodies these films.
Many early psychological studies of learning from film and particularly TV found this medium to be inferior to text. Studies included comparisons between reading newspaper reports and watching TV news. In these early studies, the memory retention was always stronger in those who read the reports. This was shown to be linked mainly to the ability of the individual to control the speed of the delivery of information. When you read you can pause at any time, which was not possible with classroom-based TV and film. This has changed with the advent of online video, which can be paused and rewound easily. More recent studies now see no difference in memory retention between the two media, video and text.  
Research also examines the idea that cognitive overload may occur because the viewer has to process audio and visuals at the same time. Careful design of the film can alleviate this. For instance, signaling clearly where the focus of the audio is in terms of the video image will help the viewer merge the two. However, too much information, or information that is superfluous, can reduce learning. 
Educational software is a term used for any computer software which is made for an educational purpose. It encompasses different ranges from language learning software to classroom management software to reference software. The purpose of all this software is to make some part of education more effective and efficient.
Deaf culture is the set of social beliefs, behaviors, art, literary traditions, history, values, and shared institutions of communities that are influenced by deafness and which use sign languages as the main means of communication. When used as a cultural label especially within the culture, the word deaf is often written with a capital D and referred to as "big D Deaf" in speech and sign. When used as a label for the audiological condition, it is written with a lower case d. Carl G. Croneberg coined the term "Deaf Culture" and he was the first to discuss analogies between Deaf and hearing cultures in his appendices C/D of the 1965 Dictionary of American Sign Language.
Oralism is the education of deaf students through oral language by using lip reading, speech, and mimicking the mouth shapes and breathing patterns of speech. Oralism came into popular use in the United States around the late 1860s. In 1867, the Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts was the first school to start teaching in this manner. Oralism and its contrast, manualism, manifest differently in deaf education and are a source of controversy for involved communities. Oralism should not be confused with Listening and Spoken Language, a technique for teaching deaf children that emphasizes the child's perception of auditory signals from hearing aids or cochlear implants.
Educational technology is the combined use of computer hardware, software, and educational theory and practice to facilitate learning. When referred to with its abbreviation, edtech, it is often referring to the industry of companies that create educational technology.
Audiovisual education or multimedia-based education (MBE) is instruction where particular attention is paid to the audiovisual or multimedia presentation of the material with the goal of improving comprehension and retention.
Mainstreaming, in the context of education, is the practice of placing students with special education needs in a general education classroom during specific time periods based on their skills. To clarify, this means students who are a part of the special education classroom will join the regular education classroom at certain times which are fitting for the special education student. These students may attend art or physical education in the regular education classrooms. Sometimes these students will attend math and science in a separate classroom, but attend English in a general education classroom. Schools that practice mainstreaming believe that students with special needs who cannot function in a general education classroom to a certain extent belong in the special education environment.
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is an organization for the promotion of the rights of deaf people in the United States. NAD was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1880 as a non-profit organization run by Deaf people to advocate for deaf rights, its first president being Robert P. McGregor of Ohio. It includes associations from all 50 states and Washington, DC, and is the US member of the World Federation of the Deaf, which has over 120 national associations of Deaf people as members. It has its headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Centron Corporation was a leading industrial and educational film production company, specializing in classroom and corporate 16mm films and VHS videocassettes. Although a slightly smaller company than its contemporaries, it was nonetheless very successful from the late 1940s through the early 1990s, gaining added fame with the Academy Award-nominated Leo Beuerman in 1969.
Inclusion in education refers to all students being able to access and gain equal opportunities to education and learning. It arose in the context of special education with an individualized education program or 504 plan, and is built on the notion that it is more effective for students with special needs to have the said mixed experience for them to be more successful in social interactions leading to further success in life. The philosophy behind the implementation of the inclusion model does not prioritize, but still provides for the utilization of special classrooms and special schools for the education of students with disabilities. Inclusive education models are brought into force by educational administrators with the intention of moving away from seclusion models of special education to the fullest extent practical, the idea being that it is to the social benefit of general education students and special education students alike, with the more able students serving as peer models and those less able serving as motivation for general education students to learn empathy.
Coronet Films was a leading producer and distributor of many American documentary shorts shown in public schools, mostly in the 16mm format, from the 1940s through the 1980s. The company, whose library is owned and distributed by the Phoenix Learning Group, Inc., covered a wide range of subjects in zoology, science, geography, history and math, but is mostly remembered today for its post-World War II social-guidance films featuring topics such as dating, family life, courtesy and citizenship.
An educational video game is a video game that provides learning or training value to the player. Edutainment describes an intentional merger of video games and educational software into a single product. In the narrower sense used here, the term describes educational software which is primarily about entertainment, but tends to educate as well and sells itself partly under the educational umbrella. Normally software of this kind is not structured towards school curricula and does not involve educational advisors.
Bruce David Janu is an educator and low budget illinos filmmaker. Currently he teaches social studies at Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. When he is not teaching, Janu makes educational materials and films. In 2000, he created an educational supply company called Bell, Book & Camera Productions. Through this company, he wrote several educational books, including Bring Out Your Dead: Recreating the Black Death in the Classroom, Mouldering in the Grave: A Dramatic Approach to Teaching About John Brown and The Constitution: A Cooperative Learning Approach. He has also written several articles for Illinois History Teacher.
Social learning tools are tools used for pedagogical and andragogical purposes that utilize social software and/or social media in order to facilitate learning through interactions between individuals and systems. The idea of setting up "social learning tools" is to make education more convenient and widespread. It also allows an interaction between users and/or the software which can bring a different aspect to learning. People can acquire knowledge by distance learning tools, for instance, Facebook, Twitter, Khan Academy and so on. Social learning tools may mediate in formal or informal learning environments to help create connections between learners, instructors and information. These connections form dynamic knowledge networks. Social learning tools are used in schools for teaching/learning and in businesses for training. Within a school environment, the use of social learning tools can affect not only the user (student) but his/her caretaker as well as his/her instructor. It brings a different approach to the traditional way of learning which affects the student and his/her support circle. Companies also use social learning tools. They used them to improve knowledge transfer within departments and across teams. Businesses use a variety of these tools to create a social learning environment. They are also used in company settings to help improve team work, problem solving, and performance in stressful situations.
Global SchoolNet (GSN) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) international educational organization that serves as a clearinghouse for collaborative educational projects, many that are based on the Constructivist Learning model. The organization coordinates projects and competitions focused on humanitarian issues, diplomacy, leadership, innovative teaching, entrepreneurship, STEM, and other academics for schools and youth organizations internationally. About 150,000 educators from 194 countries have registered as members of Global SchoolNet, and about 5.5 million students from 109 countries have participated in GSN projects as of 2020. Global SchoolNet is known for two international competitions, the International CyberFair for students in grades kindergarten through high school, and the U.S. State Department-sponsored Doors to Diplomacy for ages 12 through 19. Global SchoolNet was established in 1984 as Free Educational Mail (FrEdMail) in San Diego, California, where its headquarters still exists.
Deaf Education in Kenya is a constantly changing section of the Kenyan education system that is focused on educating deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing-impaired Kenyan students. There are many organizations in Kenya made to protect the rights of Deaf Kenyans and promote progress in deaf education. The state of Kenyan deaf education is constantly changing and improving.
Encyclopædia Britannica Films was the top producer and distributor of educational 16 mm films and later VHS videocassettes for schools and libraries from the 1940s through the 1990s. Prior to 1943, the company operated under the name of Electrical Research Products Inc. (ERPI) Classroom Films.
Social media in education refers to the practice of using social media platforms as a way to enhance the education of students. Social media is defined as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content".
Gordon Weisenborn was an American director, producer, writer, and cinematographer specializing in sponsored and educational films. His works express a style that blends naturalism and lyricism with modernist abstraction. Many of Weisenborn's films address race and issues of diversity, and his film People Along the Mississippi (1952), produced with John Barnes, is credited as being the first classroom film to depict interracial friendship. He worked with John Barnes on the Academy Award nominated film The Living City (1953), and won over 70 national and international awards for films and productions. He was listed as one of the top 20 makers of specialized film by the Directors Guild.
Murry R. Nelson is an emeritus professor of education and American studies at Penn State University and an author. He has written about the history of American sports, basketball in particular, as well as books on America's school curriculums. He has written biographies of several basketball players.
Coming Home is a Canadian documentary film, directed by Bill Reid and released in 1973. Made for the National Film Board of Canada, the film documents Reid's own trip home to visit his parents in Sarnia, Ontario, and the family's conversations about the communication difficulties and generational differences in values that have complicated their familial relationship.