I’ve taught every age group from Kindergarten to College and know firsthand the effect that good media can have in getting a student excited about learning. I’m also aware of the fear that many people have about letting a movie, TV show or video game serve as a weak substitute for quality instruction. But if a teacher or parent chooses and uses their educational media well then it becomes a powerful tool.
I believe the most effective place for educational media is in the initial entry into a subject matter. The analogy I like to use is the one you see in the title of this post. When a subject is presented using the best techniques offered by entertainment media then it entices the student to explore the riches that are waiting. And the opposite is true - if a subject matter is not presented well it loses any attractiveness and looks like something just to get lost in.
As a classroom teacher I enjoyed every chance to use good educational media to help draw students into the subject I was covering, most often creating that media myself. As a filmmaker it is my goal to produce the most engaging and entertaining educational experience possible. I think the best argument I can offer is this. We have had storytellers (entertainers) since the beginning. These gifted people have always had our eyes, ears and hearts. Why not use the same tools and talents to give our children the things we believe is most important – a good education?