Story of Stuff Project with Annie Leonard
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Jennifer Malarski (Faculty)
Heather Payne (Faculty)
This is a whole website. I was unable to locate the movie referenced in Merlot. There is a full curriculum you can purchase for $4.95. There are a number of podcasts that do appear to be free. Overall it is a useful resource if you are trying to create a learning module. It appeared to be most appropriate for a middle to junior high school audience.
Angelica Gonzalez (Student)
The animation was great. The video can be used for different subject areas (e.g. economics, manufacturing, environmental studies, etc.). The material is appropriate for target audience; it can also be used for elementary and middle school students. I like that there is a questionnaire at the end. The only thing I would recommend is to try to keep the video to 5 minutes or less because of people's attention span.
Rick Weber (Faculty)
On its own this video is absolute garbage. Anyone with a modest grasp of economics will cringe at Leonard's unsatisfactory analysis.
Pros: Great production value, compelling presentation, and well known outside economics department (i.e. allows students to reach outside of their discipline while on campus).
Cons: Overrun with economic fallacies and poor analysis.
Recommended use: This video could be used to teach students about rhetoric, and how to write about economic issues. Debunking this video provides almost endless possibilities for student op-eds. I wouldn't recommend using this in a principles class, but in an upper division class with a talented lecturer, it could be torn apart in class.
Barbara Kuhn (Faculty)
This animation is superb. The Story of Stuff is an interesting view on rampant consumerism and its adverse effects on our environment and us. The animation was grabbing, witty and highly entertaining which will keep students attention. The information is broken down into bite-sized information that is easy to digest; the scenario is presented in amusing caricatures that effectively gets its point across, notwithstanding the serious theme at hand. It runs through the whole cycle of the materials economy from extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal. The video zooms in on our current predicament brought about by the long-term effects of the ridiculous rate that we buy and dispose our stuff. The presentation is excellent for classroom use.