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Popular Culture in the Classroom  

A guide to help incorporate popular culture into classroom curriculum.
Last Updated: Nov 19, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

TV/Film/Radio Print Page


While MAC users have iMovie and Windows users have Movie Maker, there are also a host of sites that allow students to get creative with media. Below is a sampling to get you started.

**Comes from Web Tools for Teachers 2/9/15

EDpuzzle- EDpuzzle lets you add voice narration and embed test questions into video.

YouTube Video Editor- The new YouTube editing service lets you trim your videos, adjust levels, add effects, swap your soundtrack and more. Please note that you must be signed in to your YouTube account to access.

Animoto- Allows users to combine photos and video with easy to use templates.

Creaza Movie Editor- MovieEditor is an online video editor to create movies, complete with professional-looking titles, transitions, effects, animation, music, and narration. 

The Artistifier- Allows users to manipulate YouTube videos.

Loopster- Loopster is a streamlined, online video editor.

Metta- Use Metta for your learning stories, documentaries, summaries, compilations, coverage or for your research & curation work.

MyBrainShark- MyBrainShark is both the basic version of Brainshark where you can create, share and track your own video presentations.

TubeChop- TubeChop allows you to easily chop a funny or interesting section from any YouTube video and share it.



Below is a sample listing of courses that are based on popular culture sources.

1. Urban America & Serial Television: Watching The Wire

School: Middlebury College

Associated Readings:

Bourgois, Philippe. In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio. 

Simon, David, and Burns, Edward. The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood.

Moskos, Peter. Cop in the Hood: My Year Policing Baltimore’s Eastern District. 

2. Welcome to the Whedonverse: Exploring Popular Culture Through the Works of Joss Whedon

SchoolWest Virginia University

Associated Readings:

Whedon, Joss. Astonishing X-Men: Ultimate Collection Vol. 1.

Storey, John. “What Is Popular Culture?”

Killoran, Ellen. “Can We Talk About Cabin in the Woods Yet? Crossing the Thorny Terrain of Spoiler Etiquette.”

3. “California, Here We Come”: The O.C. and the Self-Aware Culture of 21st Century America

School: Duke University

Associated Readings: 

Bullen, Elizabeth. “Who is Ryan Atwood? Social Mobility and the Class Chameleon in The O.C.”

Berridge, Susan. “Serialised Sexual Violence in Teen Television Drama Series.”

Douglas, William. “Television Families: Is Something Wrong with Suburbia?”

4. Topics in Comparative Media: American Pro Wrestling

School: MIT Open Courseware

Associated Readings:

Jenkins, Henry III. “Never Trust a Snake: WWF Wrestling as Masculine Melodrama.

Craven, Gerald, and Richard Moseley. “Actors on a Canvas Stage: The Dramatic Conventions of Professional Wrestling.”

Trujillo, Nick, et al. “A Night with the Narcissist and The Nasty Boys: Interpreting the World Wrestling Federation.”

5. Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame

School: University of South Carolina

Associated Readings:

Deflem, Mathieu. “Marketing Monster: Selling the Fame of Lady Gaga.”

Martin, Peter J. Sounds and Society: Themes in the Sociology of Music.

Corona, Victor P. “Memory, Monsters, and Lady Gaga.”


SOURCES OF MEDIA is a clearinghouse for information on over 120,000 campaigns (TV, print, interactive, etc.).


This digital archive, containing commercials from the 1950s to the 1980s, was curated by the ad agency Benton & Bowles.

BBC Archives

Contains themed collections of radio and TV programs, documents and photographs from as far back as the 1930s.

C-Span Video Library

C-SPAN content includes video clips and live streaming.

Library of America Broadcasting

Contains citations to a wide-ranging collection of audio and video recordings, books, pamphlets, periodicals, personal collections, oral histories, photographs, scripts and vertical files devoted exclusively to the history of broadcasting

Moving Image Research Collections

While only select clips may be viewed online, this archive contains the entire FOX Movietone News Collection. 

National Public Broadcasting Archives

An excellent source of citations related to non-commercial broadcasting in the United States. 

Television Archive

Features a comprehensive archive of television broadcasts following the September 11th attacks.

UCLA Film and Television Archive

Contains coverage of national and local events from newsreels and local television broadcasts.  


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