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Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

The Golden Temple of Amritsar

The Golden Temple of Amritsar | Classwork Portfolio |
The Golden Temple is the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. It is also home to one of the largest free eateries in the world.


This two-minute video clip is an effective portal to alternative religious traditions on the South Asian subcontinent.   While students might not at first relate to the theologies of diverse religious traditions, they connect with the underlying ethics of many world religions.  This video is an effective tool to help them gain greater cultural understanding and demystify unfamiliar cultural practices. 

Via Seth Dixon
Matt Mallinson's comment, November 7, 2012 3:25 PM
I like that the Sikh religion allows people of all religions to visit their holy temple. These people seem like good people.
Brian Nicoll's curator insight, December 12, 2012 1:18 AM

I was impressed by the fact that the people of the Sikh religion are very accepting of people who remain outside their system of beliefs.  They acknowledge the fact that there are other religions and don't see any reason to treat them with anything but respect.  These people are most definitely good people.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 2:46 AM

This temple is amazing because it is not only a place of worship but also a huge free eatery. This temple plays a role in the poor relief of the area because all poor people are welcome to come and eat. The fact they welcome those of different faiths as well into this temple of worship is something that is really remarkable because of the fear and distrust many faiths seem to have of one another. If only more places of worship acts as this one.

Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

South African township's solar-powered cafe

South African township's solar-powered cafe | Classwork Portfolio |
Entrepreneur converts shipping container into mobile internet shop powered entirely by the sun.

This 2-minute video shows how a an enterpreneur has made his business (an internet cafe) self-sufficient, not relying much on external infrastruture.  Modern Africa has advanced beyond what many in the developed world acknowledge and is beyond some the old stereotypes of that characterize how people view the 'Dark Continent.' 


Tags: Africa, technology, development, video.

Via Seth Dixon
Matt Mallinson's comment, November 5, 2012 2:36 PM
This shop is awesome. Good for him opening this up randomly, from security guard to owning a solar powered cafe. It gives children the opportunity to become more familiar with the internet and how to use it. What a great idea.
Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 17, 2014 5:59 PM

In South Africa, a shipping container is transformed into a mobile internet shop reliant on solar power. While the rest of the world is much more advanced in technology, this shows how non-advanced countries are trying to catch up!

Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

Selling condoms in the Congo

TED Talks HIV is a serious problem in the DR Congo, and aid agencies have flooded the country with free and cheap condoms. But few people are using them. Why?


This video highlights why some well-intending NGOs with excellent plans for the developing world don't have the impact they are hoping for. Cultural barriers to diffusion abound and finding a way to make your idea resonate with your target audience takes some preparation. This also addresses some important demographic and health-related issues, so the clip could be used in a variety of places within the curriculum. FYI: this clip briefly shows some steamy condom ads.

Via Seth Dixon
Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 9:45 PM

Marketing is not something I would have thought about when trying to get people in the Kongo to use condoms. Her research into the brands they use and why may save many lives.

Nick Flanagan's curator insight, December 12, 2012 8:27 PM

I was surprised actually that it took this long for someone to think of this, given the fact that the AIDS crisis in Africa is practically a pandemic.However it is a good idea that someone had finally started to do something about it.  

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 13, 2014 5:37 PM

This video explains the errors that a lot of NGOs make when attempting to help the developing world. While the NGOs have done a service providing condoms in the DRC, they lack appropriate marketing and merchandising for the product itself. In a way, the organizations need to eliminate their egos in the situation and allow for the product to be marketed appropriately.

Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal

Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal | Classwork Portfolio |
Workers at an ailing paper mill in Siberia are clinging to their jobs in the face of financial pressure and criticism from environmentalists.


The environment, industry and politics play key roles in this story of an old style Soviet mono-town on Lake Baikal.  Monotowns had planned economies that revolved around one industry and today many of these are struggling in the post-Soviet era.  While the particulars of the political situation are a bit dated, the overall issue is still quite relevant to understanding Russia today.   


Tags: Russia, industry, labor, environment, economic, water, pollution, environment modify, unit 6 industry.

Via Seth Dixon
Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 2014 12:05 PM

The Soviet Union scattered "monotowns" around their territory; these monotowns consist of a job-creating industrial institutions like factories which then allow the formation of towns around them.  They are located all around the former Soviet Union and are very isolated.  After the collapse of the Soviet Union, these towns continued to run due to the privatization of the industrial center.  Today, Russia's Lake Baikal, which is the deepest lake in the world and contains 20 percent of the Earth's fresh water, is home to one of these monotowns.  This particular town's economy is based on their paper mill which uses and deposits tons of chemicals.  Environmentalists are very concerned for the future of the lake while the citizens are only concerned with feeding their families and this is creating social unrest.  Due to the isolation and distance from Moscow, people cannot just pick up and leave.  Also, working with "cleaner" alternatives is way out of this town's budget.  Today, many citizens in these monotowns miss the support that the Soviet Union offered and people are literally stuck in a place where their only income is dirty.

Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 18, 11:12 PM

Lake Baikal is one Russia's oldest and deepest body of freshwater but is turning into a swamp, Russian ecologists warn. They say that tons of liquid waste from tourist camps and water transport vehicles is being dumped into the lake. The financial crisis in Russian has been a big problem because it is leaving factories abandoned and leaving waste all over towns. If Baikal is ruined, it is going to put tons of peoples lives at risk for people who depend on this water. Also, a part of this Lake is frozen. This is fresh clean water that makes this lake what it is. 

The paper factory has caused some major pollution into the lake and all the chemicals are affecting the lake each and everyday. This beautiful land could possibly be destroyed for measures aren't taken, and can also just be another wasteland. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2:31 PM

This mill on Lake Biakal was created in the soviet era. This was created and made a increasing well place to work with the promise of a bright future for its workers. Instead when it comes to the post soviet era its a failing community. Not because of the workers but because of the era that they live in. The age of environmentalists. because of this the mill and its workers are suffering. Many of the people that had moved there to work in the mill in the 60's with a promise of a bright future. However today the people who originally moved there and the descendents are paying the price for the soviet promise. If the mill were to forever close then the people of the area would basically have no life and future. They wouldnt even have enough money to move out of look for jobs.

Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools

NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools | Classwork Portfolio |
Celia Dugger reports from the Kwamfundo School near Cape Town on South Africa's struggling public education system.


This poignant clip shows that South Africa may be in a post-apartheid era, but most certainly not a post-racial era as schools are as deeply divided as ever. 

Via Seth Dixon
Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, November 23, 2014 12:27 PM

It is a fight for South African children to make it through school. The loss in their lives, the lack of dedicated teachers, and a broken public school system all bring these kids down. The hope and promise seen in the eyes of these kids, who want to achieve great things, is a beacon of better things to come for this nation, if they are willing to invest in the future.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 16, 2014 8:06 AM

Race is definitely a determining factor in the quality and division of South Africa's public schools. Discrimination is definitely  a problem that is hard to get rid of because it is institutionalized even after public policy may change. This also has happened in the United States. Our school systems are also racially segregated even though the US has passed laws against it. After the Apartheid government took such drastic measures to strip the rights of its Black citizens, the institutions that were formed around those ideas still exist. 

Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 19, 1:14 PM

It's difficult to overcome something as oppressive as colonial rule and apartheid. South Africa's schools are still trying do so in a post-apartheid era. Judging from this video, the students have the desire to learn and better themselves to become what the country needs in order to succeed but the teachers and education system itself lacks the desire. I loved seeing the that some of the students actually step up and take charge of the class to help them learn. It's difficult to educate youth if the teachers have no desire to do so and you can't expect the students to move on to college and become a doctor or a chemist if they are unable to pass their science class. It amazed me that with all the struggles these students were going through in their personal lives, they were upbeat and ready and willing to learn.


Also, the singing impressed. Not because they were good, but I imagined trying to get a class of 15 year old students in America that were not taking a specifically music class to sing. I could only imagine the groans and refusal to participate from them!

Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

FARM-Africa Cassava project

A short film showing the work of FARM-Africa's Maendeleo Agricultural Technology Fund (MATF) in Uganda. The National Farmers Union (NFU) is working with FARM...


The Green Revolution is (belatedly) impacting Africa.  Notice the cultural environment within which agriculture takes place here.   What are the gendered differences in the production of food?  What impact does that have on society?

Via Seth Dixon
Matt Mallinson's comment, November 5, 2012 2:29 PM
Wow not just the men in the video are working this hard, but women and children as well. It makes you think how much we have as Americans and how much we take everything for granted. These African people are tough, they have to do so much more to survive than we do.
Elizabeth Allen's comment, November 7, 2012 10:46 AM
This video helps us to see the innovative ways African farmers use Cassava. Cassava is a market crop that many African people are dependent on. They know in order to achieve an income from the crop they need to market it in different varieties, for example- to turn it in to flour. Cassava is labor intensive crop that can take up to a year to be at it's full potential, but the people, women and children included, know that they need to tend to the crop in every stage to insure its success. With the income from the crop, families are able to send their children to school.
Rescooped by Matt Mallinson from Geography Education!

"Skateistan" The NYTimes video library

"Skateistan" The NYTimes video library | Classwork Portfolio |

"Afghan youth have very limited options for sports and recreation. An Australian man is trying to change that."   This video really resonates with my students.  Issues of ethnicity, class and gender are right on the surface.  Globalization, cultural values and shifting norms make this a good discussion piece.  

Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 3, 2014 2:03 PM

This is a good example of the use of soft power in areas where American culture is not popular. Instead of using military force to exert western Ideals on the people of Afghanistan. This Australian may have found a way to close the gap towards bringing our cultures  closer together.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 14, 2014 8:01 PM

In a society that is seen by most of the world as strict and rigid, it was interesting to see these children having fun and breaking the mold of traditional afghan kids. What makes this even more fascinating is that female children are doing some of the skating. With gender issues a hot topic in some Middle Eastern countries, letting kids have fun before being made to conform to tradition is a nice experience for them. While they still respect the culture to they belong to, it is a break from that and a breathe of fresh air for them. These youth are not seen primarily as men and woman, but as children.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 20, 6:33 AM

Who could have imagined, that Skateboards could be used as a geopolitical tool? Over a decade ago, the United States invaded Afghanistan with the aim of rooting out and destroying the terrorist who attacked the nation on 911. As with most of our military campaigns in the Middle East, the mission quickly became bogged down in a nation building campaign. The people of Afghanistan have long been wary of foreign influence. Empire after empire has attempted to conquer this nation, only to suffer humiliating defeats. For any chance at sustained success, the United States must win over the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. This skateboard program is a perfect tool in accomplishing that objective. The parks bring all types of youths together in the spirit of fun. They are a unifying factor amongst the youth in Afghanistan.