Lessons Learned From Beloved Halloween Films
All Hallows Eve is almost upon us. You know what that means…looking a little too deeply into our favorite Halloween films to look for eLearning insights that might be tucked away among the things that go bump in the night. Aside from a good dose of thrills and chills, these Halloween cinematic masterpieces can teach us a few lessons about teaching, developing curriculums, and making the most of educational opportunities.
5 Things Educators Can Take Away From Halloween Films
1. Listen Out For Enchanted Lullabies
Any who’s seen Hocus Pocus is bound to be humming that “Come Little Children” song for days (if not weeks). Sure, the lullaby may have been magically infused to lure kids away from their homes so that the witches could drain their life force. But educators also have plenty of mundane, but still powerful, distractions to deal with. Technology, information overload, and emotional factors are just a few of the things that can pull students away from their studies. A great way to keep them fully engaged and focused is to create immersive learning experiences. It doesn’t have to be VR or AR. You can even incorporate storytelling, visual examples, and other hands-on activities to get them involved.
2. Don’t Try To Take Over Christmas
The Nightmare Before Christmas features the infamous and ever-popular Jack Skellington. If he had an actual beating heart, it would probably be made of gold. However, that’s not to say that he didn’t make a few tiny mistakes along the way. Namely, trying to steal Christmas and give Old Saint Nick the year off. It’s important to know your strengths, acknowledge your limits, and make the most of what you have. You can always rely on external experts to fill in the gaps and help you enrich your eLearning curriculum.
3. Never Underestimate Your Witchy Talents
If Halloweentown taught us anything, it’s that you shouldn’t deny your true calling (or try to deny that Halloween exists and that you hail from a town where werewolves run beauty salons). Be yourself and try to find new ways to apply your unique talents to create memorable and meaningful experiences for your students. Okay, so we may not all have a magic brew or flying broom at our disposal. But educators play important roles in kids’ lives, which is its own sort of practical magic.
4. Sometimes Potions Are Just Too Good To Be True
Death Becomes Her and The Witches are two Halloween favorites with potions that backfire (and do more than what the label says). Educators should bear in mind that sometimes there just aren’t quick fixes to our learning problems. A perfect example of this is an emotional disconnect. To get students to emotionally invest in the eLearning content, you may have to rethink your approach and conduct a needs analysis to pinpoint the roadblocks. Simply slapping a new design on the existing content may not do the trick.
5. Don’t Forget To Read The Handbook
There’s a lot we can learn from Beetlejuice, including making the best of the situation and not letting ghosts take up residence in our miniature towns. However, I think we can all agree that the most valuable lesson is to always refer to the handbook. Lifelong learning is apparently important even in the afterlife. It’s important to do your homework (pun intended) and leverage Instructional Design theories and models if you need to spruce up your curriculum.
The Pumpkin King, the Sanderson sisters, and a certain ghost with the most are just a few of the Halloween inspirations we can turn to for sage advice. Granted, some of them do have ulterior motives, like trying to marry a mortal to get a one-way ticket out of the underworld, but nobody’s perfect.
Last but not least, check out The Legend Of Sleepy Learners (And 5 eLearning Halloween Activities To Liven Things Up) to banish boredom and treat your learners to a terror-ific time online.