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Using Rich Media To Expand the Horizons of Introductory Anthropology Students

David Julian Hodges (Anthropology)

Anthropology provides everyone -- students, teachers, researchers, the world at large -- with a rich opportunity to "reach out and touch" indigenous human populations never before seen or known about.  Audio, video, and mapping technologies make it possible for introductory students of anthropology to experience a plethora of sounds, tastes, sights, smells, and feelings, as they embark upon this world of study and research.  Professor Hodges' goal was to tap the potential of these technologies to enhance student learning and engagement in a large "Introduction to Cultural Anthropology" class.


Professor Hodges incorporated rich technology into his class in several ways:

  1. Professor Hodges redesigned his PowerPoint presentations to include selected video clips, audio segments, and still images. 
  2. Using Google Earth Pro, Professor Hodges created a "virtual field trip," which allows students to get a feel for the experience of visiting an Amish community prior to a real-world field trip.  The virtual field trip includes satellite and map imagery enroute from Hunter to the Amish community and video clips portraying life in Amish country.  Additional video footage taken on this year's real-world field trip will be incorporated into future versions of the virtual field trip.
  3. Professor Hodges created video clips of a class debate, which were incorporated into a PowerPoint presentation to be used to introduce the debate to students in future classes.