11 May The Traditional Lecture Is Dead. I Would Know—I’m a Professor
WHEN I WAS young, there was no such thing as the World Wide Web or video streaming. If you wanted to watch something, you had to wait until it appeared on television. Sometimes you might think, “Hey, I think I’ll watch a show,” and flip the channels until you found something interesting. This is how I discovered The Mechanical Universe … And Beyond.
If you are not familiar with this wonderful television program from the mid-’80s, it was essentially a college-level introductory physics class presented by Cal Tech University. It included classroom lectures by Cal Tech applied physicist David Goodstein, some excellent physics demonstrations, and cool stuff like historical reenactments. The thing I remember most about it is how it mathematically manipulated equations with weird animation. Now that I think about it, those animations probably reinforced the incorrect notion of “moving stuff to the other side of the equation,” but still. They were cool.
Now that the internet exists, you can find The Mechanical Universe on YouTube, and you ought to check it out. Beyond being awesome, it shows why the traditional college lecture is dead.