A note regarding this website was published in 2019 in The Journal of Economic Education. If you use scenes/clips from this website, please include the following reference for the website:
(2019) Teaching economics using NBC’s Parks and Recreation, The Journal of Economic Education, 50(1), 87-88,
Do you have teaching guides that show me how to use Parks & Rec clips in the classroom?
Are there other websites that have video clips from TV shows?
Are there other journal articles that discuss implementing clips in class?
How can I download these clips?
How can I embed these clips into PowerPoints?
How can I teach with these clips?
We do! You can find that information on our Teaching Topics page. If you have any suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. At the 2018 AEA Conference on Teaching and Research in Economic Education in San Antonio, we presented on a few of the ways we teach with Parks & Rec clips in the classroom.
- Bazinganomics: Teaching Economics with CBS’s The Big Bang Theory
- Broadway Economic: Teaching Economics Through Musical Theatre
- Economics Media Library
- The Economics of the Office
- The Economics Shark Tank: Take a bite out of econ
- YadaYadaYada Econ: The Economics of Seinfeld
There are a variety of resources available that educators can use when trying to determine how to best implement television clips or movies in the classroom.
- Conaway, L. B., & Clark, C. (2015). Swansonomics: Using “Parks and Recreation” to Teach Economics. Journal of Economics and Finance Education, 14(1).
- Mateer, G. D. (2012). Econ 1-0-What?. The Journal of Economic Education, 43(4), 440-440.
- Mateer, G. D., Ghent, L. S., & Stone, M. (2011). TV for Economics. The Journal of Economic Education, 42(2), 207-207.
- Sexton, R. L. 2006. Using short movie and television clips in the economics principles class. Journal of Economic Education, 37 (4): 406–17.
- Wooten, J. J. 2018. Economics Media Library. Forthcoming Journal of Economic Education.
All of the clips are hosted on Critical Commons, which is a great resource for faculty looking for a location to host video content. You do not need an account to view or to share video clips from Critical Commons, but you will need an instructor’s account if you want to download the file to your local drive.
Once you start the account registration process, make sure that you are using your university-affiliated accounts so that you can be verified as an educator. Once approved, you should see a “Download” button in the bottom of each video that will allow you to save the file to your computer. This makes embedding into PowerPoint files easier.
To embed MP4 files into a a PowerPoint, select “Insert” from the menu bar and then select “Movie > Movie from File” and select the MP4 file that you downloaded from Critical Commons. This will increase the file size of your PowerPoint substantially, but does allow you to play videos seamlessly in your presentation without having to exit the presentation.
One of the easiest ways to teach with these clips is to use them along with a classroom response system (Calhoun & Mateer, 2011). Depending on the type of questions you ask with your response system, you may be able to have students identify key concepts in the video, point out assumptions of the theory, predict what will happen next, or provide a policy application. If you’re already using a response system, you may already have questions ready, but you may just have to change the theme of the question to match the clip.
Another way of utilizing these clips is by doing a think-pair-share type assignment where students work in groups to identify a list of externalities mentioned in a clip. Students could then develop a list of ways that a local government may try to solve these externalities. Finally, students could discuss potential unintentional consequences associated with these policy solutions. To go a bit more in depth, you may ask students to model the market for noise in a park and then ask students to identify the private outcomes and the socially optimal outcomes.