Watching TV as a way of expanding your knowledge would no doubt be shunned by many academics, but there are some modern shows that do hold some educational value. TV has its uses, whether it’s to kill 15 minutes or become totally obsessed with the latest series of Breaking Bad. Linguists are often attributing an improvement in their foreign language skills by watching TV shows, so what else could you learn from a modern TV show?
1. Bear Grylls: Born Survivor
Bear Grylls is an ex SAS soldier who specialises in extreme survival. Bear was left paralysed for 12 months after suffering 3 crushed vertebrae in a parachuting accident. After a full recovery, Bear went on to reach the summit of Mount Everest and in turn forged a highly successful TV career. Navigation through the dense jungles of Belize with nothing but a commando knife may not immediately strike you as useful information but survival principles have foundations that can apply to many situations. The diverse filming locations alone are enough to broaden your knowledge of our environment, couple that with the constant stream of facts about the area’s history and you have the perfect recipe for bolstering your quiz skills.
Ever had someone down the pub tell you a questionable fact that niggles away at your brain? Well Mythbusters (now in it’s 13th series) is entirely based around proving/disproving urban myths. With over 900 myths tackled so far, there is a serious back catalogue for you to get your teeth into! A personal favourite was the group tackling the old cartoon myth of elephants being afraid of mice, incredibly tests proved that elephants are in fact scared of mice. If you don’t believe me, the video is available here!
3. Natural World
Possibly the mother of all educational TV is Natural world, with just under 500 episodes filmed since 1983 is Natural World. This takes light entertainment a little further and explores some of the world’s most incredible natural wonders. The episodes focus on anything from emotional stories to unusual animals. Filmmakers are provided with funding for 100 days of filming out in the habitat of the chosen subject, making for some incredible cinematography. Stunning visuals combined with the voice over from wildlife aficionado David Attenborough, give you everything you need to absorb a full 60 minutes of educational gold.
If watching TV isn’t quite enough for you, or you would like to open up genuine new career paths; NCC Home Learning have a range of over 350 courses you can study from the comfort of your own home!