As a last minute holiday freebie, or perhaps a marketing stunt to raise awareness of their site, Participate.net is giving away 50,000 DVD copies of the controversial Al Gore sponsored environmental movie, An Inconvenient Truth. The catch? You have to be an educator. As “a growing community of film lovers and activists who are dedicated to engaging their minds, sharing their passions, and improving the world around them”, Participate.net hosts forums, blogs, and promotes movies and other media that helps raise awareness of important social, political, and environmental issues.
While I’m not trying to push any one agenda (human-induced global warming vs. natural warming of the Earth), I agree with many others that true discussion and debate needs a catalyst. Having worked this last summer in an independent bookstore, I saw first hand several curious customers flipping through the pages of the book version of An Inconvenient Truth. It sold well enough, but whether those that picked it up bought the book or not, they all had something to say about Mr. Gore or the issue of global warming. Just imagine all of the great discussion you could have with your students. You could talk about technology’s role in global warming, how humans have responded to the science involved with the issue, and then how they could create a blog or forum around the issue, making sure to give both sides a fair shake. At the very least, you might introduce some students to the idea that all technology is not necessarily environmentally friendly; some of the benefits we receive from electricity, high definition TVs, and computers, also have environmental costs when it comes to production and disposal. There’s also a great resource page for educators that want to use the movie in their classrooms, complete with lesson plans, discussion topics, and community outreach programs.
If you’re an educator, you’ll need to grab your school’s tax ID code and enter it on the site. I’m assuming that’s to verify you are in fact an educator. The giveaway ends January 18th, or whenever they run out of DVDs. Warm wishes this holiday season, and enjoy the freebie!