The video “Footage from the real Silent Hill” Centralia, PA is a short documentary that teaches the viewer about an abandoned town.  This form of instructional design uses video, interview, text and photographs to inform the learner.  You Tube has become a popular tool for teaching and learning.  The use of this technology in education has been controversial, but is one tool or medium that has earned a place in education in the past few years.  Piskurich (2006) defines a “designer” in the Rapid Instructional Technology text and states that they have multiple sub-functions such as developing material and providing written or artistic material to the project.  This documentary may be a small part of the overall learning project.

This documentary was likely produced by an individual(s) who had an interest in telling the story of Centralia in his or her own way.  They use population statistics (then and now), photographs of the town (before and after), and live video of the steaming, smoking vents as ways to explain the severity of the fire on this old coal mining town.  Holding the match up to a hot rock to light it and showing footage of the cracked road with measurements are also used to give the viewer an accurate perspective of the damage caused by the underground fire.  The documentary is memorable, it makes you want to investigate and research more.  It makes you ask questions.  Who is the intended audience?  Why or how are 15 people still living there?  It is not traditional instructional technology, but it educates and makes the viewer curious for more information on Centralia.

Piskurich, G.M. (2006).  Rapid Instructional Design.  San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

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