For quite some time our society has been talking about helicopter parents. Our children, rightfully so, are precious and we want to protect and love them. There have been children abducted and missing and we would do almost anything to prevent harm and heartache, but how far is too far is another question we have been passionately arguing.
In episode 2 of season 4 of Black Mirror, technology presents what seems to be a solution for our worries on how to maintain parental control on social media, entertainment, disturbing real life visuals and peer pressure, with the invention of Arkangel.
Value of the Episode: Without giving away too much of the plot - it is a lesson in communication, trust and the value of life experiences, not just for the child but for the parent. There is another level of conversation about the value and cost of innocence that would make for great reflection on ethics and peer pressure. In legally, ethically, and psychologically exploring technology: cell phones, cameras, gps tracking, social media and parental controls that already exist, it would be awesome to follow up with the hypothetical sci-fi technology in the Arkangel episode.
Content warning: There are some scenes near the end of the episode that will need to be edited, but they are not excessive and the engaging conversation would be well worth the classroom experience.
Popularity and Interest: In an after school credit recovery program I have shown a few episodes from seasons 1 and 3 of Dark Mirror and students who weren't enrolled in the credit recovery program showed up just to watch and participate in the discussion. Students raised their hands while the episode was playing to ask for clarification of the events, characters and plot and then posed analytical questions on the human condition explored.
Literary Terms and Thoughtful Engagement in the learning process: Archangel is tailor made for student engagement. As the seasons progress the writers are including motifs and allusions, now more popularly referred to as "easter eggs." A variety of other literary devices are prime for identification,s such as hyperbole, symbolism, metaphors and similes. But most important is the opportunity to get students to actively engage in thought-provoking discussion.
Physics and Philosophy: Season 4, episode 4 Hang the DJ, which requires quite a bit of editing due sexual content, has young people discussing summation theory and Rene Descartes - cogito ergo sum, aka je pense doc je suit aka I think therefore I am. This is sci-fi at its best..
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