Road Trip's videos entertain, advertise, and educate, but the main purpose of the videos is motivation. In the real world people often travel to see the sights; travelers in Road Trip travel to see the videos. Therefore, much of the success of the program rides on how entertaining the videos are. For this reason we spent a lot of time acquiring and producing video; experimenting with different content and different production styles; and testing it on kids. Some of the videos in the current, experimental version of Road Trip are MTV style -- fast-paced, with short cuts, and rock music. Other videos are more narrative. Different kids have different tastes.
In addition to entertainment, Road Trip videos provide two other functions. One is to encourage students to visit other destinations by advertising other, similar videos which they can see there. For instance, at the end of the video about the Indy 500, the announcer exclaims, "...and if you don't want the racing action to stop, head southeast to Daytona Beach, Florida, to see the Daytona 500!" Students who watch Pete Rose break the major league hit record in Cincinnati are told they could also go to Atlanta to see Hank Aaron break the home run record.
The other function is for the video to be educational in and of itself. We have found that even clips from feature films can be informative. For example, students who watch the Amish in Witness or the Civil War scenes in Glory often learn about people and events with which they were not previously familiar. We are currently building a learning by exploring module called an "ASK system" into Road Trip to help students learn from the videos. The ASK system will allow students to ask questions about the videos they watch.
Road Trip's Route
Where am I in the content of the book?