Public Service Announcements

I viewed some videos this week to learn about Public Service Announcements. After viewing two, in the role of a teacher, I had to respond to the following questions:

  • What was the main idea or point being made?
  • What audience was the video trying to reach?
  • Were the methods used to create the video effective? Why or why not?

The two videos, “The Essay” and “We Think”, were markedly different, and had completely different effects on me. I thought the first held a powerful message, while the second one lost me soon after I started watching.

The main idea of “The Essay” is to remind us that creativity, imagination, and innovation are the impetus for change – and that we need to provide our students with these opportunities in order to advance their ideas. This is how technology has come so far, so fast – someone imagined something previously unthinkable, and others built upon those ideas. Our students need to continue this tradition of innovation, and as teachers we need to allow them to use their imaginations.

The audience for this PSA is the various adults in a child’s world – the parents, the community, the teachers, the administration, and society in general. As the girl read her essay, she traveled from school, to home, to specialists’ offices, and all were in disbelief, worried something was wrong with the child. But, what really is wrong is the reactions she gets to her ideas. It reminds me of the experiences of Galileo, who was imprisoned for his ideas about the Earth and the Sun. Or, Alfred Wegener’s ideas about continental drift – he was ridiculed by other scientists. Charles Darwin became the fodder for cartoonists after he published, “On the Origin of Species”. Forward thinking has historically been difficult for the general population, and we need to remember to support it and not laugh at new ideas.

The nostalgic feel of the video – muted colors, low light and costumes – helped convince the viewer that we were looking back in time. The reactions of all of the people to her essay were also effective in getting the point across. This is because we know, as the viewer, that the words she is speaking are true – all of those things have become possible, and real. And so their doubt seems almost funny – that a time existed when these ideas seemed so far-fetched.

The main idea of “We Think” is to highlight the power that technology has because of the sharing, connections, and opportunities that are provided by the internet. All of this sharing leads to innovation, and learning, as well as exposure for our own ideas. With equal access to this forum, certain walls are broken down, as anyone with a connection can share, be heard, but can also learn from others.

The audience for this PSA is 21st century learners, and anyone who works with this generation.

I found the methods used in the video to be somewhat effective. I had a hard time following along, especially when the words disappeared quickly or during certain transitions, and I found myself not very interested. I had to go back and watch it three times to really get the point. So, for me, the format used in “The Essay” was more effective than “We Think”.


Charles Leadbeater. “We Think.” YouTube. YouTube, 26 Feb. 2008. Web. 10 June 2017.

Wireless Federation. “Telenor The Essay Commercial YouTube.” YouTube. YouTube, 12 Feb. 2013. Web. 10 June 2017.


2 thoughts on “Public Service Announcements

  1. Hi Kelly,

    Hello Kelly,

    I just read your blog, and I really like your point about going with new ideas! This is a challenge once teachers get into routines that are comfortable with, but it is necessary in order to grow! I tend to be scared of new things , but I usually find that trying them produces excellent results!

    Christine Dennis


    1. Hi Christine – Yes, I see many veteran teachers who never seem to get better at using technology, despite how long they have been using it. It is necessary to keep learning new ways to engage kids, and so change and flexibility are a must.

      Thanks, Kelly


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