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Social Studies (X) - Health/Phys. Ed. (X) - FRONTLINE (X) - Streaming (X)

The Rise of Social Networking

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In this video segment from FRONTLINE: "Digital Nation," teens talk about why they use social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook.

League of Denial: Should Kids Play Tackle Football?

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Learn how children's brains are affected differently by hits to the head that routinely occur during football practice and game play in this video from FRONTLINE: League of Denial. This video is also featured in the interactive lesson Is Football Safe for Kids? Use the lesson to learn more about the hypothesis that "just playing the game" places young football players at risk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. For background on CTE, watch Introduction To CTE and review How CTE Affects the Brain. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

FRONTLINE: A Very Short History of Vaccines in America

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Learn how the battle over whether to enforce vaccination is not new, and, in fact, is older than the United States itself, in this video short from FRONTLINE. Before there were vaccines, the only way to avoid the spread of deadly viruses, such as smallpox, was to inoculate, or intentionally infect, people with a mild case. During a 1721 smallpox outbreak in Boston, while 2 percent of those inoculated died. This was a better outcome than the 14 percent death rate that occurred naturally. In 1777, General George Washington ordered a comprehensive campaign to inoculate every person in the Continental Army. This helped him win the Revolutionary War. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

Generation Like: You Are What You "Like"

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Learn about the evolution of digital media from an industry that sought out teens to one in which teens seek out content to “like” in this video from FRONTLINE: Generation Like. As school-aged children spend more time in digital spaces, companies are able to use information that they gather from their activities. This is different from how it once was. In 2001, corporations chased kids down and tried to sell cool teen culture back to them. Today, teens tell the world what they think is cool using the social currency of their generation: likes, follows, friends, and retweets. When kids like something online, it becomes part of the identity that they broadcast to the world. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

FRONTLINE: Prison State | Kentucky’s Prison Overhaul

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Explore how our reliance on prison to solve social problems is creating a national crisis, and how the state of Kentucky is trying to respond, in this video adapted from FRONTLINE: Prison State. Kentucky spends more than $15 million each year incarcerating people from one Louisville housing project, Beecher Terrace. One juvenile justice commissioner suggests that we are incarcerating young people merely for their poor performance in school, problems in the home, or their unwanted behavior. A law professor states that we have invested in incarceration instead of in systems designed to help people stay out of jail and prison. In just over a decade, Kentucky’s prison growth rate jumped by 45 percent and spending by almost 220 percent—to nearly half a billion dollars. This prompted reform that includes the early release of nonviolent offenders in order to save money. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE collection.

FRONTLINE: The Vaccine War | The Growing Debate Over Vaccine Safety

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Examine the growing debate over childhood vaccines in this video excerpt from FRONTLINE: The Vaccine War. Vaccines have been touted as one of the most successful advances of modern medicine, yet an increasing number of parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children because of possible side effects. Learn about the debate among public health officials, doctors, and parents around vaccine safety, and hear differing perspectives on the benefits and risks of childhood vaccination, in this video segment from FRONTLINE.

FRONTLINE: Prison State | School-to-Prison Pipeline

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Experts discuss the circumstances that lead thousands of juveniles into the court system and jail each year in this video adapted from FRONTLINE: Prison State. According to these experts, in certain communities where incarceration has been “normalized,” a child’s parents, siblings, or other relations have likely spent time behind bars. The message to children is that going to jail is part of their “destiny” whether they follow the rules or not. And while the number of juvenile lockups may be decreasing in some places—with more money being directed into home incarceration programs, as in the Louisville, Kentucky metro area—the likelihood is that once a child gets involved in the juvenile court system, he or she will continue to be part of it or move to the adult system. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE collection.

FRONTLINE: Prison State | Release and Re-incarceration

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Discover why some prison populations have an unusually high rate of inmates who have returned to jail after their release in this media gallery adapted from FRONTLINE: Prison State. Under a reform act, Kentucky has allowed a number of nonviolent prisoners early release in order to save tax dollars. However, the prison system experiences a large number of inmates who are released only to be rearrested for violating terms of their parole. Mental illness and substance abuse are often the cause. According to some experts, the conditions for release, which require monthly payments, regular meetings with a parole officer, employment, and more, are very difficult to satisfy. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE collection.

Generation Like: Promoting Movies

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Discover how marketing firms of movies like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire inspire social media users to promote products for them in this video from FRONTLINE: Generation Like. When promotion agency TVGla markets a movie, it employs social media to help build trust with consumers. In this way, TVGla gets kids to work for free, promoting films to their friends and followers. While marketing used to be a one-way conversation from the marketer to the consumer, today, the consumer does as much as the marketer to broadcast the message. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

League of Denial: What Causes CTE?

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Learn about one scientist’s hypothesis that “just playing the game” places young football players at risk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in this video from FRONTLINE: League of Denial. This video is featured in the interactive lesson Is Football Safe for Kids. Use the lesson to learn more about how children's brains are impacted differently and to write down your responses to evidence that football may be unsafe for young children. For background on CTE, watch Introduction to CTE and review How CTE Affects the Brain. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

League of Denial: Introduction to CTE

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Learn how the 2002 death of one of football’s greatest linemen helped bring to light a rare disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, in this video from FRONTLINE: League of Denial. In 1991, "Iron Mike" Webster retired after 17 years in football and thousands of hits to his helmet. Soon after, he and his family suspected that playing football had taken a devastating toll on his brain. After Webster died, pathologist Bennet Omalu examined Webster’s brain tissue. His findings suggested that repetitive brain trauma causes an abnormal protein ("tau") to accumulate in the brain. This was the first evidence that playing football could cause a progressive neurodegenerative disease that results in permanent brain damage. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

League of Denial: Short-Term Effects of Concussions

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Learn about the damaging short-term effects of concussions suffered by professional football players, through the story of Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman, in this video from FRONTLINE: League of Denial. During the 1994 NFC championship game, a defensive player's hit to Aikman’s helmet knocked Aikman out of the game. In the hospital, Aikman was visited by his agent, who had to repeatedly explain what had happened in the game. For background, watch Introduction to CTE and review How CTE Affects the Brain. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

FRONTLINE: NFL Concussion Settlement | How Much Is a Brain Worth to the NFL?

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Learn about the formula used in the NFL concussion settlement to pay injured players, in this video short from FRONTLINE. Under the settlement, a player’s brain could be worth as much as $5 million or as little as nothing. In 2013, negotiators representing the NFL and former players came up with a plan to pay ex-players with a qualifying condition. The plan factored in the player’s age, the seriousness of the illness, and how long he played, and might cost the NFL about $1 billion in payouts to former players. The league makes $1 billion each year in sponsorship revenues alone. For background, watch Introduction to CTE and review How CTE Affects the Brain. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

League of Denial Update | NFL Player Quits over Concussion Concerns

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Learn about NFL player Chris Borland, who retired after just one season due to his concern about concussions, and why his decision prompted one media outlet to call him “the most dangerous man in football,” in this video from FRONTLINE. Borland left professional football, the game he loved since childhood, after reading about the effects of repeated head contact on the brain and speaking with a leading brain scientist. In response to the young star’s headline-making retirement decision, NFL commissioner Goodell stated the game was safer than ever. Estimates from actuaries hired by the NFL state that three out of ten NFL players will have brain damage in their lifetimes. For background, watch Introduction to CTE and review How CTE Affects the Brain. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

Download teacher support materials for this resource:  Teaching Tips  |  Video Transcript

League of Denial: The NFL Plays Defense

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Discover the strategies that the National Football League used to avoid admitting that playing professional football can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in this media gallery from FRONTLINE: League of Denial. After a study commissioned by the NFL showed a higher-than-expected prevalence of brain disorders among football players, the league’s spokesman claimed that the study’s design was flawed, and its commissioner would not acknowledge before Congress that concussions hurt pro football players. And even after a large financial settlement awarded former NFL players hundreds of millions of dollars, the league made no admission of guilt. For background, watch Introduction to CTE and review How CTE Affects the Brain. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.