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We are in the midst of a “tectonic shift” in the way that undergraduate students want to learn. They will attend lectures and read assignments if they must, but they are especially interested in information that they can receive as videos on their cell phones and other mobile devices (Prensky, 2001; Thomas, 2011). The geosciences are uniquely well-suited to presentation via well-crafted, scientifically robust videos and animations. Geologic processes often take place over thousands to hundreds of millions of years and occur deep under water or within the Earth, where direct observation is not possible. Geology is synonymous with travel: Spectacular outcrops and Earth phenomena occur around the world, requiring photos and video to be accessible to most of us. Documenting natural disasters and the realities and impacts of climate change are highly amenable to presentation via videos and animations. Finally, videos and animations about the Earth allow these experiences to be shared with more diverse audiences. Sharing high-quality videos and animations about Earth systems may stimulate student interest in the earth sciences and help address longstanding concerns about enrollments in geoscience degree programs. However, in spite of these considerations, the number of high-quality geoscientific videos to use for these purposes continues to be inadequate. We hope through this article to spark discussion about how to encourage more geoscientists to create scientifically accurate and engaging videos and animations of Earth processes.

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GSA Today, v. 30