Thursday, March 5, 2009

Movie Response #4

4. Think about the students' school environments and other environments (e.g. family, work, friends) surrounding them. What did you think of the approaches to technology in the three different school environments (Austin, Texas, Cupertino, California and Tech High in California)? Do you think any of the models are more successful than others at their mission? Is Tech High, without a football team and a library, the way of the future or an experiment likely to fail? Could a school like Luisa's in Austin ever catch up with others showcased? Give your opinion.

I think it is very surprising that the different high schools shown in the video can have such vast differences in the way they try to prepare their students for the world. In Tech High, there were more computers than actual students, and all of the students were very well versed in most computer tasks. I think it is a great skill to be able to use a computer and to know a lot about technology in today's hi-tech world, but computer skills are not the only thing needed to get a job or to succeed in life, and it seems like they are one of the only things being taught at Tech High. It is also important to be a well-rounded person, who has taken art classes, or who has learned leadership through being the football team captain. Tech High does not have art classes, sports teams, or even social events like dances. I think even though the Tech High students might graduate with more knowledge of computers, they are not necessarily more prepared for jobs that require more social skill, leadership, or well-roundedness.
On the other hand, Luisa's school in Austin, Texas has almost no technological focus. For some students there the computer lab is the first time they have ever used a computer. Clearly that is a disadvantage to them growing up, but Luisa did realize what she was missing out on and saved up and bought a computer which her younger siblings were able to use. Hopefully the trend of increasing technological interest continues to increase in Austin so the gap between the type of childhood in Austin and the Silicon Valley can be lessened.
Overall I do not think that Austin will ever catch up to the kind of technology used at Tech High. I think that the technology used there will eventually increase to an amount that provides the students with opportunities to go into a wide range of jobs, but not specifically computer jobs. I think at Tech High, the lack of sports teams and a library amoung other things will eventually force it to close. If the students do not learn the more personal skills required for the working world, even though they have a lot of computer knowledge, I do not think they will end up being the best candidate for jobs.

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