Sunday, March 1, 2009

Movie Response (Prompt 5)

One of the things that really stuck out to me in the video we watched in discussion was when the narrator was talking about a supposed debate on whether or not high schools across the nation should be equipped with computers.

I think it's kind of funny (or ironic?), because this video must be slightly outdated. In my experience growing up in my school district (Kimberly, Wisconsin) and in in every district I've ever been to, computers and internet are used heavily in class. Even in elementary school, I remember going to the computer lab, equipped with Macs, to learn how to do research projects. In High School, we'd often go to the lab for an entire class (often 3-4 days in a row), just to "research" our topics for projects or papers.

What I'm trying to say is that in my own experience, it's not a debate as to whether or not schools across the nation have decided to adapt computers/internet as part of the learning and teaching method.

My school was also a leader in this state with incorporating technology into the classroom. My senior year, I took a class that was strictly for video and movie making. We learned to film movies, edit them, and mix audio. There were no tests or quizzes, just 90 minutes of movie making every day. We used Adobe Premiere (the same program that the children used in the video to animate their clay animals)

Also, we were offered a large selection of computer science courses. These differed courses differed greatly. A student could take a class devoted to animation and Flash, web page creation with Dreamweaver, or program scripting.

I noticed that the things I saw at New Tech High in Napa were things that I think my high school was definitely capable of teaching. I'm guessing that the video we saw was created in the late 90's (1998 maybe), so that just goes to show you how quickly technology changes. In the video there was a quote that said something like "the tools that these kids learn to use will be outdated in 6-7 months, so they have to keep learning".

I'm sure now, New Tech High has much greater technology and teaching capabilities with its students.


  1. It's interesting that you bring up the fact that the video seemed outdated, because that's the impression I got as well. But I think the fact that it's outdated is what makes it interesting.

    You mentioned using computers from elementary on. My schools were the same. I can't say what the technology in schools is like nowadays in a place like Silicon Valley or a poverty-stricken community, but as you also mentioned, I'm sure it's all been much improved upon.

    The fact that it changes so fast is why everyone should have equal opportunity to access it. If you're not given the opportunity to learn how to use current technology while in school, how much further behind are you going to be in five, ten years, as technology continues to advance? I think that might have been the best thing to take away from the video, remembering that it doesn't take much to fall behind the times.

  2. It is very interesting that the impression you have is very different from mine. The video seemed outdated for you, but still surprised me a lot.
    You mentioned that you started using computer a lot from elementary school and even took a class about movie making in high school, I really hope I could took that kind of class too in my high school.
    However, in my high school experience, we barely had computer class. Although teachers in class used computer a lot for teaching, students did not need to use computer at all. This is probably because the education in China focus more or math, physics or chemistry. The number of math, physics or chemistry homework we completed is unbelievable, but there is no homework requiring using computer at all.
    So, when I came to US,when I was asked to finish research projects on computer or something like that, I deeply experienced "digital divide". I think for me it is not a divide between different races or poor and rich, it is a divide between different countries.

  3. Yufei, that's pretty interesting. You'll find this week's reading contains discussion of "digital divides" in the context of countries vs. other countries. Thanks for this perspective.

  4. I agree with you that computers should definitely be a part of schools and can contribute alot to students' learning. I also found going to computer labs during elementary school to be very helpful. That is where I learned much of what I know about Word and Excel today. Not all students are fortunate enough to have computer access at home so I think it is important to offer computer classes at school so everyone has the opportunity to learn about computer programs and other skills necessary to operate them.

  5. Yufei, that is pretty interesting. We started little research projects in 3rd grade here. To me, I couldn't believe that this wasn't how it was around all of Wisconsin. I thought China too would have computers used heavily in class.

  6. I would agree with much of what you are saying. I also came from a public high school with a strong technology background. In addition to video editing, classes such as Photoshop, 3D Animation, Web Design, Desktop Publishing, and several others were offered to my student body. The statement, “What I'm trying to say is that in my own experience, it's not a debate as to whether or not schools across the nation have decided to adapt computers/internet as part of the learning and teaching method,” is one I couldn’t agree with more. There is no debate on whether or not schools should incorporate technology in their teachings. In fact, it seems blatantly obvious that they should. I feel though that the debate should be on whether or not it is the ONLY focus for the school. In my blog statement, I commented on how this school was way too focused in only one aspect, and I feel that this is something schools should be aware of when they formulate a focus for a school. Whether the school is focused in technology, athletics, hands-on classes, research-based classes, or whatever else they might find useful, they should be cautious of the doors they are closing to students by not offering a well-rounded curriculum.