Saturday, February 28, 2009

Movie Response #1

I think there are many different factors that could influence students’ academic works. Lack of technology for education in modern society is a major one, but in the film, we saw that New Tech High School was the pioneer of the country to provide computers and internet, so for those students, other factors are at play for their different outcomes.

In the film we see that Luisa’s problem is that she doesn’t have money for the education she wants. Her low income status is the barrier for her to succeed. For Travis, he is under a lot of peer pressure that his friends keep telling him he’s a geek and make fun of him. Although he seems to understand his own goals, but then he is on his own. With his low income status, he also couldn’t afford college which he wants. For Kep, he has a background as a minority in the U.S.. He overcame many things like learning English and culture shocks to be where he is now. It was much harder for him to succeed compared to American-born children. All of their problems would seem impossible to solve if we say technology was the answer. It is far more complex.

I was a bit surprised to know the outcomes of those students. I saw them work hard in their academic career, and I saw them breaking obstacles for their own goals. But in the end, for most of them, due to the problems apart from lack of technology they still couldn’t get what they wanted and deserved. Life is just not fair to them.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Movie Response, Question 4

I think that the three different school environments provide different levels of success in their mission. For Cupertino high and Tech high, their missions are only to connect their students with silicon valley jobs, computer and computer technical jobs. To this end, there is a difference between the two tech high schools. Cupertino high seemed to be part of a wealthy, educated community, while the community served by Tech high seemed to be relatively less wealthy and educated. The results of this might be that Cupertino has more expensive technology from their students to learn from, therefore acquiring more advanced skills than Tech high. Also, the connections parents and educators at Cupertino high to silicon valley jobs may be greater than the connections at Tech high. If Travis had gone to Cupertino high, he may have been able to get a better job out of high school, and had better help with his class project, than he did going to Tech high.

I think that it would be very difficult for Luisa's high school (Austin) to catch up to the other tech high schools in regards to their job placement and education within that field. Austin high school is a traditional, standard curriculum high school, and it is also disadvantaged in terms of the technology it provides to its students because it is a school that is in a more middle class community. Austin high school cannot concentrate all their efforts on technology and computers because it has to concentrate on other aspects of its school. I do not think Austin high school should be compared to the tech high schools, because their missions are different.

I do not think that tech high is the way of the future for all students, but because a technology-related career might become more popular as technology becomes more relevant in our lives, the number of tech schools might increase, especially in places like silicon valley, where those careers are very popular. However, tech high schools will not replace traditional, standard curriculum high schools, simply because of the fact that not everyone will go directly into a tech-related career. Also, while some tech skills are required for the majority of jobs people have, the complexity of skills taught at the technical high schools are unnecessary for most individuals.

Movie Response #2

For each of the four teens, access was seemingly different in each case. While all four had similar "context" of access, with the technology being used in an academic environment at school, the other three C's were quite a bit different.

In the case of Luisa, her school did not have the advanced technology that High Tech or Cedra's school had and thus fell behind in the connectivity of access. Luisa's capability was also behind compared to the other three teens. Although she was taking the multimedia classes, these were all extra curricular and not as as emphasized or part of the schools curriculum. Being behind in connectivity and capability also makes content a barrier for Luisa. There is no doubt that it was great for her to join the classes to get off the streets and out of trouble, but the multimedia classes seemed not much more than that, a way out. The access to technology that she had was not that applicable for her life as it was with the other teens.

For Cedra, who grew up around technology, her access to technology was on the other side of the spectrum. All four C's were there for her. Since her school was technologically advanced it had the connection necessary for use and she had the capability to use it, both from being around it at home and learning it in a school setting. The most important C, content, was also present, since she desired to go into publishing, like her father, the technology she was learning and using was geared towards that.

For Travis and Kep, both going to High Tech, their access had both the context and connectivity and through the program at the school, both were learning the capability. Where they differ is in content. For Kep, technology seemed to be his only way to progress and have a better life than his parents have, so he had the desire and motivation. Travis, on the other hand, didn't seem to have the same desire and drive. The technology that he was learning and using may not of been in his interests and he did not have the support from his home environment, like Cedra.

There are plenty of Technology centered high schools around the country. At most of them the curriculum  is actually pretty well rounded, with classes in math and science as well as humanities, art and gym, while still focusing on technology. They all seem to have a very rigid curriculum that allows little choice in the path and courses taken.

Movie Response #4

In the present day and age most colleges like their students to be well rounded in all the subjects and require a set number of years to have certain subjects in high school, such as English. At the two tech schools they sacrificed these important subjects to focus mainly on technology. While this is certainly not a bad thing considering a large part of our society runs on technology, it does seem to be lacking as a means of preparing today's youth to venture out into the real world.

The three school environments were all different from one another. Luisa went to a typical public high school and was still able to have access to multimedia and technology classes. It is easy to argue that she might not have the same opportunities with technology in the future compared to Cedra, Travis, and Kep and that definitely might be the case. However, she will be able to say that she had access to and was able to take other classes whereas Cedra, Travis, and Kep did not.

These technology schools are by no means a bad idea, but there are other aspects to our society besides technology that need to be taught in classes that are not offered at these tech schools.

Movie Response #3

For this response, I viewed in Madison, WI for a search of "technology" job. I found a lot of postings for help desk support, computer analyst, IT, TEKsystems, project manager, engineer, and a lot for the US Navy or Army, etc. I think this is a fairly broad view of many of the possible types of jobs that can be found in this field. 
I think the students might have been prepared for some of these jobs. I think with the very specialized learning that took place at their advanced technology high schools, they were mostly capable of basic tech support and software development. I think considering the amount of independent and group projects that the students were asked to complete they should be able to work at a company, and be assigned to work at projects individually or as part of a collaboration and excel at this kind of work. More specialized fields like computer engineering might require a college degree and more advanced schooling. I feel like Cedra had the most realistic idea of how to use her computer training in HS as just a supplementary learning advantage in college. 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wildcard Response

I thought it was really interesting when one of the people in the film said something about how in today's society we cannot even imagine life without computers.  While this is certainly true, this made me consider technology's affect on our society in general.  I have similar feelings as I could not even imagine what college would be like without computers, internet, powerpoints, texting, email, facebook, etc.  However, as content and I am about our current technology, I cannot help but consider what the future will be like as far as information technology is concerned.  

Can you even imagine  how painful it would be going to the library, searching through books of shelves and scholarly journals in hope that you might find something of interest for research?   This would be a painful, slow process.  Today, we just punch in what we want in a search engine or database, and instantly know if information exists and exactly what we have to do to access this information.  Furthermore, this information can come from anywhere in the world as we are so interconnected.  It may seem we have reached the pinnacle of information technology, but I'm sure 30 years from now students will look at our generation like it was the stone age.  

It is both exciting and scary to think about the future of informational technology.  I envision a world where our computer is more like a friend than a machine, and it will be your voice, not your fingers, that will do most of the work on a computer.  Digital convergence will probably eliminate physical textbook and newspapers completely, and most of the information we receive will come from a screen.  People won't be typing papers and much as they will be talking papers.  I obviously can only speculate the future of information technology, but I can guarantee that it will not be what it is today.  What effect this will inevitable technology advancements have on future generations' learning and overall on society in general?  

If anyone's interested here's an interesting video about the internet's influence on information technology: Web 2.0

Movie Response #1

In each of these cases, there are many factors at play that are the ultimate in determining the success of a student. Cedra's father works hands on with computers and this naturally steered her towards the same field. She goes to Silicon Valley which is a high technology environment. When questioned about her schooling experience, she mentions that it is "assumed" that you will have a nice job because of the lots of opportunities you have at that school. This is something that naturally aids in Cedra's ability to be attending Brown. She has the support of a technologically advanced school and doesn't have the pressures of money struggles due to her parents' support and prominent positions within the community.

However, look at Kep. Born into a family of refugees in Cambodia, he completely turns his life around due to the access and support he has from his school. He gets an internship which provides him with hands on experience and helps round out his resume and has the opportunity to go to CalTech. Naturally the support that his family provides along with the technology access he has, are the tools that he took advantage of in order to be successful.

What sets Travis apart from Kep? They went to the same school and had the same access to the same technology. Maybe it is that Kep was more motivated since he knew this was the only opportunity he would probably ever have to make a name for himself and relieve some of the financial burden in place on his family. He probably didn't want to spend the rest of his life working at the doughnut shop his parents ran. What about Travis though? The reason he barely graduated was due to his own neglectfullness in checking the compatibility of his presentation. He mentions he should have been more careful.

Luisa had her graduation delayed due to working too much at her fast food job. As a student who had to work throughout her high school career, I completely understand how tough it is to balance working with school. However, a smart student knows where to draw the line and when working becomes too much. Then again though, when one has such financial pressure, this line can become blurred because of the need for money. Perhaps if she came from a family like Cedra, and she didn't have financial concerns, she would have had more time to study for her Photoshop exam.

In each of these situations, family life is probably one of the most crucial factors. However, Kep shows that just because one comes from a family that is struggling doesn't mean you can't make more for yourself. It is important to note that hard work can overcome any obstacle because someone will notice it. Besides for the four C's, family life is the most important aspect determining success. All these students seemed to have a basic knowledge of how to use computers, a means of accessing them, and a reason to access them (four C's) but they all had outside influences that propelled them towards or hindered them from success. Honestly, I was not very surprised by the way everything turned out.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Movie Response #4

The three different school environments were a bit of a surprise to me because they were definately very different from other typical high schools. I feel that the two Tech schools do a good job of preparing the students for their careers, but I do not believe that that is what is important in high school. In William B. Travis High School in Texas, they wanted to help the students out by finding a passion and something to be interested in, with the focus primarily on computers. They did this by creating a multimedia class. This is a good way for the students to learn the computer and internet skills they might need later in life. On the other hand, when schools, like Tech High, only serve one purpose- in trying to prepare the students for their career, the students are then missing out on everything else in high school.

When the educational psychologist had talked in the movie, she said, "it is not about making a living, but about making a life." I feel that that statement sums it up. Students that are in high school should be developing academic AND social intelligence. They need to be well-rounded students, not just skilled in one particular area- computers. I feel that all of the fun events and activities, such as dances and football games, are extremely important in helping each student develop their LIFE and personality, not just skills needed in career, becuase our lives are so much more than just our job.

I feel that Tech High's business school environment is not the way of the future, becuase it is leaving out so much that students should be learning and experiencing as a young adult. I'm not saying that the preparation for a career is not important, but rather that there is a place and time for everything. There could be separate courses and places, such as the Urban League shown in the video, where students can learn these technology skills, but I don't feel that it is necessary and healthy to teach the kids ONLY what they should know for their career.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Midterm - Goals / Loc. of Near N Branch

What were two goals local politicains and community leaders hoped to accomplish with construction?
"The library and the mayor hoped that locating Near North on the border between Cabrini Green and the Gold Coast would accomplish two things: encourage others improvements in Cabrini and bring together residents of two neighborhoods who had virtually no no contact with one another." (pg 37)

How did location play a role in the creation of the library?
The location of the Near North branch was important 'to communicate the vision bridge the neighborhoods, as well as the practical and persuasive point that the Chicago Public Library would not fund two branches in the area'. It attracted patrons from both communities.

The right location also ensured accessibility to it by Cabrini Green while wasn't so far that those from the Gold Coast weren't too intimidated to venture into the perceived danger by car in Cabrini Green. (pg 37)

Missed MIS

Although the discussion is far from passed, thought I'd get caught up on posting before the exam;
MIS for 'Race & Place':
I found the most ill-conceived statement on pg 32 when the librarian explained low circulation as due to that the largely black, mostly working-class community simply didn't read.

MES for 'Better Together':
I found the most encouraging statement as the statement that a woman made about how she felt when the Near North Branch was placed in Cabrini Green (pg 37?):
"Before, I though no one cared about people around Cabrini. And so we didn't care. Now I feel like someone is watching, trying to make thigns better. So I am trying to better myself and my children."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Midterm: Lifelong Learning

Koontz, C. M., Jue, D. K., & Lance, K. C. (2004). Neighborhood-based in-library use performance measures for public libraries: A nationwide study of majority-minority and majority white/low income markets using personal digital data collectors.

How do libraries fulfill a role in the process of
lifelong learning for low-income persons?

"Public libraries are one of the few if not only public information resources in areas having a high concentration of low-income individuals... public libraries are vital in diminishing the information gap between the technical elite and the technical poor..."(pg. 30) Libraries are fulfilling the role for the low-income population by providing the free access to resources. Access to the internet, and access to literature not only helps students with their research but can be utilized by anyone to learn at least the basics about any skill set. In this way libraries become a lifelong tool for the have nots. As long as libraries stay up to date with their technology and means of access, anyone with access to the library will be just as conected to resources as anybody else with the luxury of internet at home.

Midterm: What is GIS...?

What is GIS, and how and why did the researches use it in the context of this study? Why were notions of space important?

First of all, GIS stands for geographic informational systems. In one part of this article software was used to plot the closest library to any location in the city, creating polygons among the NYC area. GIS can be useful to create maps (known as cartography) but they also include useful ways to obtain certain information that is area specific. The polygons mapped onto NYC were used as spacial units that were analyzed by data such as population, race, median household income, and educational attainment for the population. It can be assumed that any given individual would most frequent the closest library to their house so this information was used alongside the data received from each library to analyze the public uses and issues with the libraries.

If this field of study at all interests you our college offers a certificate in GIS ( The certificate includes 4 classes and some electives. To get an idea of learning more about GIS the four base classes include Geology 370, 377, 560, 578, which are named Introduction to Cartography, Introduction to GIS, Advanced Quantitative Methods, and GIS Applications respectively.

Week 3- Humboldt Park & Uptown

Week 3: Putnam & Feldstein 

How did the Humboldt Park Branch engage its largely Latino patron base? What about Uptown?

Humboldt Park
-The library maintains an extensive collection of Spanish-language books, magazines and newspapers
-They combine the youth and adult nonfiction section  because some adults may not have high reading abilities.  With the combination, they won't feel embarrassed looking for books at their reading level, which could possibly be directed towards the youth books. 

-Has a large Southeast Asian population
-The library has a variety of books in Vietnamese, Cambodian, Chinese, English-language books, Russian, and other languages. 
-Many of the newcomers get a library card so that they can connect to their "new home", and the library is seen as the "least threatening public institution".