Sunday, March 1, 2009

Prompt 4

After seeing the stories from the three different schools in the film I felt that the school with the best situation for connecting its students to technology was Cupertino High School. Obviously the school had an advantage being in the silicon valley during a time when everything was starting to focus on the technologies there. Despite the heavy influence of technology in the school, Cupertino from what I saw seemed like a normal School. There was a push to learn how to use the technology, but not such a push that it was the only thing stressed. Students may have found that aspect more interesting than the other traditional studies, but the extra curriculars and normal courses are all still there. If a student in the school is not interested in technology I'm sure there are other outlets for them in the school to find an interest. Being in silicon valley would give access to more cutting edge software and hardware if the school had the partners to fund it. Keeping up to date in area that makes seemingly exponential leaps every year is a difficult task and the location would definitely prove advantageous to Cupertino.

I don't feel that Tech High has the model quite right though. It seems to me that they are forcing their students to throw all their eggs in one basket regardless if they are willing. While they have many opportunities that other high school students may not have, they are also lacking in the traditional high school experience. Focusing on career orientation would take from them in essence one of the final times to just be a kid. No memories from sports teams, or performing arts. For some those are the best times, the best memories. Tech High seems like it would be heavily lacking in the well-roundedness that as competition for college increases becomes the determining factor for many admittances. Tech High although a good experiment would need to expand to include much more than just a technology heavy curriculum to be a useful prep school for students.

The high school in Austin TX although with a not as robust program in technology orientation, they did recognize the value of exposure to the area by opening a few multimedia classes. Whether or not the school will be indefinitely behind in the area of computer education largely depends on whether or not the school has an ambitious figure to set plans in motion to improve the department. The price of baseline personal computers has dropped sharply and schools now days are offered software bundles at steeply reduced prices. I'm sure if someone with enough motivation could move the school to increase the options in their area of computer studies. At the time I'm sure the school was doing as best as it could to at least provide something for the students. The cost of computers was probably a lot more, and a school with heavy gang activity seems like a school that may have other more pressing problems than worrying about how well they stand technology-wise.

1 comment:

  1. I agree - I think Cupertino high was the most well-prepared high school as far as preparing students to make a career. I felt that Tech High was almost a little creepy in how strongly it stressed technology.