FREE SPEECH ZONE | Media: A Part of Life


The technology available in schools helps students learn and be more interested.  I am in The Digital Media Studies Program at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis.  We are using a lot of media in our classroom including laptops and Itouches.  In our school, we have only upgraded technology in our program.  I think that it would be a lot better if the whole school, or if all the Minneapolis Public Schools would have technology in their classrooms.

Nestor Ramirez, a Cristo Rey Jesuit High School student, said that technology helps him learn. “There are many ways to research; all the information I could ever want is just a click away…there are visuals, videos, and once in a while, the text reads out loud.”

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Dr. Cynthia Lewis, a University of Minnesota professor, said, “You can’t think about reading and writing without thinking about digital media because it’s so completely connected…technology definitely helps students have more resources at their fingertips, lots of them…It provides easy information for things that students shouldn’t have to memorize.”  Then, she added, “You can do more important things, you can concentrate on deeper thinking.”

Schools are becoming more advanced with technology. Coleen Kosloski, Information Technology Services Executive Director, said that the state wants technology to be distributed to schools. She said, “The state wants 8th graders to be technology literates, have basic technology skills…we have been putting classroom technology in all the classrooms K-12.”

I am wondering if putting technology into all classrooms could be a bad thing.  Kosloski doesn’t think so.“I don’t see a downside at all…the world is going digital and we want our students to have the skills to compete in the global level for jobs.”

Ramirez said, “Many people do get distracted with YouTube, Facebook, and MySpace.”

Lewis said that the only thing that concerned her was the way people got used to typing.  “Students get so used to writing for social networks or texting and use short hands like instead of “you” they type ”u.”  It becomes so common to use the short hand that sometimes kids forget to use their Standard English.”

One problem is that not all the schools or all the students have the same access to technology.  Robin Cook, Digital Media Coordinator at Roosevelt High School, believes the process of distributing technology will take some time within the district.  She stated, “There are some scrambled things to unscramble to have equal technology.”

Lewis stated, “Schools with lower income families tend to have less technology and tend to be schools that have fewer resources for a lot of reasons.  Schools in the suburbs have all the best technology and the best media centers and everything and I just think that’s a terrible crime.  I think that all schools should have real good technology for kids to use.  It shouldn’t have to be a special program, it should just be what we do in school.”

Mostly all of the people I interviewed said that there is nothing wrong with technology and they agree with having technology in the classroom.

As Lewis claims, “Technology is absolutely the future of learning. I think grown ups are dragging us down…They are not digital natives, which means that you’ve grown up with digital technology and its second nature to you, it doesn’t even feel like technology.

So this is our future, the continued advancement of technology in the school system.  As much as I like and appreciate the technology in my school, lets just hope that computers don’t over throw us.