Choice Programs Coordinator: Mrs. Shanda Holman
LEARNING FROM REAL LIFE EVENTS IN VIDEO NEWS
We were all saddened by the shocking news about the earthquake that devastated Haiti and the continuing aftermath of the mounting deaths, critically injured totals and the countless economic hardships caused by the collapse of people's homes, clean running water, place of work, hospitals, etc. The cleanup and repairs will take years to complete. What are the people going to do in the meantime?
With the advent of the internet and digital video technology, one of our CMS Choice Programs students, 8th-grader Vernica S., was inspired to do something to help her native country. Her goal was to create a video somehow. Vernica started with writing in her own words, lyrics to her song which she named, "I Can." When that was completed, Vernica needed music and that lead her to compose her own digital music tracks (since she did not have a music background or access to musicians) using our Apple GarageBand authoring software at CMS.
At this point, I must say that as the digital video teacher at CMS, I only needed to provide Vernica with literally 10-minutes of a summary of the software features and the necessary steps for each phase of the project. In other words, I did NOT do the hard work for her. She did it on her own. Moreover, Vernica is not one of my assigned students and she has never been enrolled in any of my digital video classes while at Congress Middle School. Vernica is a CMS Choice Programs student enrolled in our Pre-Medical program and heard about our state of the art iMac networked lab at CMS from other students. You see, Vernica is a student aide one period per day and obtained permission from her teacher to work in my classroom lab during that one class period. Hence, I only point this out to give much credit to Vernica's natural talents, our CMS collective technical abilities and the great facilities at CMS which can and does facilitate and foster such talent. If you have a child that is looking to enroll in 21th century elective subjects, is highly motivated and willing to listen and learn from experienced teachers, then Congress Middle School - Choice Programs is the place for your child. Take a look at Vernica's video below.
HOW MANY INTERNET USERS WATCH VIDEOS?
According to Universal McCann, "Power to the People: Social Media Tracker Wave 3," in 2008, world wide 82% of internet users watched online video, just like you are doing now. In the US the figure was 74.2% of all internet users. In short, that is a golden economic opportunity for the current and future technology oriented student. You see, someone is making those videos and working for companies that want more of a world wide exposure or wish to do business online to cut their overhead. The question is, is your local school providing the educational opportunites to learn about the subject? We are in Congress Middle School Choice Programs. In fact, we have the BEST digital video middle school Career Education course in the state by far. Watch the video below of the activities in our digital video technology production class.
CHOICE PROGRAMS THAT REFLECT THE FUTURE
Recently, I came across this video that was posted on the Teacher's YouTube web site posting the question "Are you paying attention?" and "How do your students learn?" I suggest that you take the time to watch that video below. The video is a real eye-opener. This video caught my attention because (in our humble opinion) our Choice Programs at Congress Middle School exemplify the true message in the video. We are doing a great job with our Choice Programs at CMS teaching students with the media that they are accustomed to and learn from. It is a world of instant gratification and technology has come a long way in my lifetime. For example, I teach the digital video technology course at CMS. When I was my student's age, the typewriting class with electric typewriters was the "state of the art" class because before that, we had to write write all of our book reports and assignments by hand and you had to be a good typist to make few or no mistakes when you did type. Those IBM Selective typewriters had the ability to "white-out" your mistakes and were impressed by that "technology." When I reached the 11th grade in my applied physics class, we obtained the first Boman calculator to use in class. It was as big as a phonebook and I remember the words of Mr. Nicks, the physics science teacher. "Kids, be very careful with this calculator. It cost the school $1,700 for this technology."
Yes, a great deal has happened since the 1970's when I was in high school and college. For starters, the knowledge base back then doubled every 20-years we were told. Today, the knowledge base doubles every 5-years and finding information is a totally new arena called the Internet, the information highway. Thus, there is a need for unique and specific skills to be able to do research and harness all the new technology spin-offs from the internet. Unfortunately, there is a direct cause and effect when you introduce new technology in society. For example, there is a vast array of distractions that did not exist back in my time. Students today must start to learn how to stop using technology as a "toy" and start applying that technology as a "tool" in their lives and future careers.
Those that do learn about this techology and apply it have the edge for the future jobs and opportunities that we may or may not even be aware of today simply because the technology is always evolving and greatly impacts the how, when and where factors in life before we realize it.
The introduction of the computer, internet, cheaper and faster software, and the application of that body of knowledge can render some US economy jobs, industry groups and traditional occupational niches obsolete. Therefore, the first necessity and educational mandate is knowing about this technology, how it works, and using it yourself to perhaps be in a position in the future to use that technology to save time, money, and enhance your standard of living. Just maybe, you child enrolled in our Choice Programs may be in the elite group that becomes the future entrepreneur or the expert at a company simply because they received that head start at Congress Middle School. We are serious about this discussion and invite you to make an appointment to visit our school and see all the Choice Programs for yourself to discover the gem of opportunities your child could be learning today. At Congress Middle School, "we speak, teach and understand their technology language!"