By Ian Flanagan
“[We] have a space outside the classroom that’s virtual,” she said of the blogs, “but we can come back together and process it.” Moreover, students come out with an online portfolio and a background in multimedia journalism.
Dhera Strauss, the College’s media producer and instructor, learned film editing without computers but thinks new editing technology benefits her documentary film-making and TV production students.
“It helps a lot in developing their ability and freedom, and that has to do with the computer,” Strauss said.
Both professors emphasized students’ abilities to tell fuller stories with new media. Heinritz stresses “full-body reporting” to her students, encouraging them to add visual and aural elements to stories. Strauss emphasizes the visual and auditory special effects available through editing programs and the abilities computers give to tell “non-linear stories,” with footage placed out of traditional order.
Junior Nathan Gilmour, who has guest-lectured in Heinritz’s classes on his experiences as a photographer for the Philadelphia City Paper, sees benefits for students from technology in the classroom.
“We’ve become an ADD society,” he said, and the best way to get bored students’ attention is through media technology. In addition, access to databases through the Library aids students’ research.
But there should be a limit to the wired classroom, Gilmour said.
Laptop use in class is counterproductive to learning because students often choose to web-surf instead of paying attention, and many of his professors already “had an unwritten rule about no laptops in the classroom.”
Listen to the full interview here: