Written By John Sullivan- Communications Manager, Digital Wish
Digital Wish's mission resonates with many across America: to solve technology shortfalls in American classrooms. By helping teachers obtain technology for their classrooms, Digital Wish hopes today's students will be better prepared for the technology dependent jobs of the future.
But some may ask how we can measure tangible results when we're working with students who won't be entering the workforce for possibly another decade or more?
I volunteer myself as a possible example.
Exposed to technology from a young age by my father, who is possibly the most gifted man I have ever seen work with a computer, I have always felt at home working with control panels and (relatively) sensitive system preferences. With all the information available online, once one has even a basic grasp of how to use technology, the world is yours to prod with the digital stick.
But that's besides the point- I would not be a programmer like my father, as endless lines of code held absolutely no appeal for me. The ever- idealist, I was interested in words giving birth to ideas and the life of the harried journalist seemed to be my destiny as I started to apply for colleges.
My birthday that year, however, threw an unexpected wrench into my tertiary education plans with one simple gift: a video camera.
With this tool, I suddenly found a new, creative storytelling medium: video. The ability to splice together short clips like words felt natural to me and I quickly shifted my post- grad plans to cater to this new interest. With the heralded downfall of traditional print media accompanying the rise of the Internet, I saw promise in becoming not a journalist, but a video editor. I transferred my major to a Radio/TV/Film concentration upon arriving at Marist College and never looked back.
Now, working for Digital Wish, I am in charge of a huge range of technology intensive tasks from editing multimedia to coordinating social media efforts, all the while connecting with those who can benefit from our mission, no matter where they are-- and I love the ever- changing excitement of each task.
This is why I get excited whenever I see a new Flip Camera 2- for- 1 package being shipped to a classroom. While my college education more than prepared me for the workforce today, I sometimes wonder how advanced my skills could be if I had had one of these wonderfully easy-to-use cameras in my fourth grade classroom.
I imagine the next Lumiere, Spielberg, or Coppolla getting their first spark of creative energy in an Iowa classroom, fueled by the sight and satisfaction of a completed digital video project. I envision the next Katie Couric or Tom Brokaw getting ready to record a podcast for their Lousiana school's morning broadcast.
Most importantly, I see young versions of me, engaged in school and learning, because they are working with the technology and media of their world, their digital language. They may not become famous, or rich, but they will be ready for the challenges of the coming years and have the knowledge to intelligently collaborate with the global society around them in whatever role they choose to fill.
This is the trend of the age we are in: constant innovation, constant learning, constant excitement. It's not just up to our teachers to fulfill this need, it's everyone's job to bring excitement for learning into our children's education.