Media Collage class equips students with skills to master technology

Jaqueline DeWitt

COLLABORATIVE CLASSROOM: During a Media Collage class, teacher Scott Glass makes a joke to his students. Media Collage, an English elective that was just introduced this year, helps students understand how to use internet technology in a meaningful manner.

Mollie Cramer, staff writer

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According to Scott Glass, teenagers understand how to operate social technology perfectly. In fact, according to Glass, they spend  so much of their time on social media that they don’t know much about other technologies. So, Glass created the new English elective, Media Collage, for them to do just that.

According to Glass, he teaches what it means to be a learner and a creator (or an originator) in this society that is so dominated by technology and the Internet.

“It’s looking at all of these tools and the Internet that we have at our disposal because when you think about the Internet it can be very overwhelming, and it can be difficult to understand. ‘What can I use to navigate online and find the things that I want to find?’ So what I’m trying to do with this class is make it a place where together the students and I can explore and experiment with all these things and collect what we know,” Glass said.

English Instructional Supervisor Susan Levine-Kelley feels that teaching methods are always being adjusted and re-imagined, and Glass has introduced another way.

“[Media Collage] incorporates Glass’s vision of the needs of technology literacy in the 21st century in terms of how that all gets integrated in education and learning,” Levine-Kelley said.

According to senior Gabby Gottfried, most students know how to use technology, but this class teaches students to understand that there’s more out there and better ways to use it. For example, students in the class have started using Facebook and Twitter to complete research projects by learning to get surveys out on the internet.

“We’re just trying to widen our skills and see what these different devices and the internet can do for us on more than just a social level,” Gottfried said.

According to Glass, in order to accomplish that, the class consists of many projects online and using different applications. He describes the environment of the class as being very free and student-driven.

“I think as teachers we all hope to learn something as we’re teaching, and this first year of Media Collage I have learned so much and that shows how collaborative the class is,” Glass said.

Junior Haley Wilson described Media Collage as her favorite class because of the things she’s learned and because of Glass’s attitude towards the class.

“I’ve always believed that if a teacher really likes their job and their class then it’s just a better class,” Wilson said.

According to senior Max Sendor, the class is a good class to have at GBS. A lot of student influence goes into what they do, and that’s what makes it such an exciting class.

“One of the most recent projects we’re working on is designing your own perfect learning environment,” Sendor said. “That project was developed just from a random class discussion [we] were having that transformed into an interesting project idea.”

Wilson is also really enjoying designing her own perfect learning environment. She’s using her new presentation and communication skills in order to complete this project.

“I just had a Google hangout, which is like a Skype kind of thing, with the Superintendent to present him my idea, and I had a Google hangout with people from Missouri who have done their school in the way that I want our school to be like,” Wilson said. “You’re really just learning how to use all of these tools, and it’s the coolest thing I’ve ever done.”

According to Glass, he thinks this class is interesting as well since he has actually been trying for ten years to create Media Collage, and now that it’s finally been passed, he’s really enjoying it.

“It’s made me remember what it’s like to be a first-year teacher, just that feeling of, ‘Oh, okay, I made it through that day, now what am I going to do tomorrow?’” Glass said. “That kind of feeling is really exciting and fun.”

Sendor said he likes the class too and believes that the things he’s learning in Media Collage are going to help him for the rest of his life in school and professionally.

“The things I’ve learned in [the class] are just really applicable to things in general as far as just the different stuff he teaches,” Sendor says. “Every day we’re learning about a new application or a new internet site that could be useful to us now and later on.”

Gottfried also agreed that the class is very relevant to society and how technology factors into that.

“I think that everybody is going to be affected one way or another by technology, whether it’s just sitting at a computer every day or just being social online or business wise,” Gottfried said. “So everybody should be exposed to the different technology out there that we have the opportunity to learn about in this class.”

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