BY: HELEN MALHOTRA, JUNIOR EDITOR
This February the White House held their first Student Film Festival. Four months prior, they had asked students from across the United States to create a 3 minute film about technology in schools; how students use technology, what the benefits or disadvantages of having technology in a classroom are, or even how they think technology will be used in the future to help students learn. There were over 2,500 submissions. A panel of judges, including the retired actor, Kal Penn, watched each and every video. Out of the 2,500 submissions, a top 16 emerged and were invited to travel to the White House for a celebratory viewing of the videos.
The students of Wilson’s Mass Media class were each assigned to film, edit, and submit a video for the Film Festival on the role of technology in education. Jason Perry and Alicia Oluhara, both seniors at Wilson, created one of the winning videos. Their video, which can be found on the White House website, talks about the opportunities that the Mass Media program, and technology in general, provides for high school students. They both talk about their own experiences with technology and how it influenced their decisions in life.
Ms. Bonds, the Mass Media teacher, and six of her students, including Perry and Oluhara, traveled to the White House on February 28 to attend the festival. President Barack Obama made a speech to the students and the audience about how important it was to continue to explore and push on the boundaries of technology. The top 16 videos were then played with speeches from special guests in between. Special guests included Kal Penn, Bill Nye, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, along with Conan O’Brien who addressed the students by video.