Author Topic: Obama hosts 1st White House student film festival  (Read 236 times)

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Offline mountaineer

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Obama hosts 1st White House student film festival
« on: March 01, 2014, 09:01:27 AM »
The celebrity president ...
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Two days before the Oscars, President Barack Obama recognized the best of nearly 2,500 films made by K-12 students after the White House asked them for short videos on the role technology plays in their education.

It's one of the president's favorite subjects.  [No, Barack Obama is the president's favorite subject]

"Today the Oscar goes to all of you because, among all the incredible videos we received, yours stood out," Obama said in the East Room, where two large screens were lit up to show the 16 films he said "are awesome."

"Like all great movies, yours do something special. They tell a story, they help us understand, in this case, the amazing things that are going on in classrooms and how technology is empowering our students and broadening their imaginations, challenging them to dream bigger and reach further," he added.

Obama wants virtually every classroom to have high-speed Internet by sometime in 2018.

At the festival, he announced $400 million in new pledges to move the project along, including donations from the software companies Adobe and Prezi. That's on top of $750 million in commitments he announced last month from Apple, Verizon, Microsoft and other companies. That brings to more than $1 billion the amount of cash and goods committed to the ConnectEd initiative.

The Federal Communications Commission also pledged $2 billion to connect 20 million students in 15,000 schools over the next two years.

Obama says the absence of high-speed Internet in classrooms hampers learning and affects U.S. competitiveness.

To that end, the festival was dreamed up to spotlight how technology helps students learn and to highlight Obama's proposal.

"The Academy Awards are not until Sunday, but, as you can see, we've brought the Oscars to the White House a little bit early," Obama said. "We've got the red carpet, we've got the big screens. ... The only difference is nobody asks what you're wearing."

The videos were limited to a maximum of 3 minutes, and each one was viewed multiple times by an "academy" of judges that included White House officials.

Sixteen were named "official selections" — no winners were declared — for the screening that was held in collaboration with the American Film Institute. The films were grouped into four categories — Young Visionaries, Future Innovators, World of Tomorrow and Building Bridges — and were presented by actor Kal Penn, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye the Science Guy and AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale. Late-night comedian Conan O'Brien addressed the gathering by video.

The filmmakers range in age from elementary to high school and come from 12 states and the District of Columbia.

Seventeen-year-old Shelly Ortiz, of Phoenix, who introduced Obama at the festival, said she became interested in filmmaking after she started at the Metropolitan Arts Institute in the eighth grade. In her film, "Technology, Documentary, My Dad and Me," she talks about how technology helped her discover her passion to be a filmmaker and use her skills to tell the stories of people she cares about.

"Without the technology given to me, I would never have been able to develop the relationship with my father that I have now," Shelly said in the film. "Some people think technology alienates you from others. But the truth is that depends on how you use it."

No gold-toned statuettes were handed out but, along with the White House recognition, the finalists will be given an exclusive look at the first episode of "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," a new TV series by Fox and the National Geographic Channel on the importance of science, technology, engineering and math that is set to premiere on March 9.

AP via Yahoo

Just think what people like Tesla, Curie and Carver might have accomplished, if only they'd had the internet.
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Offline mountaineer

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Re: Obama hosts 1st White House student film festival
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2014, 12:54:29 PM »
From the White House website: We chose 16 Official Selections to screen here at the White House. They're not just really impressive films – together, they tell the story of exactly why it's so important that we make sure more classrooms have the kind of cutting-edge technology they promote.

That's right, it's important that children tell us where our tax dollars should go.
Just being unique doesn't make you useful.

Offline mountaineer

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Re: Obama hosts 1st White House student film festival
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2014, 12:56:36 PM »
More from Arne Duncan:
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...  Today's going to be a fun day, but this event speaks to something much bigger.

That's because these students' films all illustrate the critical conversation about education in our country right now: the importance of connecting our classrooms.

The fact is that right now, only around 30% of our students have the high-speed Internet access they need for digital learning. That means millions of kids across the country aren't currently benefiting from the kinds of technologies that made the student films you'll watch today possible.

The President's ConnectED initiative is making sure that changes -- by connecting 99 percent of students to next-generation, high-speed broadband within five years.
Newflash, Arne. It doesn't take a computer to teach a child to read, and half the children "graduating" high school have reading skills that are inadequate for college work. But hey, who cares. More computers here!
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