Communications Technology I
|Computers are such an integral part of our society that it is important for students to learn computer skills to be successful. Even if students don¹t plan to work in a Communications Technology-related field, they will benefit from the knowledge and experience gained from this curriculum.
The program also teaches Media Literacy, a critical skill for the 21st century.
What is Communications Technology?
We spend the first semester of the class answering this question. We discuss the two types of communication -- interpersonal communication and mass communication.
Concentrating mainly on mass communication, we explore the different types of mass media newspapers, books, magazines, television, film, radio and sound recordings, computer networks, and advertising. Students learn a little of the history of these mediums as well as their current state and predictions.
Along the way, students complete various assignments. One such assignment requires students to create a magazine that targets a specific demographic while identifying potential advertisers. There are more than 22,000 magazines circulating and 10 new magazine titles are launched each week, according to the Magazine Publishers of America,
In our Film unit, students get to experience several Hollywood films in the Communication Technology lab, which has a giant projection screen and a surround-sound system. Students are required to analyze the structure of these movies. Then they get to write an overview of their own screenplay, develop the main characters and plot and act out the opening scene. The typical moviegoer in the U.S. is a teenager or young adult, who represents more than 30 percent of movie audiences.
Another assignment has students work in groups to research the negative effects of smoking in order to write the lyrics of an anti-smoking song. The group must also create the music. More than 5,000 U.S. companies sell more than one billion tapes and discs of recorded music each year.
The second semester starts with a unit on Photography. We begin by identifying the parts of a camera for those students who are beginners. Then it's on to exposure (shutter speed, aperture and film speed). The class spends a lot of time discussing the main elements of Photography (content, composition and lighting) and learning how to recognize good or bad photographs. After all, if you don¹t know what a good photo looks like, how could you expect to produce one?
During the Photography unit, students are introduced to Adobe Photoshop, the industry-leading software application for processing images and creating graphics.
Even though students spend the majority of the semester focusing on Photography, they also have an opportunity to work on other Communications Technology-related projects:
For the last month or so of the school year, students work on projects that they can choose from many of the subject areas covered.