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My So-Called Digital Life: 2,000 Teenagers, 300 Cameras, and 30 Days to Document Their Worldby Bob Pletka
Synopses & Reviews
My So-Called Digital Life is the result of a unique project created by Bob Pletka, technology director for the Covina-Valley Unified School District in Southern California. Pletka instituted a program in which 2,000 high school and middle school students from throughout the state of California-including inner-city, suburban, and rural areas-were given digital cameras and one month to capture their day-to-day life experiences.
In the end, approximately 10,000 photographs from over 2,000 teenagers were distilled down to the most compelling 350 images of what life is like for our children in the 21st century. All of the students were able to communicate with each other over the internet, sharing text, audio, photos, and video. Professional photographers, teachers, historians, and community leaders advised the teenagers, but the images, thoughts, fears, and hopes are theirs alone.
This resulting book presents an uncensored view of the lives of the students as they take on issues of identity, education, technology, family, work, and friendship. The visual story of photographs, essays, and photo captions also shows us whether our schools are places of alienation or communities of support, enclaves of safety or territories of hostility. Are we ready to hear what teenagers want to tell us about themselves?
The result of a unique project organized by a school administrator, this photo essay captures the daily lives of a large group of California high school students. Two thousand students from across the state were given digital cameras and a time limit of one month to document, in pictures and words, their day-to-day experiences. As a part of the event, some students were bussed to schools in different parts of the state, including inner cities or rural or suburban areas. All of the students were able to communicate with each other over the Internet, sharing text, audio, photos, and video. Professional photographers, teachers, historians, and community leaders accompanied and advised the students, but the images, thoughts, fears, and hopes are theirs alone. This complex project tracks the students as they take on issues of identity, education, alienation, safety, technology, family, work, and friendship.
About the Author
Bob Pletka is the Director of Technology at Covina-Valley Unified School District in Southern California. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Educational Technology from the University of California, Irvine.
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