The 60s Are Back … Sort Of: Recent Political Films Tap Countercultural Roots

Gary Ross’s 1998 dramedy Pleasantville begins with a satirical montage tailored to Gen-X angst. Three high school teachers address their seniors’ post-graduation prospects: the first describes a woeful job market; the second, the STD epidemic; the third, global warming-induced environmental catastrophe. Just as quickly as the film raises these very real issues, however, it drops them in favor of a back-to-the-future fantasy set in the late 50s/early 60s, from which the sibling-twin protagonists emerge with renewed appreciation of how far American society has come since those more overtly racist, sexist, sexually repressive times.   Continue reading “The 60s Are Back … Sort Of: Recent Political Films Tap Countercultural Roots” »

Technology in the Classroom: A Personal Reflection

Technology has been praised, criticized, and feared in the classroom.  The tumultuous discussion of “pros and cons” is all the more evident in today’s new media landscape.  To this day, many instructors resist the incorporation of technology for a number of reasons.  To some, the idea of new media in the classroom is frightening because it requires us to acquire new technical knowledge.  Do I even have time or want to take the time to learn how to use WordPress, Prezi or Twitter?  The same concern relates to students: will new media technology widen the socio-economic technological, digital divide?  Will students pay attention in class, when they could easily be on Facebook or shopping for shoes?  How would technology benefit my students’ learning?  Continue reading “Technology in the Classroom: A Personal Reflection” »