Instructor Spotlight: Ben

Instructor-Spotlight-Ben-1024x668 Instructor Spotlight: Ben

Advanced Digital Media instructor Ben Fuhrman has been with ITEC since its pilot program, but he got his start in the field of technology even before that. Ben has both a master’s and doctorate degree in music composition and has been involved in projects that include technology and the arts.

“I’m generally commissioned by a performer to write a piece and to create a computer program that will process their sound and transform it,” said Ben.

Ben believes that sharing his knowledge of technology with ITEC students is important because students need to be media literate and understand how to interact using new technology in order to be successful.

“In large part, a lot of this covers the nature of communication in the twentieth century,” said Ben.  “Nowadays, as much as I would like to see kids with their noses buried in books, that doesn’t happen. You have to have a certain level of media literacy to get your point across or document life events. On top of that, because everyone now has smart phones, there’s the ability to share things so fast. They’re learning that things can be edited and what you see may not be what really happened.”

Ben’s current Advanced Digital Media class is working on developing short films using the same software that was used to edit the film The King’s Speech.

“The technology has come to the point where it’s so accessible to consumers that we can use it with middle school students. Now we can do all of this on a laptop or a cell phone. Now that it’s so ubiquitous, it’s important that these kids know how to use it… know what to share and what not to share.”

As the students work on their films, Ben watches each student grow individually and as a team member. He has recently noticed a large improvement in his students’ teamwork.

“Students seem to work very well alone, but when working with other people with competing ideas it can get a little intense,” said Ben. “They’ve had to work on effectively communicating their ideas. Whether it’s writing down everything in a script or have a pre-planning session about how shoot scenes, they’ve challenged themselves to get it all worked out.”

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