On September 20, for our session of the East St. Louis Digital Humanities Club, our team leaders discussed and modeled approaches to interviewing for the high school students. In the coming weeks, the students will conduct and record their own interviews. So we want to make sure they are well prepared.
For the interviews, our leaders covered topics related to technology. One of our main goals for our after-school program involves increasing interest and knowledge among African American students in technology projects and careers.
Our team leader Gaige Crowell grew up in East St. Louis and felt that the students were more advanced than he was when he was their age. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major until I was a senior,” he said, “but some of the kids that are sophomores already have an idea of what they want to do in college.”
Our leader Amelia Williams had a different thought. “I felt like they did not know about many of the careers they can pursue which are related to technology,” she said, “and the different avenues that are available allowing one to become more involved with technology (technology institutes, or educational camps).”
Amelia and Gaige worked with different groups of high school students, so it’s possible that their discussions with them moved in alternative directions. Nonetheless, we want to do more to expand their knowledge about technological and digital possibilities.
Tiara Perkins pointed out that what she enjoyed most working with the students on Wednesday was “just learning what they would like to do with technology considering we are trying to teach them more about technology as a whole. It made me feel like they are interested in what we are trying to do.”
Jayla Howard observed that the students responded to some of her questions "in a way that I did not always expect.” Her observation suggests the need for us to think creatively and openly about questions as well as potential responses.
Week #2 reflection from graduate student, Rae'Jean Spears:
This week’s meeting with the students from the East St. Louis Charter school went well. The students were given an opportunity to discuss technology in ways that they don’t normally do. I noticed that while we are in very technically advanced society, there is not much knowledge or engagement with technology outside of cell phones. I’m interested to see how students’ perception of technology and how they can incorporate it more effectively in their own personal lives will change over the semester.Related:
• The East St. Louis Digital Humanities Club