IUSD students from Inglewood and City Honors High Schools recently embarked on an exciting opportunity to network with top industry leaders at the annual Digital Hollywood Conference. Students attended a variety of morning session workshops and garnered first-hand information on cutting edge technology including augmented reality, virtual reality, cognitive computing, Over-the-top-TV platforms and streaming.
IUSD Executive Director of School and Community Relations Dr. Jacqueline Sanderlin was a guest panelist at an afternoon symposium entitled ‘Investing in Diversity: The Social Impact in Higher Education & The Entertainment Industry.’ Sanderlin, along with Peabody Awards Director Dr. Jeffrey Jones, Wake Forest University Fellow Sherri Williams, Verizon Vice President of Entertainment and Tech Policy Eric Reed, and Panel Facilitator/ CSUEA Director Dina Ibrahim brought their individual insights into issues of diversity throughout the industry and how education can be a positive vehicle in closing the gap. “This is why we are looking to partner,” said Sander
lin. “People who can look at the world we live in differently than we do can help students see the working side of technology as well.”
Inglewood High School Principal Kyle Douglas was in attendance with his students and was asked about the problem students are facing from his perspective. “There are two problems I see with technology and public education. One is that when a student steps into the classroom, they are most often stepping back with technology. Students can do more with their smartphones than all the technology that is available in the classroom. The goal should be to become masters of technology vs becoming slaves of it.” Douglas also emphasized the critical need for access to the latest technology applications for classroom instruction. “We have to stop accepting the hand-medowns of technology,” he adds. “When we accept most tech donations, they are often already out of date. Students will lead the technology revolution of the future, not teachers. In order for that to happen, they need up to date, state-of-the-art equipment. This is not just a passion; this is
what I obsess about. But the only way to make this happen is for us to embrace it and let the students lead the way.”
The Digital Hollywood experience provided exposure and access to a wealth of knowledge for the students who participated. City Honors Student Taylor Austin came to the conference hoping to find opportunities to expand her passion for photography. She currently participates in the journalism class that produces its online newspaper the Daily Jaguar that is receiving hits worldwide. Austin attended the conference with her business cards in tow, and was able to make contact with Alliance for Women in Media through Lillian Grant, the public
relations officer for IUSD.
“Taylor is very driven,” says Grant. “Alliance for Women in Media can assist Taylor with a wealth of resources including mentors and internships where she can hone her hobby into a skill.” Digital Hollywood debuted in 1994 and is among the leading trade conferences in its field with over 15,000 top executives in the film, television, music, home video, cable, telecommunications and computer industries attending each year. Its Founder and President Victor Harwood is considered a leading authority on the convergence of the entertainment and technology industry and coined the now ubiquitous expression “The Digital Revolution.”