The project that inspired Carleton students to go computer free for 24 hours fall term garnered national attention in USA Today. Melody Gilbert’s special topics Cinema and Media Studies class kept cameras rolling in order to record the experience of going computerless for a significant amount of time. The class is structured to allow the students to “create a documentary from concept to completion” according to Gilbert. As the class spans two terms, students have the opportunity to function as a production company. The topic choice prompted a campus-wide effort to leave computers behind for a period of twenty-four hours and certainly generated discussion here on campus.
The project prompted dialogue about the increasing reliance on technology in all sectors of society. According to USA Today’s article, “About 87% of 18- to 29-year-olds use the Internet, according to a 2007 report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which studies Net use.” Without computers, the students who participated experienced a certain level of difficulty in their attempts to perform the expected tasks required of students.
The article featured Mitchell Lundin ’08, Caitlin Magnusson ’09 and Andrew Tatge ’09, who pledged to give up their computers for a certain amount of time in order to serve as subjects of the documentary.
The class will screen the documentary on campus and submit to film festivals. In reflection, Lundin said the class realized that “there is no turning back. The role of computers is steamrolling forward. You can resist it. You can hold off for a little bit. But in the end, it will keep moving forward with or without you.”
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