Technology and media can be implemented in several different fields, from medicine and health to entertainment. In this course, Media Organizations, we get to see how different companies implement it. Oddly enough, this trip was actually not planned, but nevertheless, it was a good insight on how other organizations use media.
On this trip, we took a visit to Laura Allen's company, Vision, Education, & Media, which offers technology education to young children in New York. Laura herself has a long history of education and technology, graduating from Harvard's School of Education and teaching children computers for years. She even taught Donald Trump's son.
|RoboFun, one of many educational programs offered to children|
Vision, Education, & Media offers several different classes for kids, teaching them how to use computers, how to make a video game, even how to build their own Lego robots. The organization is based on a child's “circle of strength”. In other words, they focus on what the child is interested in learning. For instance, if a child loves video games, then he or she will be taught how to make video games.
A good portion of their work also comes from teaching at schools. Many of their employees go out to city schools to oversee a technology club. About 85% of their revenue comes from these clubs, many of which are also based on several grants offered to the company.
One interesting thing I learned is that Laura and her organization do not put too much of a focus on marketing. They mainly go through what they like to call “Word of Mom”. In other words, a child's parent will tell another parent, and so on and so on, and through this process, the organization is “advertised”. They are looking for people working in social media, however, as long as they are real self-starters.
Vision, Education, & Media currently consists of 6 full-time employees, and 15 part-time. It functions as both a for-profit and not-for-profit organization, but at the time, they are focusing on for-profit to continue operating. Their office is a little small, taking up a floor of a small building off 23rd street, but they are hoping to continue their mission of teaching kids what they want to learn, which is definitely something to admire.
In this day and age, I understand the impact that technology can have on education. However, what Vision, Education, & Media does is really above and beyond what is expected. They are offering a valuable service to children in New York that is beginning a whole new generation of technology users, one that may very well begin a new technological revolution. I am anxious to see what kind of future Laura Allen and her organization brings.