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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

New Media Arts 2 class combines junior MAP electives in one class

The Media Arts Program (MAP) added a Media Arts 2 class for juniors this year, a continuation of the sophomore MAP class Media Arts 1 — and also a major blow to the size of the broadcast journalism program, which has suffered a greater than 50 percent drop in numbers and is down to a staff of 14 students.

The new Media Arts 2 class combines filmmaking, advanced digital animation and multi-media journalism, which were previously offered as electives for juniors. Students also take common English and social studies classes.

To compensate for the new Media Arts 2 class, MAP has made several adjustments to its curriculum. The filmmaking class was cancelled, while advanced animation has been adapted to allow non-MAP students to enroll. This allowed the department to keep class enrollment high enough to justify the class. Multi-media journalism (SHS TV) is now held seventh period instead of third period.

Although the combination of all three electives into one class allows students to learn a larger scope of material, the change has decimated the class sizes of the advanced electives.

According to SHSTV adviser Tony Palma, the seventh-period slot that multi-media journalism has been relegated to makes it difficult for MAP juniors who do not want seven periods to take the class. He said the remaining students are highly dedicated, and so far the quality of the broadcasts has remained steady.

Eleven of the 14 remaining students in SHSTV are seniors, with only three possible returning students for the 2015-16 school year, further clouding the future of the broadcast program.

“I don't really like [the change] because I really wanted to do SHS TV and now I have to take Media Arts 2,” junior Jennifer Chen said. “I [would] have to take another [class period] to take SHS TV.”

But for other students like junior Alex Guo, who would have taken filmmaking if Media Arts 2 not been offered, the addition of the class was beneficial.

“[The Media Arts 2 class] is very effective and it combines all these different classes into one curriculum,” Guo said. “Before, there [were electives] like photography [and] animation and now they combined it into one, so we just spent several weeks on one particular concept and that’s all in one class. It’s more efficient.”

Senior Aditya Aggarwal, who had the experience of taking both Media Arts 1 sophomore year and animation junior year thinks that the addition of Media Arts 2, will not benefit students who know what they want to do.

"I don't think [adding Media Arts 2] was better," said Aggarwal. "[Electives] allows more specialization so you can do exactly what you want."

Current senior Lukas Pettersson sees the addition as a good development, although he had expected the sophomore level and senior level elective classes to be added earlier, in time for the class of 2015 to enjoy as well.

“A large number of us joined the program at the promise of its completion by our senior year,” Petterson said. “It would have been a nice addition since I enjoyed Media Arts 1 sophomore year more than I did filmmaking junior year.”

In the future, MAP will eventually add an elective class at the senior level, Palma said. The department is surveying students to determine what the elective will look like.

“Students have been interested in a media component at the senior level for a few years,” Palma said. “We’re exploring options to create a linked elective at the senior level, but no decision have been made, and what it will look like is up in the air.”

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