Sulzberger Middle School : Computer Break Down

In February of 2002, MIT students visited Sulzberger Middle School students visited Mr. Armstead's computer lab at Sulzberger Middle School to begin a discussion about digital storytelling. Digital storytelling is a method of telling stories on the internet in the form of a movie, story with images, or audio sound. It can be an exciting way to share current projects and issues for Sulzberger and all of West Philadelphia. The middle school students decided to tell the story of their computer lab's power problems.

The following is in the voice of the students themselves:

This is Jamill Jenkins reporting live from Sulzberger Middle School. We're having problems with the electrical system messing up the computers. We want to make a digital story about it on the internet. We are going to show you artifacts and bring you all live to the site. Really that's all I have to say. Does anybody else have something to say?

Hi my name's Brian, Brian Roberts and I'm talking to you about the computer power outtage. Tell you the truth I really think it's corny because we need some more money. The school district's corny. They broke, they cheap. And then they're mad because Edison wants to take it over. I'm through with you all.

I'm William Tucker. I attend Sulzberger Middle School. I'm in eighth grade. I think that our school system should update our school because our electricity is not working well. Our computers cut off mostly all the time. That messes up our computers.

Hello my name is Justin Bradley and I attend Sulzberger Middle School and I want to talk about how it is living around here and going to Sulzberger everyday and the electricity in the computer lab.

My name is Antonio and I want to just tell you a little bit about how electricity is in the building. In this computer lab we have approximately 35 computers, give or take a few. And half of the computers in this room shut down because of the power failures that we have in school. It's not a complete power failure, it's just a power failure to this room where not as much electricity is going to the computers as it is to the other rooms. So we have a problem with it because the computers will shut down while we're in the middle of working and programs will get deleted and the hard drive will get messed up and the computers begin to freeze. So, that's basically what our story is going to be about. You'll see interesting pictures about it and pictures of our computer lab.

This is Jamill reporting live from sulzberger middle school, goodbye and thank you very much.

One student wrote an account of the situation in his own words:

This document contains our ideas about our school, Sulzberger middle school in Philadelphia Penn, and power in our school. It is a very old school and because of that the power isn't updated. The electricity failure in our computer lab is due to the power supply of the computer. The circuit breaker would cut off because the power is too strong for our school.

We have interviewed students that attend our school and most of the students said that are power isn't good enough for our school.

I will describe some of the things that our pupils said. Our first student Brian Roberts, a seventh grader, had a lot to say about our school's computer power shortage. He spends most of his time in the computer lab and he replied to my question about the power, "the school district was just taken over by Edison who took bought our district. They were suppose to update the school and supply the school with enough money for utilities and education".

Another student, William Tucker, a student in eight grade, said something similar. He told us that "our computer hard drives were being destroyed slowly. There are 32 computers and almost all of them are suffering from side effects."

These students weren't not the only students had something to say. Jamill Jenkins, Justin Bradley, and Antonio Scott had similar opinions.