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First White House Student Film Festival Celebrates Technology in Education

The White House, in collaboration with the American Film Institute, is hosting the first ever White House Student Film Festival today in Washington D.C. Watch the live event online beginning at 2:30pm ET.

More than a dozen young finalistsout of  nearly 3,000 entries from K-12 students around the countrywill screen their films at the White House to an audience that will include President Obama, as well as celebrities and scientists such as Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Conan O’Brien, and Kal Penn.

In November, the White House put out a call for student-created short films illustrating the power of technology in schools. Students were asked to create videos addressing these key questions:

“What’s your education story and how does technology and connectivity fit into how you learn at school or on your own? How do you imagine technology will change the educational experience for kids in the future?”

Georgia Cyber Academy student Eleanor Rocha answered the President’s call and received an Honorable Mention for her film, Wonder. In it, the 8-year-old discusses the importance of technology as a tool for future artists, creative thinkers, and problem solvers.

California Virtual Academy student Carlos Plummer also took the opportunity to show how technology can transform education, and received an Honorable Mention from the White House. In his film, titled Technology… it is My School!, Carlos gives us a peek at what it’s like to attend an online school, and explains how technology allows him to attend class, connect with classmates and teachers, and pursue his interests, all without setting foot in a classroom.

You can view all the White House Student Film Festival’s 128 Honorable Mentions on the White House Youtube Channel. We congratulate Carlos and Eleanor on a job well done, and wish all the finalists good luck!

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Ashley MacQuarrie

Ashley MacQuarrie began writing professionally more than ten years ago and has covered education, technology, current events, pop culture, and other topics. A former homeschooler, she studied English and Film & New Media, graduating with a bachelor's degree from San Diego State University. Ashley has classroom experience working with children who have autism and other special needs. She has also tutored students from kindergarten through college and taught English to teens and adults at a language school in London.

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