Landscapes of Global Capital
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Introduction
Feed the children
Corporate paternalism
The cure
High tech classroom
Techno-metaphor
Child prodigy
The obnoxious visionary
Unfettered imagination
We care
Harmonious music
Cynicism of legitimation
You can't buy love
Harmony of technology

Software and computer technology companies often use scenes of classrooms of children interacting with the computer itself while highly engaged in learning. In these commercials the classroom bustles with life. Energized by the technology these classes have no bored children slouching on their desks. At times the editing rhythm is speeded up to simulate activity; at others students point to the screen as evidence of their interest. The monitors contain visuals not text; animals and other scenes from nature are favorites. Here, visual pedagogy is privileged. Demonstration and activity replace literacy. High speed upbeat music, hyperactive editing, jump cuts, and speeded up cinematography blend to confirm that the computer transforms the classroom into an exciting place. These aesthetic codes bestow credibility on technology-driven pedagogy.

Moreover, this pedagogy is communal. Computer technology does not privatize but serves as a technology of cooperation. There are always multiple shots of several students sitting in front of a computer sharing experience with one another. Furthermore, the classroom is a multiracial space. Everyone has equal access to this liberating technology and therefore equal access to all available information.

We must keep in mind that the school is a market place. It not only buys computers but also creates future customers. Early in the computer wars Apple successfully grabbed a considerable market share because of its aggressive promotions to provide schools with their computers. Microsoft is attempting to settle its a current lawsuit by providing under financed schools with computers. Dell advertising demonstrates a wireless classroom in which its laptops are stored on a cart ready to turn "every classroom into an interactive technology center."


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Robert Goldman, Stephen Papson, Noah Kersey