New computers in the J4 media arts lab make for a promising year


Jiawen (Sarah) Yan

The computers are all currently set up and ready for tech trainings.

Jiawen (Sarah) Yan and Arlina Yang

Brand new Mac computers are the most recent additions to the J4 Media Arts lab for digital art, journalism, and video production students. From Adobe Illustrator to Adobe Premiere, the media arts classes will be able to take their skills to a new level. 

“We’ve been trying to get new computers for a couple years because last year our computers finally reached nine years old, and I think especially because they were sitting unused for over a year for Covid. When we came back after Covid, almost half the computers didn’t work, or they were really, really slow and they made it really difficult for students to get their work done,” said Wendy Connelly, Media Arts teacher

COVID-19 has affected schools from the beginning 2020 to the end of the 2021 school year as students shifted to an online school setting in their own homes. The computers were also victims to the halt in time, and the PUSD recognized the need.

“It was just a matter of how do we find the money to get a full new set of 35 Mac computers for Foothill and Amador because they’re really expensive. So we were lucky that they found the money because they wanted both [Amador Valley and Foothill] campuses to have 21st century Mac labs for the digital and media arts classes,” said Connelly.

The computers came two weeks before school started, allowing the media art class students to arrive at school with updated devices waiting for them. At the same time, rules accompanied the new hardware in an effort to protect the computers.

“There’s a lot of rules in this lab. You are not allowed to chew gum. You can have water but it has to stay on the floor, so I should say there’s no food or drinks allowed in the classroom. Students are not allowed to put big backpacks on the desks. We do have a lot of rules, but the advantages that come with it far outweigh any of the rules that the kids have to stick to,” said Connelly.

Many precautionary measures including a checkout system, ban on food and drinks, and cost for damages rule, are all put into place for these technologies, and as the computers gradually integrate into the classes, the media art students will finally be able to tackle novel skills during the school year.