Cisco camera crew films technology in classes

Trevor Nichols, staff writer

A filming crew arrived at Cinco Ranch recently to film a story about KatyISD’s technology programs. On Friday, May 18, a branch of Cisco Systems, Inc. sent the camera crew to focus mainly on AP Government Teacher Kay Fenn and her classes.

“The piece is intended to primarily feature the story of what is happening here,” executive producer Nick Lituanio said. “Secondarily, it is to promote Cisco products.”

Filming took place not only at Cinco Ranch, but also at various other schools throughout Katy ISD during the week.

“With regards to Katy, since we use Cisco Wireless Network, there was already a relationship built,” Principal James Cross said.

Fenn became the focus of the filming at Cinco Ranch after she tested the plausability of WiFi in the classroom last spring. After positive results from the program, the district extended WiFi access to the rest of the school. This WiFi access became the basis of the Cisco filming.

“Since I was piloting [WiFi], Cisco, who is involved in computer resources in the district, was interested in finding out our story,” Fenn said. “They came in and did a paper story, and it was in their magazine. And now, they decided to do a video version of our story about what we’re doing.”

The filming crew intends to focus on the effects of the unique technology policies that KatyISD created this year, and how wireless internet affects classes.

“What you guys are doing here in the school with your mobile devices is very unusual,” Lituanio said. “There’s only a few places, if any in the country, that are allowing their students to do what you guys are doing. So we are here interviewing a couple of people and getting supporting imagery that we are going to use in the video.”

In addition to requiring Fenn’s students to sign waivers before they were filmed, the camera team only filmed areas outside of Fenn’s room during classes to avoid disturbing passing students.

“They operated under our rules,” Cross said. “We told them what they could and couldn’t do, and they were very agreeable with all that.”