Published: March 29, 2007
Even before Randy Herrera opens his eyes on school mornings, his high-tech life begins. With a click from his CD alarm clock, the music he bought on the Web and burned onto CDs fills his room. If that doesn’t wake him, his cellphone will. Set to “vibrate,” it buzzes loudly on the floor near his head.
“If I haven’t called my friends by like 7:15, I’ll get a text message going, ‘Hey, man, wake up,’ ” Herrera says. A 17-year-old senior at Central High School in Providence, R.I., he listens to music and exchanges text messages as he rides to school on a city bus. After school, he pays bills online or talks to his dad in Spain via a webcam attached to his computer. He might shoot scenes for his latest video, or use special software to edit images, dub in music, or write lines for the actors—his friends—to say.
“I can make a whole movie in my bedroom,” says the aspiring filmmaker. And he posts some of them online...