Camera is only an equipment. Film is only a media.
Photograph is a result of both of that AND the person holding the camera.
Skills and vision you obtain using your film camera will translate to other form of equipment. This being a class, you are learning the process, not really the equipment. It's pointless to try to explain to someone who doesn't see a value in what you do. If he/she is happy with cell phone snap shot, that's all he/she needs.
Prevalence of high grade plastic didn't obsolete clay. People still walk when car will take them there. Film photography will probably exist for decades although it may fade away from everyday uses.