Students Present at MACUL Conference in Grand Rapids
On Thursday, March 8,
2012, a group of eighth grade students and two teachers from Onekama
Consolidated Schools traveled to Grand Rapids to present at the 2012
MEA/MACUL Student Technology Showcase.
Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) is non-profit
organization dedicated to bringing educators together to share their
knowledge and concerns regarding educational uses of computers and
technology. During the day-long Student Technology Showcase, teams of
K-12 students are invited to help others see first-hand how technology
is used in classrooms across Michigan.
Presenting at the conference were students Alyssan Clarke, Emma Putney,
Keith McKenney and Brandin Cromwell. They were accompanied by their
English teacher, Nicole Torrey, and their history teacher, John Neph.
Onekama Superintendent Kevin Hughes, Technology Director Bruce Peabody,
board member Dennis Zupin, elementary teachers Jennifer Bromley and Ben
Mauntler, and high school teacher Fayanette Pierce also attended in
order to gather ideas to bring back to the school.
The Onekama students
were selected to present at the conference and share the ways technology
has strengthened their curriculum. In past years, Onekama students
demonstrated projects involving laptop computers and a variety of
software. This school year, the students showcased the results of the
school’s 70 iPad tablet computers, and the ways their teachers have used
this technology to enhance student learning.
“Our eighth grade students have been using the iPads since the start of
the school year, with tremendous results,” explained Torrey. “Our
students demonstrated for teachers from all over Michigan the many ways
iPads are used in our day-to-day activities in the classroom. They
showed how we use Moodle, take quizzes, look up information, and write
in English 8.” [Moodle, which is an abbreviation for Modular
Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment, is a free source
e-learning software platform.]
Onekama eighth grade students created a cross-curricular project in
collaboration with their English 8 and History 8 classes, which they
incorporated into their MACUL presentation.
“Mr. Neph worked
through a unit in history with the students, and I had them create
iMovie presentations using the information they learned,” said Torrey.
“Students were required to pull important information, put it all in a
chronological storyboard, and then produce a movie using all of that
information. It was fantastic that they were able to share this project
with other educators on a platform such as MACUL.”
The students enjoyed the experience of presenting, as well as the chance
to see how other schools were using technology. Eighth grader Emma
Putney commented, “Showing teachers and students from different schools
what we do on the iPads was very exciting. Visiting other schools’
tables and seeing what they do on their iPads and computers also really
gave me some ideas about what our school can do with ours, too.”
Onekama teacher John Neph was impressed with the students’ speaking and
presentation skills at the conference and appreciated the opportunity
for his students to showcase their learning. “Onekama School provides
numerous opportunities for students to use technology every day, and as
a result, our students are doing incredible things,” said Neph.
Added Putney, “It was a very fun experience and I'd love to do it