Posted by Ken Grabowski, Manistee News
LANSING — Sometimes seeing is believing.
The things students can do with
technology is amazing and that point was well proven
this year when four seventh grade students from Onekama
Consolidated Schools had the opportunity to display
their talents at the 12th Annual AT&T/MACUL (Michigan
Association for Computer Users in Learning) Technology
Showcase at the rotunda in the state capitol in Lansing.
Teachers Nikki Torrey and Naomi
Kolehmainen accompanied students Jeremiah Torrey, Caleb
McWain, Zoe Morley, Marissa Stebbins where they joined
other students from around the state in putting on
“We have been taking students about 10
years to this showcase,” Torrey said. "This year the
students did a presentation called “It’s All About Me”
in which they used technology to create a biography
about their lives. They students did it in an innovative
way, using slides and filled in the details of what they
like, dislike and where they want to go with their life.
“We took our presentations all about us
down there,” said Jeremiah Torrey. “What we did in the
presentations was to tell about what we do in school
like if we play sports, what our activities are that we
take part in and about the things we are good or not
good in doing.”
McWain said they utilized the technology
of Google Drive to create their presentation. It all
came out of Kolehmainen’s class where the students have
the theme each month that they use to create a project.
In the month of September it was the “It’s All About
“It took us about two weeks to create
it,” said McWain.
Students also had the opportunity to
exchange ideas with the people who attended the
showcase. There were 32 schools from all over the state
who took part in the showcase this year, as well as
officials from MACUL. It was a good opportunity not only
to see what other schools are doing with technology, but
to share some ideas.
Each year MACUL does this program that is
underwritten by AT&T. The demonstration this year
featured a wide variety of uses of technology in the
classroom such as students using iPads to show how
student-created QR codes are used in library scavenger
hunts; a Jeopardy-type game students developed to
reinforce core subject matter; videos to encourage
students to excel in math and one group of
kindergartners showed how they blog using
Onekama students said that during the
demonstration portion of the showcase they had many
people view their exhibit.
“We showed our display to the president
of MACUL and their board of directors,” said Jeremiah
Torrey. “There were also lots of students and teachers
from all around Michigan.”
The students put together between 12 and
19 slides on themselves that they showed in the
presentation. All of them agreed they would do it again
and that it was a very positive experience.
“They asked us questions and said it was
cool,” said McWain. “They also asked us what other types
of technology we had in the classroom.”
Fellow student presenter Morley agreed
saying she would go back again if given the opportunity.
“It was fun,” said Morley.
Torrey explained that the students have
computers in their science and geography classes and
they have smart boards in all of their classrooms
throughout the day. There also some iPads that they use,
but only in a limited capacity.
“They also have the documented camera,”
said Torrey. “So, they use technology quite a bit. We
have staff members that go to MACUL every year.
“The people at MACUL are very good to us.
They contacted us again this year to ask if we have
anyone who would like to do a presentation. Our seventh
graders did a really neat project, so I can see us going
Torrey pointed out that they always have
to know early in the school year what they want to
showcase. There are so many good things taking place
within the district with technology it can be difficult
at times deciding what they want to showcase.
“Naomi just happened to be at lunch
talking about how neat the presentations were and how
many fun things they had come up with, so we asked her
if she wanted to go this year,” said Torrey. “Last year,
I went with the iPads that we got for the first time.
So, it just depends about what type of project we are
working on at that time.”
She pointed out that the students are
extremely creative in what they can accomplish with the
“If you give these guys anything they can
make something really neat with it,” said Torrey. “They
can make up a lot of their own things.”
When it comes to what today’s students
can do with technology, seeing really is believing and
at Onekama Schools they proved it at the AT&T/MACUL