For those of you new to the acronym, MACUL is more than simply five letters: it represents a group dedicated to supporting educators seeking to better use technology in the classroom. Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning held their 2012 conference right here in Grand Rapids, and among its presenters this year were some of Oakwood’s fifth-grade students!
Oakwood’s Sarah Lema took advantage of a grant opportunity which allowed her to take six students to this year’s conference. Students were selected in January and worked throughout February to prepare their presentations for the March conference. Their focus? How Lema’s class and others at Oakwood use the 1:1 laptop program in class. Working together, students created a tri-fold board with curricular websites they use in their studies, described how they use online tools such as Moodle, Weebly, and Prezi, and brought their laptops along to demonstrate.
Additionally, students had worked together on a bullying movie using Windows “Movie Maker” and flip cams. They performed skits that were recorded and shown to teachers who were attending the conference.
With their station situated in the entryway of DeVos hall, Oakwood students had multiple opportunities to interact with guests and present the many ways that 1:1 laptops have transformed the way they learn and use technology. “I was so impressed with my students and the way they interacted with others and handled the questions,” Mrs. Lema beamed.
Mrs. Lema went on to share that in the three years that APS has had 1:1, she’s seen huge improvements both with the level of student skill and the seamless functioning of their programs.
“With the technology that we have available at Allendale, we’re really able to engage learners and differentiate learning by tapping into various learning styles. … Just to see their creativity is awesome!”