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Novi Students Share Innovative Technology Projects

Deerfield Elementary students showcased their projects at Grand Rapids conference.

Using technology in the classroom is about more than using the computer to type a report.

Students and teachers from recently presented how the district is using technology in Novi classrooms at the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning conference in Grand Rapids March 7-9.

Three groups from traveled to the conference to showcase how they use and integrate technology throughout the school year, such as by producing a weekly live newscast and .

“What we want to do is bring to light how technology plays a big part in our children’s learning, so that’s why we wanted to make it more in the forefront to show that kids are not just sitting in front of a computer or a SMART board, but they are actually using a technology for higher-thinking level skills and critical learning,” said third and fourth grade teacher Myla Lee.

Lee presented at the conference on project-based learning and also led a group of students with teacher Jenna Behrmann.

 “We created a digital writers’ wall. My students do things that are very hands-on, and they actually do everything virtually in terms of their writing so parents can see it at home,” Lee said.

The students use the “Wiki Wall” to reflect on and analyze their writing. The students that presented for the group were Emily Casalou, Carol Dai, Haden Lunsford, Riley Rich, Ankith Udupa and Danny Jandali.

Another group from Deerfield led by Julee Henry and Staci Scott showcased the school’s student-run news broadcast. Fourth graders work together using Google Docs and iPads to brainstorm, write, produce and direct live weekly school-wide news broadcasts.

Students who presented for this group at the conference were Vish Gangedulla, Anand Jha, Brandon Regoli, Ashley Smith, Sriya Vallapareddy and Linda Weng.

The third group was led by media specialist Janis Canady on iPad videos and QR codes, or the matrix barcodes that iPads scan. Students discussed how they use QR codes for library scavenger hunts and how they use iPads to make videos on PE demonstrations and math and language arts classes.

Students who presented for this group were Jordana Krstovski, Jason Zhang, Daniel Erno and Krishna Kiru. 

Lee said all the students are involved in preparing for the conference, but only a select few can go to represent the school.  The staff leaders met with the students beforehand to prepare them for what to say when they met adults from the conference, including educators and company representatives from across Michigan.

“They had to go and tell these people exactly about their project. So they used a lot of communication skills. They prepared a lot by practicing and getting their thoughts down. For each of the groups they created some kind of digital representation like a video or a PowerPoint or something in which they could use that as a talking point,” Lee said.

She said preparing for the conference involved a lot of team building by all of the students.

But just because the conference is over doesn’t mean the projects will end. Lee said that finding ways to integrate technology into the classroom is an ongoing goal in the district.

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