About Ben

K-12 Instructional Technology Coordinator for Mattawan Schools

Our First Technology Open House!

Last night we held our first district-wide Technology Open House, and it was a hit! With dozens of student volunteers, and hundreds of parents showing up, we had an amazing evening of learning, sharing, and exploration.

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Students interviewed one another during the open house, so they could turn their experiences into movies to share with others.

The original goal of the open house was to show off a lot of the great student projects happening around the district, but with the school year still only two months old, we opted to create a blended experience of projects and student-led exploration of technology tools used within the district. We invited parents and community members to come explore some of the important devices, websites, and other tech tools that we use to better prepare our students for life-long learning and to enter the new collaborative and connected workforce of the 21st Century.

Groups of elementary students were on hand to share collaborative learning experiences with parents.

Groups of elementary students were on hand to share collaborative learning experiences with parents.

With a combination of teacher and student volunteers, we helped educator attendees about a number of learning resources that are available at home for parents and students to explore together, and at every table students were eager to talk visitors through special projects, or just everyday collaborative learning that takes place in the district. I heard from many parents that they were impressed and surprised that the type of activities and learning happening in the classrooms was also available at home.

Students sharing Google Presentations they worked on for a science unit. They were able to work on them both at school and at home thanks to our district's student Google Accounts for Education.

Students sharing Google Presentations they worked on for a science unit. They were able to work on them both at school and at home thanks to our district’s student Google Accounts for Education.

Thanks to Google Apps for Education, a lot of learning is happening outside of the school walls that wasn’t previously possible. Thanks to the district’s investment in Apple Macbooks and iPads, we have extremely durable, long lasting machines that students are familiar with and are able to produce a wide range of media projects. Thanks to teachers open to thinking about¬†re-imagining where learning takes places, we now have many blended learning spaces throughout the district.

But most of all, thanks to Patty O’Strander, a 5th grade teacher at the Later Elementary who had the idea for this event. Thanks to her we were able to showcase a lot of great learning through the use of technology. The student volunteers were incredible, articulate, and spent a good deal of time¬†instructing parents about a wide range of tools that we have in the district. It was a night filled with amazing learning, and we’re excited to host another Technology Open House in the future!