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Tech Showcase: When You Want Something Done Right, Ask a Grace Miller Student

June 3, 2011
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Brian Patkos shared his tech skills with visitors.

Jakob DeMonaco shared his tech skills with visitors.

Parents, some quick words of advice: The next time you need some computer help, ask your kids, especially if your child goes to La Verne’s Grace Miller Elementary School.

But then you probably already knew that!

On Thursday night in the school’s cafeteria, about 30 members of the La Verne Tech Club showcased their talents before proud parents and amazed administrators. In the popcorn-perfumed room (it’s a cafeteria, after all) kids at each station demonstrated their software programs and actually put some of their visitors to the test, probing their math and language skills.

It was like the annual Las Vegas electronics trade show, only on a smaller scale.

Kyle P., Dillon C. and Trey K. had all the answers.

Kyle P., Dillon C. and Trey K. had all the answers.

Most impressive was a large interactive board that Victoria Cavallero and Tech Club President Ashlynne Pearce demonstrated with their magic pens. Grace Miller teachers have smaller versions of these interactive student response systems, known as “Active Expressions,” in their classrooms.

Tech Club adviser Matt Miller shared how the system worked. Using a document imaging camera, he can post the lesson material on the big screen and then call on his students electronically to respond to a particular question. Instantly, he can see the students answers and, more important, gauge their comprehension.

The response system accomplishes a couple of things. First, Miller can see which students are answering questions correctly or incorrectly. If the majority of answers show they understand the material, he can move on to teach new subject matter. If their answers fall short, he can re-teach the material.

Tech Club Members Nick Maidens, Karina Murphy and Jacinda served on the Welcoming Committee.

Tech Club Members Nick Maidens, Karina Murphy and Jacinda served on the Welcoming Committee.

Second, because the answers are anonymous and electronically keyed in, students no longer have to risk embarrassment of raising their hand and volunteering a wrong answer. Also, faster learners can’t dominate the classroom thrusting their hand up, always trying to be the first in the room to answer a question.

The downside is your child never has to raise his or her hand again. (How lazy are our kids becoming? Just kidding.)

The whole evening was a little intimidating, especially for anybody over 50. I mean, first graders producing slick PowerPoint presentations? What’s the world coming to?

Well, we all got a first-hand glimpse of exactly what that world looked like, and it was indeed impressive.

Grant Harris and Jake Demonaco are another pair of Grace Miller tech experts.

Grant Harris and Jake Demonaco are another pair of Grace Miller tech experts.

Joe Fitz and Charlie Pickering teamed up for a PowerPoint presentation.

Joe Fitz and Charlie Pickering teamed up for a PowerPoint presentation.

At the big interactive board fielding questions were Ashlynne Pearce, Tech Club president, and her trusted colleague, Victoria Cavallero.

 

 

 

 

At the big interactive board fielding questions were Ashlynne Pearce, Tech Club president, and her trusted colleague, Victoria Cavallero.

For an education about mattresses, drop in this week at Cost + Mattress in La Verne. Located next to the drive-thru Starbucks. For more info, call (909) 392-5554. Watch the video under REEL  PEOPLE.

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