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Kids buzzed about bond tech



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March 28, 2012 - Folks filled Clarkston Schools administration building Monday night to see what students and teachers are doing with technology.

"The kids are excited to share what they can do," said Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock. "We have it in pockets now – we want to make it available to all students. That's what the bond is all about."

About half of the district's proposed $20 million bond proposal would pay for technology throughout the district.

Doug Olson, fourth grader at Clarkston Elementary, demonstrated how he uses an I-pad to work with kindergartner Avery Pummill. He uses photo manipulation, drawing, and other applications to teach math, reading, writing, and other subjects.

"It's fun using the apps to teach," Olson said.

Kelsey Gilbert and Grady Wilson, students at Sashabaw Middle School, explained how they use technology in business, engineering, science, and marketing, including Quick Response Codes.

"I didn't know about QR codes before – now I can make them," said Gilbert, talking about the small, square bar-code-like icons appearing in more and more print advertisements to be scanned by smartphones. "They're so cool."

"You can use them on anything, anywhere," Wilson said.

"I think it's remarkable, " said Staci Puzio, at the open house with her son, Jack Puzio, 2, who kept busy playing games on her smart phone. "The school displays are incredible, what they're able to do, how they're able to share what they know."

The presentation helped many parents and visitors learn about the technology they would fund with the proposed bond, said Cheryl McGinnis, Clarkston Board of Education president.

"A lot of parents are intrigued," McGinnis said. "They've come in with open minds to see what the students are doing and how they're using technology for their own learning."

Technology is a tremendous confidence builder, she said.

"They can develop their presentations at home and present them in class," she said. "The tasks the kids are doing, they seem above their grade level. They can teach me a few things."

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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