Olympia students, educators talk technology

The suggested math lesson directed students to create a poster that identified different kinds of quadrilaterals, and identify attributes that set them apart from other shapes.

But Teresa Bond’s third-grade students asked if they could do a different take on that lesson: One that involved her classroom’s iPads, and an app that turns voice recordings, sketches and pictures into multimedia presentations.

“I didn’t even think about it,” she said. “The kids came up with it.”

Bond and a couple of her Boston Harbor Elementary students demonstrated some of the educational apps they regularly use in the classroom during the Olympia School District’s first-ever Technology Fair on Thursday night at Capital High School Commons.

“You can do a lot more than you can do with pencil and paper,” said Cole Wilson, a Boston Harbor third-grader, as he played a video presentation of what would have been known to earlier generations as a book report. “And it’s more fun.”

The event featured about 25 booths from various schools and school district programs. It included demonstrations by some of the various robotics teams, displays of student-made videos and web sites, presentations by students on the types of apps and programs they use for school and information about how the district is spending its 2014 technology and safety levy.

“It’s to showcase what we’re doing with the technology we have,” said Katie Quimby, a teacher-librarian at Reeves Middle School.

Washington Middle School teacher Brian Morris set up a display of the jewelry, chess sets and other items that his students created with a laser engraver and 3-D printer.

His Tech Arts Marketing Class is a combo of woodworking, technology, business and manufacturing.

“It’s all about learning what real life skills are,” Morris said.

Senior Michaela Del Priore, 18, staffed a table with cameras, photos and posters on how technology is used to produce Olympia High School’s yearbook. She said most of her classes involve some level of technology, from the iPads that are used in practicing French to computer programs used in science.

“We use it for almost everything,” she said. “A lot of our assignments are online now.”

Hansen Elementary School parent Saravanan Velu said he attended the event to learn more about the district’s robotics offerings. He said he wants his daughter to get involved in one of the programs.

Velu said it’s important for students to learn and use technology.

“Technology is the place they can shine,” he said. With technology skills, he added, “They can get into good jobs.”