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School district to display need for tech upgrades at open house

The Bainbridge Island School District is trying to get the word out about the upcoming levy vote.

They’ve not only sent out informational pamphlets for voters about the supplemental educational programs and operations levy and the renewal tech levy, but are holding an open house to demonstrate how students and teachers are using technology to better their learning experience.

The open house is scheduled for Oct. 13 from 7-8 p.m. at the Sakai Middle School library.

Randi Ivancich, the director of Instructional Technology and Assessment for the district, said they had an open house last week for the community to come see what is being used.

Demonstrations ranged from showing how Moodle, a free, open-source learning management system, is used to help parents communicate with each other on various topics, to how student-created podcasts use sound and images for assignments and projects.

There were demonstrations of the library database and how it’s used for research capabilities; how students use sensor technology or “probeware” to measure and collect data; how engineering and drafting students use the latest electronics in their field; and the use of interactive whiteboards. Ivancich said there were also discussions of how technology can be used to provide instant feedback to teachers on lessons while students are in class, and what assistive technology is available for disabled students. There were also discussions of the renewal tech levy and how it will be used to improve the infrastructure and provide training with new technology.

Ivancich said there was a “really good buzz” from those in attendance about what they saw.

“There was a really good feel to it,” she said. “There were a lot of questions... what was most valuable was [for people] to actually talk with students and teachers who are using this technology on how it impacts what they study.”

She also said they want to show how technology the district purchases is being used for day-to-day learning and how it applies to various careers a student might be interested in.

“There are very few jobs or situations in the real world that don’t call for some use of technology in one way or another,” Ivancich said.”

She added that they want to maximize their purchases in order to get the most out of what they use.

“It’s not like our generation bought something and expected it to last a long time,” she said. “Items aren’t built like that these days. There are a lot of moving parts (in technological items), so to buy something once is really hard. It’s a constant evaluation of resources to meet student’s needs.”

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