Under the guidance of eighth-grade teacher Luis Panduro, the 30-strong technology class has been learning to use different elements of computer technology such as Power Point and digital video cameras. The end result is the 30-minute multimedia presentation.
Panduro explained Friday that Mulberry, with only 90 students and five teachers in a rural setting, had not had much exposure to computer technology before CTAP awarded it a grant that enabled Mulberry to become involved with the Technology Showcase.
Saying the students were doubtful at first they could master the technology, Panduro described how he showed the students a presentation using Kid Pix, a less technically challenging version of Power Point.
"Their reaction was ‘Wow! That's cool!' and so we first worked on simple presentations called ‘moopies,' which are basically little one-frame cartoons," Panduro said as he watched his class excitedly going through the old photos Friday.
Explaining the CTAP program is all about encouraging schools to thoroughly incorporate technology into their curricula, Panduro added it had some wonderful spin-offs into other areas of classroom learning.
"Just recently the children working on the project discovered, through photos sent to us by a retired teacher and by interviewing a member of our staff, that Mulberry actually had a separate school house for minority students well into the early '50s."
Panduro said the discovery of this fact led to an important lesson in history and worthwhile, thought-provoking classroom discussions.
"The showcase is not just about the children learning technology — they have been working on their interviewing skills, their writing — and as you can see, their history."
Mulberry students now can definitely claim to be a "wired" school. Students take spelling tests online on the school's Web site and the eighth-graders produce a school newsletter using desktop publishing software.
>>On the Web: www.icoe.k12.ca.us/mulberry/
>>Staff Writer Jennifer Ralton-Smith can be reached at 337-3442 or firstname.lastname@example.org