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Woodward students harness tech for Zine
SCHOOLS--Group Learning PIC
Students from Martha Martinez 7th grade class at Walter Woodward Elementary School show their Zines personal magazines made using the programs on handheld devices that are utilized in the classroom. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL/ The Bulletin

Martha Martinez has a unique way of getting her students to interact with technology in the classroom.
Make a magazine.
The seventh grade teacher at Walter Woodward Elementary School made a presentation on Tuesday to the Manteca Unified Board of Education about the way that she gets her students to adopt advances in technology into their day-to-day lesson plan in a way that’s fun, interactive and beneficial.
Called a “Zine,” the project involves students using a variety of district-sponsored Microsoft programs like PowerPoint, Excel, Excel Surveys and Publisher to create a multi-genre project that outlines the work that they’re doing and tells a bit about each of the individual students – allowing creativity to flow freely.
“It’s about being able to express myself in ways that I think were possible,” one student said in a video prepared of the board about the perks of getting to do the fun but educational activity.
Each of the students in her class were on hand with their spiral-bound Zines to show the board at the culmination of the group learning presentation – answering questions about the things that they enjoyed most about the process and what they got out of it.
As part of Manteca Unified’s standard meeting format, teachers who adopt technology in different ways to help their students comprehend material in a group setting give presentations to the board about the ways in which they’re integrating board policy and decisions into the educational component of the district.
Through an agreement with Microsoft, students utilize various Microsoft programs in the classroom to adapt technology into instruction – something that the board believes will make them better equipped to handle the modern technological landscape of today’s world when they go on to college or enter the job market.
Presentations like the one that Martinez’ made about her class – using those same programs to create a video and slideshow – showcase what students are learning, and help give ideas to other teachers who are finding new ways to tackle the tech aspect of the curriculum.