Here at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) we pride ourselves on our innovative uses of instructional and assistive technology. We ensure students have access to both engaging curriculum and equipment throughout our programs, beginning with the Early Learning Center through the High School programs. Review the 2015-16 FSDB Digital Classrooms Plan. Review the Student Internet Safety and Acceptable Technology Policy and the Student Use of Personal Electronic Devices Policy.
21st Century Classrooms
- SMART Boards have been used on the FSDB campus since 1999 when teachers in the Middle Schools were awarded a grant.
- Distributed Video is a technology used by many classroom teachers in the Blind Schools, which transmits material displayed from the presentation computer to each individual student’s computer monitor.
- Campus-wide access to magnification and screen-reading software is provided for teacher-student usage in addition to state adopted and award-winning digital curriculum.
- iPads at FSDB were originally purchased to support and encourage struggling readers through projects written by Reading Specialists. They are now used campus-wide to supplement the standard curriculum in each school.
Annual Technology “Showcase” Events
- Tech Fest is an annual showcase in which teachers from the campus demonstrate projects that make use of technology equipment or digital curricular materials. This event not only allows us to recognize teachers doing amazing things in their classrooms, but also allows peers to learn from each other and get new ideas to implement in their learning processes. Following this event, teachers attend workshops on the technologies showcased so they can learn to integrate the new ideas and technologies into their classrooms.
- Vision Fest is an annual showcase of Assistive Technologies, which benefit students who are blind and visually impaired. Vendors are invited to demonstrate new and updated technologies as well as tried-and-true products. This event is also open to campus-wide to students, teachers and parents.
- Student Technology Showcase is an annual competition open campus-wide to individual students and student groups. Students compete based on categories of technologies. This project has re-engaged many teachers who have been excited to see their students’ interest in creating projects.
Mentoring, Training and Support Programs
- Tech Luncheons and Tech Talk are campus events in which staff members are invited to learn about innovative and productive ways to use instructional technologies. Topics which have been covered so far this year include Google Tools – Calendar, Presentation, Documents and Forms; Skyward Tips and Tricks; Google Sites; and Window Eyes.
- Teacher Tech Mentors are available to support peers on integration of technology throughout lessons and units. Mentors collaborate as a professional learning community and bring ideas and suggestions back to their own teams. Mentors also bring issues and ideas back from their schools to the Technology Department.
- Technology Trainers are advanced users of specific instructional technologies who are willing to teach peers to make effective use of these technologies. Our trainers have official certification by the companies/organizations, which create specific technologies. For example, we have teachers who are Master SMART Certified Trainers, Google Master Teachers, and Florida Master Digital Educators. We also have staff members who have become trainers from other departments, such as our Boarding Program.