FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Texas Capitol Schoolhouse Returns for 2011 Texas Legislative Session
Texas School for the Deaf Participates in Educational Technology Classrooms
Austin, Texas – January 28, 2011 – On Monday, January 31, 2011 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, High School Video Technology students from the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) show off their skills for lawmakers as the Texas Capitol Schoolhouse and the Capitol Schoolhouse Foundation facilitate actual high-tech classrooms in the basement Capitol Rotunda using state-of-the-art educational technology.
“The participating schools clearly demonstrate their effective day-to-day use of educational technology in teaching their students and preparing them for the 21st century. Visitors to the Capitol will see and experience technology currently in use by Texas classrooms,” Schoolhouse organizer and Executive Director Dr. Deborah Jolly said. “Each time we bring the…
schools together to show our legislators the wonderful things their technology funding has done for Texas classrooms, the event becomes more and more impressive as the technology use becomes more and more sophisticated.”
At the beginning of each legislative session, a number of schools are invited to bring a small representative group of their students along with their teachers to showcase current applications of educational technology being used in their schools today. Teachers and students set up their classrooms in the Capitol. Throughout the event, they conduct class just as they do every day in their home districts. This year, students utilizing both PCs and Macs will be working with video and sound editing, robotics, iPods, iPads, online virtual learning environments, 1 to 1 laptop computing, online interactive learning and other educational technologies.
“Educational technology brings schools high-tech tools deployed by our teachers and used by our students to prepare them to succeed in the 21st century. These students are eager to show their Representatives and Senators how these tools are used in the education process and how much they benefit from their use.” Dr. Jolly adds.
TSD Superintendent, Claire Bugen agrees. “For deaf and hard of hearing students at TSD, mastering skills using technology goes a long way in leveling the playing field when it comes to aligning curriculum and instruction with the realities of 21st century learning. Technology definitely gives our students a leg up in employability.”
The state’s impending budget cuts may mean that the technology and associated upgrades needed by the school will be put on hold. Bugen says, “funding reductions will affect the continuation or the quality of our classroom technology integration and our ability to continue to acquire new technologies and multimedia.” This can have a big impact on deaf and hard of hearing students who are highly visual in their learning styles. At a time when TSD’s enrollment is at an all-time high, and with a rapidly increasing population of students who have multiple challenges in addition to deafness, Bugen adds, “reducing the school’s funding is painful.”
TSD students are also invited annually to video the event for the legislative archives. Other districts participating with TSD at the Capitol School House include Amarillo ISD, Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, Hallsville ISD, Irving ISD, Klein ISD, Manor ISD, Ysleta ISD, Floydada ISD, Coleman ISD, San Saba ISD, Pasadena ISD, Stockdale ISD, Alief ISD and Panhandle ISD.
Legislators and invited guests have the opportunity to venture through actual classrooms to observe and experience educational technology in use by teachers and students. To experience the Texas Capitol Schoolhouse up close and personal, visit the Capitol Rotunda (basement) on January 31 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.
The Texas School for the Deaf is the oldest continuously operating public school in Texas. Educating deaf and hard of hearing students of Texas since 1856, the campus also provides outreach and educational resources for students, their families and professionals in the field throughout the state of Texas. With educational excellence and a strong belief in a culture and community at TSD, students form a unique identity based on their individual strengths and talents. TSD is an environment where students learn, grow, and belong. For more information about the Texas School for the Deaf, visit http://www.tsd.state.tx.us/.