Creating 21st Century Classrooms

Creating 21st Century Classrooms, Teachers and Students at TSD

TSD has long been a leader in technology use and integration and we have made great strides forward in engaging the digital generation.  TSD provides a variety of technology resources for staff and students at all educational levels including but not limited to: Laptops with Webcams, Digital Projectors, Document Cameras, Video Cameras, iPod/iPads/Tablets, Student Response Devices, Group Working Spaces, Web 2.0 Tools, Electronic Whiteboards (ACTIVBoards) and web-based collaboration software.


Every high school and middle school student is issued an iPad that is available in a 24/7 environment.  We also have iPads for student and staff use in our Elementary Department, Special Needs Department, and Libraries. We provide mobile computer carts for students and teachers in our elementary and middle school departments.  The majority of our classrooms are equipped with ActivBoards, document cameras, LCD projectors and Apple TVs with large TV screens. Many of our classrooms have digital cameras and video cameras assigned to the classrooms or available for checkout.  We have four state-of-the-art computer labs across our campus in various instructional locations. Our students and staff have access to a wide variety of online web tools and software.  Many of our classrooms are equipped with Student Response Devices (ACTIVotes, ACTIVexpressions, ACTIVslates,) that are used in conjunction with electronic whiteboards (ACTIVBoards) and are used in a variety of grade levels for formative assessment.


We provide specialized assistive communication software and APPs called BoardMaker and Proloquo2Go, to assist our students with significant cognitive difficulties, along with other online resources to meet their specific needs.  Many of our online web tools such as Digital Knowledge Central (Encyclopedia Britannica, World Book Online and EBSCO) are differentiated to meet the needs of a wide range of learners.  We also have BrainPop and BrainPop Jr., as well as Education City, which is specifically intended for elementary-aged children.   We have recently purchased the latest versions of Accelerated Reader, which will personalize reading practice to each student’s current reading level, and Accelerated Math, which helps differentiate math instruction, addressing each student’s individual needs.  Our teachers and students utilize a variety of Web 2.0 Tools (Animoto, VoiceThread, Glogster, YouTube and others) for daily classroom lessons to support curriculum goals.


Technology-Related Course Offerings K-12


Technology is integrated throughout the various content area classes.  Students use technology for research, to collaborate with Web 2.0 online tools, to create and share presentations, to communicate with friends, family and peers, to take online testing and a variety of other applications.


Elementary – Many of our young students come to us as “digital natives”, already comfortable with accessing information and creating products in a variety of electronic formats.  In keeping with best practices in the field, most of the technology skills are K-5 students are taught are combined with other content area objectives.  In this way, students acquire not only the knowledge of how to utilize new and exciting technology tools, but when to select a particular tool and why it is beneficial.  We have found that there is still a need for some developmental keyboarding skills at this age, so our third through fifth graders spend at least two days a week utilizing the program, “Type To Learn 4”.  Students are engaged in working toward individual WPM (word per minute) goals based on their grade level.


Middle School – Through the study of technology foundations, including related vocabulary, concepts, and types of data input, middle school students learn to make informed decisions about technology applications. Students are taught to acquire information using a variety of search strategies, and to use technology to access, analyze, and evaluate the acquired information. Middle school students learn that technology is a tool that supports the work of individuals and groups in solving problems, and students are required to select the technology appropriate for the task, synthesize knowledge, create a solution, and evaluate the results. Students communicate information in different formats and to diverse audiences.


In addition to the technology applications embedded in various content courses, 6th graders also take one semester of Keyboarding, which focuses on learning new computer terms and improving basic keyboarding skills.  Students are taught the fundamentals of using computer hardware, word processing, Internet access, presentation software (such as Keynote and PowerPoint), and various graphics programs.   Internet safety and etiquette are emphasized.


High School/CTE – In addition to the uses of technology across all HS subject areas we offer a wide selection of computer-related courses for students to choose from as outlined below.


High School Technology Related Courses Offered:


Audio Visual Production (formerly known as Video Technology Class) – This is the 10-year anniversary of the Audio Visual Production class and it remains the most popular high school elective offered. Through the dynamic work of our instructor with her dedicated and highly motivated students, AV Production becomes not just a class, but their very own studio.  Expectations are high, and each student must work with integrity and create movies that display high quality of message and content. These students have become ‘ambassadors’ for the school in sharing their productions.  Students work together as a group to create a studio name, logo, name sign and identity that represents their collective strengths, passions, skills and personalities. Each year the challenge is to be unique and create their own class mission.  They decide as a group what kind of impact they want to make on the school and the Deaf community.


Several years ago Synergy Studio students wanted to create movies about teen issues and created a movie called ‘Shattered Lives’ about drug and alcohol abuse. Velocity Studio was made up of comedians, and their movies were in a much lighter vein.  Zealous Studio wanted to do weekly broadcasts. Impact Studio created a name sign and advertised it so well that everyone on campus knew the group by their “brand”. This year, Dynamic Studio has already touched the hearts of the campus with a movie called  "9-11-2001: Ten Years later".  This production was presented at a student memorial assembly and everyone was moved by the powerful message and video that helped us to remember that momentous day.


Animation - Animation is an introductory computer course in design and imaging techniques. The course includes topics such as digital composition, color, imaging, editing, and animation. Students use computer tools to produce and edit digital designs as well as to incorporate design principles when capturing digital images with tools like scanners, and cameras. Animation, both 2-D and 3-D is introduced in this course.


Digital and Interactive Media - This course introduces students to digital graphics, animation and an introduction to video technology. Students work with a variety of special effects and editing software. Hands-on experiences in videotaping, editing and camera skills are also included.


Engineering and Presentation I and II - This is a course designed to provide job-specific training for entry-level employment in drafting careers. First year instructional emphasis is on sketching, lettering, dimensioning, and line development; use of descriptive geometry; development of electrical and electronic drawings; mechanical, welding, and architectural drawings; and fundamentals of CAD. Second year instruction enhances skill development for entry-level employment in engineering and drafting careers.


Graphic Design and Illustration - Graphic Design and Illustration is a project-oriented class that accesses the creative side. Students learn basic animation techniques via various programs. The images and art used in these programs are altered and manipulated. Flash software is employed for more complex animation and multi-media that can be used on the web. The class also covers 3D rendering. This course is recommended for students wanting a technical class with a creative side or for students interested in a career using computer presentations or animation.


Independent Study in Technology Applications - The Independent Study course provides opportunities for students desiring to continue in the acquisition of multi-media, telecommunications, or programming skills sets. Students will build portfolios, solve problems, and create products for the school and community.


Introduction to Computer Maintenance - This course focuses on the assembly and disassembly of modern computer systems. The study of electronic theory necessary to perform basic system maintenance is included. The operation and troubleshooting of system board circuitry, monochrome and color monitors, disk drive systems, computer architecture, and schematic diagrams is presented. An introduction to DOS software installation and the use of DOS in troubleshooting system abnormalities is integrated with basic electronics and hardware needed to properly diagnose malfunctions. 


Printing and Imaging Technology - This is a technical course designed to provide instruction in designing graphics using a computer and a variety of graphics software platforms such as Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. Opportunities to evaluate current trends in graphic design, appreciate the value of good designs, appraise the design level related to the printing process, paper, ink, T-shirt decals and associated elements is included. Background in business and marketing is also a fundamental component of this hands-on course.


Robotics and Animation - The Robotics and Animation course provides a hands-on experience in solving real-world challenges and exposes students to physics, mechanics, electronics, programming, business, financial management, teamwork, and leadership. Students plan and implement descriptive investigations including asking well-defined questions, formulating testable hypotheses, and selecting and using a variety of appropriate equipment and technology.


Web Technology - This class is a project-based course, focusing on use of the World Wide Web. This course focuses on scripting, developing search strategies, publishing skills, and preserving information on a web server. Ultimately, students, within an ethical framework, are asked to function as apprentice webmasters for the class, school, or district, participating in the real global community of learners and collaborators.