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TSD Students Teach Lawmakers a Thing or Two About Technology


Deborah Jolly – Texas Capitol Schoolhouse
[email protected]

Keena Miller – Texas School for the Deaf
512-462-5328, cell: 512-658-4444
[email protected]

January 25, 2011

Texas Capitol Schoolhouse Returns for 2011 Texas Legislative Session

Texas School for the Deaf Participates in Educational Technology Classrooms

(AUSTIN) – On Monday, January 31, 2011, 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, she says, “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. For TSD, Bugen
adds, “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 says, “reducing the school’s funding is painful.”

TSD students are also invited annually to video the Schoolhouse 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

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 AM – 4PM.

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

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