Overview of Classroom Technology


Technology in Broward Schools
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) provides students, teachers, and administrators with a range of technology. A technology fact sheet available in the District Reports section shows that all classrooms have internet connectivity.
external image pdf.png technology.pdf

Schools provide students with wireless laptop computers housed in mobile carts. The district provided schools with enough laptops (40,000) for a ratio of 1 laptop for every 6 students at all schools. Some schools have additional laptop carts. Some schools have computer labs but the class-size reduction amendment has caused many schools to convert computer labs into classrooms.

Of the over 40,000 student laptops, 30,000 are Macintosh and 10,000 Dells. Most Macs are running OS 10.4.9 and the Dells are running Windows XP. The laptops at most schools are between 3 and 5 years old. A funding source for updated student laptops has not been identified.

The software on student computers provides for basic productivity. The table lists the productivity found on student computers.
Software Type
Elementary Mac
Secondary Mac
Elementary and Secondary PC
Word Processing
Pages
.......................................
Pages & Word
.......................................
Word
.......................................
Spreadsheet
............................................

Numbers
Numbers & Excel
Excel
Presentation
Keynote
Keynote & PowerPoint
PowerPoint
Photo storage and editing
iPhoto
iPhoto
Picasa
Movie Making
iMovie
iMovie
MovieMaker
Concept Mapping
Inspiration
Kidspiration
Inspiration
Kidspiration
Inspiration
Kidspiration
Comic Creation
Comic Life
Comic Life
Comic Life
Audio creation and editing
Garage Band
Garage Band
Audacity
Default Media Player
QuickTime
QuickTime
Real Player

There is one printer per two classrooms.

Every teacher should have a School Board issued laptop. The platform of the teacher laptop is a school-choice, but most teachers have Macintosh laptops.

Each school has at least one videoconferencing unit.

Most middle and high schools have at least one set of science probes, usually PASCO probes. Most middle and high schools have several sets of graphing calculators.

Digital Classrooms
Each school has at least one digital classroom. All newly constructed classrooms will be digital and efforts are being made to install digital tools in existing classrooms
  • Classrooms with permanently mounted projectors, document cameras, sound enhancement systems, and wall panels to control inputs are “standard digital classrooms.” The great majority of standard digital classrooms also have mounted interactive whiteboards and are called enhanced digital classrooms.
  • Classrooms with LCD projectors, interactive whiteboards, and document cameras are “modified digital classrooms.”

Schools may choose between SMART and Promethean for their interactive whiteboards. Both vendors have pre-made lessons, resources, and training available online. Both vendor hold regular user groups after school to encourage teachers to collaborate and communicate.
SMART online resources
Promethean online resources

Several schools have carts of iPod Touches. Click to view podcasts on how iPods are being used.
Some schools are testing the use of netbooks but most tests involve the use of netbooks for online testing.

In order to manage and support the technical products, BCPS adopts standards for many technical products and allows schools to purchase only standard items. For most items schools may choose from two or more approved standard items.

Digital Resources


BEEP
Broward teachers, students, and administrators have access to digital resources including online textbooks, search engines, encyclopedias, online research databases, lesson plans, and other information in a digital format through BEEP. The information available depends on the user. For instance, students do not have access to lesson plans through BEEP.

The BEEP teacher portal provides online access to a number of resources that teachers can use to delivery and enhance lessons.
external image pdf.png beepoverview.pdf

Digital Communication and Collaboration Tools
Some but not all teachers have web pages used for communication and collaboration. While some teachers are creating web pages using web-age creation software (like DreamWeaver or iWeb), many are using blogs, wikis, and nings.

The district does not provide student email accounts. If student email is needed, schools may setup and E-Pals or another filtered student email.