Interactive Displays Help Update Blossom Montessori School for Students with Disabilities

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The Blossom Montessori School has specific educational needs for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, and needed to update its technologies with more visual and interactive capabilities. Sharp provided new technologies such as its AQUOS BOARD interactive display systems to address student needs and create a more engaging learning experience.

Nominating Company: Sharp Electronics Corporation, New York, New York
Venue: Blossom Montessori School, New York, New York
Project: The Blossom Montessori update
Category: Education & Healthcare

BACKGROUND
Blossom Montessori School for the Deaf is one of only two schools in the U.S. using Montessori teaching methods with deaf and hard-of-hearing children. But its students faced many challenges with its outdated technologies. The school needed an equipment upgrade to enhance the education experience.

CHALLENGES
Blossom Montessori students were trying to learn by huddling around laptops and small desktop computers to view images and videos. Since the school also accommodates students with other disabilities, including those with sight and mobility impairment, this became a major concern. In addition, with a mix of outdated hardware distributed throughout the school including laptops and compact desktop computers, Blossom Montessori’s learning technologies were unreliable. This caused daily challenges for learning in the classroom. The equipment wouldn’t work on certain days and had to be located in specific areas to get Internet connectivity. School director Julie Rutenberg resolved to improve learning by updating these technologies to meet the specific needs of Blossom Montessori’s approximately 30 students. She noted that deaf students are truly visual learners and that having faulty technology was a huge impediment to the learning experience.

SOLUTIONS
The school worked with Sharp Business Systems Florida (SBS) to develop a solution that would best meet the needs of the students and learning environment. Blossom Montessori installed a 70-inch Class (69.5-inch diagonal) PN-L703B AQUOS BOARD interactive display in each of the school’s six classrooms. A 60-inch Class (60.1-inch diagonal) PN-L603B AQUOS BOARD interactive display was also installed in the school’s speech pathology classroom. A MX-2640N color series document system was networked to the AQUOS BOARD interactive displays, and two new 55-inch (54.6-inch diagonal) Class PN-YSSS LED professional displays were installed at the school’s front entrance and cafeteria.

Students at Blossom MontessoriRESULTS
The Sharp AQUOS BOARD interactive displays have enriched the education experience for students and teachers. Installed at the appropriate height for each age, the classroom displays offer large visuals with equally large captions that are an integral part of learning for deaf students. Supporting Internet connectivity and fast operating speeds, the displays enable teachers to engage the students in new and exciting ways. Installed apps help with subjects including math, science and penmanship. The AQUOS BOARD interactive displays are also very sturdy, making it possible for students with cerebral palsy to brace themselves while interacting with the devices. Displays located at the school’s entrance and the cafeteria enable announcements and information to be communicated to students in these areas. Students now have visual learning accessibility wherever they are in the school.

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