FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who are the Virtual Teaching Materials for?
The Styer-Fitzgerald Virtual Teaching Materials are for special education students of all ages (Preschool – Transition). This particular toolset is designed specifically for students with moderate to severe disabilities; however, with the amazing versatility of the system, and the predesigned ability to customize, you will quickly find uses for other educators, students, and service providers.
How do the Virtual Teaching Materials work? What are they designed to do?
The Virtual Teaching Materials provide a platform for teachers, paraeducators, related service providers, and other educators to be able to run functional academic programs remotely with students in special education. It doubles as a teaching tool that students will be able to use in the classroom and at home to practice and reinforce critical skills while teaching independence. Everything is directly linked to the comprehensive Styer-Fitzgerald Program for Functional Academics.
The Virtual Teaching Materials come preloaded with over 2500 flash cards and meaningful activities, relieving teachers of stress and extra work. Materials are organized by packs and cover multiple functional content areas. Each pack contains numerous flash cards organized into decks. Cards and decks are then added to slides to create activities. Educators, supervisors, and administrators are able to easily add, modify, and customize their own content as desired.
While engaged in remote teaching sessions, educators are able to provide reinforcement through built-in video conferencing and visible correction procedures directly on the student’s screen. Teachers and paraeducators can set up student preferences that are automatically stored for future sessions. Instant modifications, such as flipping, hiding, enlarging, moving, and shuffling can happen live during a session when needed.
What are the printable Supplemental Materials included with the Virtual Teaching Materials?
As Styer-Fitzgerald educators, you and your team are given access to over 1000 independent activities. Practicing these activities often and in multiple environments will reinforce critical skills students are learning in each content area. These activities cover varying levels of independence and were created for a number of reasons:
Each Virtual Teaching Materials pack contains a link to Supplemental Materials where educators will gain access to these additional activities.
What features ARE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AND WHAT MIGHT BE AVAILABLE DOWN THE ROAD?
The system is fully functional for remote teaching now and includes efficient ways to individualize programming for each student. As with any program that is strategically designed for special education, updates, enhancements, and adjustments over time will be necessary in order to keep up with the needs of such a unique and diverse student population. One of the best parts about offering a digital solution is that our customers benefit by instantly receiving updates once they are released. Some of the additional features we are exploring and are hoping to add in the near future are:
Potential Additional Features
Are the materials customizable?
Yes! Educators can add, modify, and create all their own cards, decks, and packs. This is in addition to what is already provided for them. Educators are also able to upload pictures and/or photographs in order to truly individualize for each student (as long as images meet copyright and usage rights requirements).
Are there accessibility options built into the platform?
Yes! Currently, teachers and students are able to zoom in and out in order to adjust the size of the flash cards on the screen. Teachers are also able to change the size and color of the text and/or picture on a card as well as the color of the background in order to provide a more drastic contrast for students with vision impairments. Eventually, pictures will be able to be presented directly on the screen without the white card behind, which will also provide more contrast.
We are always open for suggestions! Please email info@SDESworks.com if you would like us to consider other accessibility options.
Can I assign activities for my students to do at home?
Yes! As a district you may choose to add parents as users in the system. Because the Virtual Teaching Materials are held within the cutting-edge UnitusTI data management system, administrators are able to assign customized roles to all members of each students IEP team. When parents are given access to the system, they will only be able to view their child’s profile so he or she can run activities at home.
What kind of training and support is provided for new users?
As teachers first, the authors are committed to ensuring the successful implementation of all Styer-Fitzgerald products. We will be offering several training options via webinar and plan to provide prescheduled consultation sessions where teachers, paraeducators, and anyone else using the materials can join in for a live Q&A session and learn some tips and tricks. These sessions will be led by one of our trainers and/or a teacher who is currently using the system with his or her own students. The trainers’ extensive experience teaching students with moderate to severe disabilities makes them an invaluable resource for districts new to the Program. Staff are always on hand to meet with teachers, answer questions, and brainstorm next steps. In addition, the Virtual Teaching Materials come preloaded with a Quick Start Guide and easily accessible links to a help center for efficient guidance when learning to navigate the materials.
Does the system track data?
Currently you will want to have a printed data sheet handy for tracking data when running programs remotely with students. Not for long, though! Our next milestone is to incorporate data so educators are able to view or print a report of progress at the end of a session.
What devices/browsers can you use?
The Styer-Fitzgerald Virtual Teaching Materials are designed to be accessed on any device (computer, laptop, tablet, iPad, Chromebook, etc.), through browsers such as Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
Is the video built into the platform or do we need to use other video conferencing software?
The Virtual Teaching Materials have video capabilities built directly into the secure platform allowing educators to auto generate a real-time session as needed.
Is the system secure?
Yes! The Styer-Fitzgerald Program teamed up with UnitusTI to bring cutting edge cloud technology to special education. The shift to the online platform provides an exceptional layer of utility. First and foremost, the online program provides an added security and data protection layer that enhances compliance with national regulatory laws such as HIPAA, FERPA and GDPR. Information and data are safeguarded from natural disasters and power outages. Data is encrypted at rest and in transit within a closed operational environment. Having received iKeepSafe FERPA certification, schools, districts, and organizations are assured they can rely on the UnitusTI Styer-Fitzgerald cloud to adequately safeguard the privacy of student data.
How are students and staff added to the system?
You have 4 options to consider:
Can you work remotely with more than one student at a time?
Currently the system is designed to work one-on-one with students. However, we see the value of this feature so we have added it to the roadmap for the application, although we cannot say when this might happen.
Can you use the same remote session link over and over with a student instead of sending a new link each time?
Generating a unique link each time a session is started is necessary in order to offer state-of-the-art, secure, HIPPA/FERPA compliant video conferencing directly within the Virtual Teaching Materials platform.
SDES has teamed up with Mundo Pato, Inc., our cloud publishing partner, to create a simple and affordable solution for special educators to use during this critical time.
The Virtual Teaching Materials are a separate supplemental purchase that will greatly enhance the Styer-Fitzgerald Program for Functional Academics or can be used on its own.
* Monthly subscription charge is based on a minimum of 50 students
and increases by $25 per group of 25 additional students.
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