Fort Bend ISD's Educational Technology Department is leading schools in technology-based learning experiences by coordinating various projects and activities in which schools can participate. The department recently hosted a distance learning collaborative project that focused on African-American studies. The research-based project welcomed 325 students, in grades K-5, as well as 15 teachers. Students utilized the internet, FBISD online databases, and print material to research notable African-American or historical events. They then used their research data to develop digital stories, written compositions, slideshows and study sheets to share with their district peers via videoconference equipment. Students at Drabek, Palmer, Pecan Grove, and Oakland Elementary Schools held various videoconference sessions to share their projects with other FBISD campuses. Austin Parkway Elementary School students also participated in the research portion of this learning experience.
Educational Technology also hosted an African-American History Bowl, in which fifth-grade students from Blue Ridge, Drabek and Parks Elementary Schools competed. The Jeopardy-styled challenge allowed students to compete via videoconference equipment by answering curriculum-based questions on topics relating to African-American history. The Drabek Elementary School team, led by Torrey McGowan, won first place and was awarded a visit from Iain Page, KPRC-Local 2 news anchor. The Blue Ridge team won second place, and Parks won third.