The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 12, 2011

Smart way to learn

Digital technologies students phoning in their work at Chisholm Trail center

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

OMEGA — The digital technologies program at Chisholm Trail Technology Center is about as close as anyone could get to real-world work while training for a career.

Designed to encompass the rapid expansion of digital media, the program operates like a business. Students apply for positions based on their desired training areas and learn at computer stations with fellow students next to them working on different aspects of the business.

Instructor Ronda Simpson said the program was formed by combining two former programs the school offered: business technology and computer web services. Enrollment in the program is climbing and currently stands at 44, Simpson said.

One up-to-the-moment aspect of the program this year is a pilot project using smart phones in the classroom. After all, smart phones have the capability of being used for many digital activities.

“Once you take away the voice phone and the text, it’s a computer,” Simpson said.

GoKnow software is being used by the students to produce presentations, send documents and the like.

“In industry, everybody uses their cell phones,” she said.

If using smart phones for class work is beneficial, Chisholm Trail will continue using the devices next year.

The programs students learn within the digital technologies curriculum are individualized, Simpson said.

Students can choose among accounting, business applications, business communications, computer animation, computer fundamentals, database management, digital video production and editing, graphics development and manipulation, information management, international business, Internet technology, media and desktop publishing, office management, scripting and programming, time management and leadership, website development and wireless technology.

Simpson said students can complete their program in one year by attending all day or in two years by attending half days.

Transferable credits are available for degree programs at Oklahoma State University-Okmulgee, Northern Oklahoma College and Northwestern Oklahoma State University.