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Technology at CCCCD Revitalizes Traditional and On-line Classes

Technology at CCCC Revitalizes Traditional and On-line Classes

In today’s fast-paced society, it is nice to know that the Internet class you are taking has the same information as the traditional class, including pictures and sound. Professors at Collin County Community College District are able to use the latest software and hardware in the college's digital media workshop and bring the culmination of that technology back to their classes.

The digital media workshop in room F116 at the Preston Ridge Campus Learning Resource Center in Frisco is open to students, faculty and staff and includes:

 two 650 MHz PCs

a digital video camera

a digital camera

a CD duplicator

a color scanner

a slide scanner

headphones and microphones.

The lab also offers the following software: Adobe Premiere for editing digital video, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, Macromedia Flash, Fireworks, Sound Forge, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Macromedia Director, Shockwave Studio, FrontPage 2000, PowerPoint and WS-FTP. The lab even has equipment to reduce digital movie clips, compress them and transfer them to a web site or CD-ROM.

Dr. Mary Anne Andrade, professor of English at CCCC, is aware of the time issue many of her students have and has seen how this technology is saving the students precious time. She made a CD-ROM of her entire British literature on-line class, saving her students hours of Internet downloading time. According to Andrade, the paintings are so big they are hard for many students to download at home, and she doesn't want her students to miss the visual representation of the periods they are studying.

"I feel that we should accommodate students," Andrade said. "Putting my classes on-line, even with lecture notes and an outline of class discussions, I’ve had better retention. If a student misses, he/she can access that material and not get behind. I have very few students who drop now. They say it helps them a lot."

CCCC student Cherissa Jordan of Pilot Point has found that the high-tech equipment has enhanced her learning experience too. Jordan took "Generations" (LRCM 8606), a Learning Communities class combining history and government. Groups of students were assigned a decade and documented the sites, sounds, styles, popular culture and events of that time period in a web site they created.

Jordan created a web site on black history in the 1960s using a scanner and Front Page 2000. The web site included quotes from that time period, major events of the time and an Internet link to the game, Black History Jeopardy.

For Jordan, creating a web site was a personal exploration. She said her experience of black history has been limited to the month of February and civil rights classes.

"I got to learn about my history," Jordan said. "Being biracial, I was able to dig more on my father's roots and present that to the class, and they could learn about my history because we are never really taught that in school." Building a web site from scratch was inspiring. Jordan spent two and a half months working on her site, and when her decade came up on the test she breezed through it with 100 percent correct.

"This technology takes education out of the professor's hands and makes it student-driven," said Ted Lewis, CCCC professor of government and learning communities coordinator. "We become facilitators. We learn an awful lot from the students. They have a different angle that we haven’t looked at." For more information about the digital media lab at CCCC, contact John Mullin, director of the Preston Ridge Campus Learning Resource Center, at 972-377-1575.

Collin College serves more than 46,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.