Oklahoma technology centers virtually teaching students, helping businesses
April 14, 2020
Working remotely and having adjusted work environments to fight COVID-19 doesn’t mean Oklahoma CareerTech’s delivery arms have stopped offering services.
Like the state’s preK-12th grade public schools, CareerTech’s statewide network of technology centers has entered the world of distance learning for its secondary and postsecondary students. The tech centers are continuing to provide education -- including classes and assignments -- through web-based technology and, if needed, paper packets.
An auto collision and refinishing instructor at Metro Technology Centers in Oklahoma City is allowing students to see what he is working on with live feeds from his shop at his home. A diesel technology instructor at Gordon Cooper Technology Center in Shawnee is creating videos of repairs he is doing in his own shop in addition to having Zoom meetings, assignments and quizzes.
“The good from this is finding yet another way to teach,” said Ed Jolly of Gordon Cooper Tech.
A service careers instructor at Canadian Valley Technology Center’s El Reno campus has created YouTube instructional videos and is giving his students assignments based on each video’s information. Some are hands-on, like mowing lawns or using certain landscape tools, said instructor Jayson Floyd, and others are written.
Some of his students, however, do not have internet access, he said.
“For those students, I will be calling them three times a week and directing them to a hands-on activity they can perform within their house that is related to what I teach,” he said.
ODCTE is posting tech centers’ distance learning plans at okcareer.tech/Techplans. Students can contact their technology centers to receive information about the tech center’s distance learning plans and requirements.
In addition, the technology centers continue to offer training to Oklahoma business and industry clients when possible. Businesses with workforce training needs can contact their local technology centers to explore distance learning options.
“Oklahoma CareerTech is here to support our stakeholders, and we will make it through this situation together while continuing to provide education that meets the needs of our students and our state,” said Marcie Mack, ODCTE state director.
The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 58 campuses, 394 K-12 school districts, 16 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 32 adult basic education service providers.
The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.