Technology class on web design places students on leading edge

By Bob Robinson

Star Staff

   Students in the Business Technology Class at Elizabethton High School (EHS) are at the forefront of modern technology.
   That's the sentiment of local educators, students and business who rely on personal computers and the Internet to be successful in today's World marketplace.
   The 16-member business technology class of juniors and seniors are designing web pages for the EHS web site after receiving feedback from EHS faculty and students.
   Feedback enabled students to design quality web pages to better meet the needs of students, parents, faculty and the community, according to Carole Bolling, business technology instructor.
   "Each student selected an area in which they were most interested, such as cheerleading, football, volleyball, golf, band and clubs. They are responsible for developing information about these subjects for the EHS web site," said Ms. Bolling.
   Students will also learn how to design their own web page in the year-long course, the first year it has been offered at EHS, according to Ms. Bolling.
   Computers are being added on an ongoing basis. However, there is a need for additional funds to purchase computers, a digital camera, digital scanner, additional computers and software, Ms. Bolling said.
   Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the web design class, may contact Ms. Bolling or Ed Alexander, EHS principal.
   Students work with Star Technology Group (STG), a subsidiary of Elizabethton Newspapers, Inc., to further develop the EHS web site. These web pages are a part of the web site of the Elizabethton School System (www.ecschools.net) which was also created at the beginning of the school year.
   Web site development is a "Work in Progress," according to Dr. Judy Blevins, director of Elizabethton City Schools.
   "Each principal is developing a web site for their school. When fully implemented, the web site will be maintained by the principal, faculty and staff at each school in conjunction with Star technology Group," Dr. Blevins said.
   Ronnie Morton, technology coordinator for Elizabethton City Schools, is providing technical support to school principals, as needed.
   "Discussions, which began last year, led to a partnership with Star Technology Group. We are fortunate Star Technology Group agreed to work with the Elizabethton School System, using their professional staff and expertise, to help train our students."
   "I met, personally, with their team and was very impressed. Thus far, their staff has been most professional in helping Elizabethton City Schools design the best web site possible," Dr. Blevins added.
   Kimberly Wyatt, web designer at STG, communicates with EHS students via the Internet to receive updates, additions and revisions to the EHS web page.
   Ms. Wyatt, a graduate of Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, N.C., holds a B.S. Degree in computer science with a web master concentration.
   Formed in 1999, Star Technology Group provides clients with graphic design, Internet applications, e-commerce, digital video and digital photography, according to Guy L. Austin, who oversees its operation. " We are involved in a lot of community Internet projects and working with the school system was just a further extension of that process."
   The Elizabethton School Board, like other STG clients, set the standards for web page content, Austin said.
   Ed Alexander, principal, and Adie Hyder, vocational director, deserve the credit for having the vision to incorporate web page design technology into the classroom at EHS, according to Dr. Blevins.
   "Ed saw the importance of this technology and empowered teachers at EHS to offer the course," Dr. Blevins said.
   Funds to purchase personal computers and related equipment was provided by the Elizabethton School Board.
   Dr. Blevins said the web design effort for the Elizabethton City School is a team effort.
   "We wanted our students to have knowledge of web design and graphics, even at the elementary school level. We are pleased with the progress that has been achieved, thus far," she added.
   The Star Technology Group has offices at 300 Sycamore, P.O. Box 1960, Elizabethton, TN 37644, and may be reached by calling 423/542-1536, or via their website www.startechnologygroup.com, or e-mail to webmaster@startechnologygroup.com.