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Gering students apply technology to career paths
December 02, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

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Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen Gering senior Riley Grote tells school board members how Workplace Writing will help him in his future career of building and construction management.

As Gering schools roll forward toward more career academy curriculum, teachers and students are discovering new ways to use technology in the classroom.

During the Nov. 21 school board meeting, several students spoke about technology based new classes they’re taking to help them toward their career goals.

“We’ve been starting some of those in-context courses at the high school,” said Principal Eldon Hubbard. “For a career academy, you need to have career related content taught in the context of core academic courses.”

One of those classes is the semester-long Workplace Writing, taught by Janelle Schultz. For students who have scored 14 or higher on the ACT test, the class carried dual credit into college.

One of the dual credit students to speak was senior Riley Grote, who’s primarily taking vocational classes. After graduation, he plans to attend Southeast Community College to major in building and construction management.

He said he’s taking Workplace Writing not only for a resume enhancement, but also for the skills he will need to succeed and get hired out of college.

“There’s a relationship between my field and good writing,” he said. “I’ll need to be able to write daily assessments for others to help them do their jobs.”

One exercise his group did was to write out step-by-step instructions on how to put together an object using Tinker Toys. Another group would use the instructions to rebuild the object as close to the original as possible.

Technical Math for the trades is another dual credit course, offering students a math background for vocations like diesel technology, auto mechanics, construction and other career fields where precise measurements are critical.

New technology applications are also helping Gering’s high school athletes improve their performances. An upgrade to the weight room, as well as video recording of their technique can help athletes learn where they need to improve.

Tanner Walker, who runs on both the cross country and track teams, said as a freshman he was five feet tall and weighed ten pounds. “For weight, I could only squat 75 pounds. Now I’m up to 225 pounds and can bench about 120 pounds,” he said.

Walker credited his weight instructors for developing a workout routine that enabled his to grow stronger at a more progressive rate. With a stronger body, his event times started getting faster.

Using new computer program applications for videos and soundtracks, vocal music instructor Shelly Revelle-Muggli was able to add a one-semester class in Music Technology and Performing Arts.

“The kids were unsure when I asked them what they wanted to learn, so we started with editing music,” she said. “They learned how to cut music selections like they play at ball games.”

While editing music, Revell-Muggli said she found a diamond in the rough in Jamie Mize. He’s written several songs and the class turned one of them into a music video, a rap song called “Influence.” Although Mize was working the night of the school board meeting and wasn’t able to attend, he plans a career in music video production.

After the presentations were finished, board members said they were impressed with how classes are embracing new technologies to apply real-world learning experiences for students. School Board President Brian Copsey said it’s important to continue to expand those learning opportunities for students, whether they’re going on to college or into the workforce.
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