Sherman computer science program second to none
by Fred Pace
SETH – When it comes to high school computer science and high technology, Sherman High School in Seth ranks among the best in the nation.
“Computers play an important role in everyone’s lives and this is no exception to the students at Sherman High School,” said Randy Herron.
Herron is Sherman’s High School’s computer science teacher and technology administrator.
The students create and write computer programs, maintain a school Web site, they live webcast high school football games, girls volleyball, other sports and events at the school, like the recent Veterans’ Day celebration. This school’s Web site offers historical information about Boone County schools and the students have been enlisted by the county Board of Education to assist with the county’s Web site as well.
“Anything that comes up in the day regarding networking or any other computer issues the students are asked to help,” Herron said. “The honors students wrote both the schools Web page, but also the county’s Web page as well.”
Herron teaches students the basics of Microsoft Office products and how to utilize them effectively as an introductory course to computers at Sherman High School. Later, students have the option of taking additional computer science related courses, such as Honors Computer Programming and Computer Tech Assistant.
Herron says in the Honors Computer Programming class, students learn the basics of MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) and how to navigate and use various DOS commands effectively.
“Students in the Honors Computer Programming class also work with HTML, as they learn the basic knowledge of the HTML language and begin to create their own personal websites while working on the Sherman High School website, he said. “Also, students in the Honors Computer courses available at Sherman High School will be eligible to receive college-level credit for the class.”
Students in Herron’s Computer Tech class function as technical support throughout the school.
“These students are trained and prepared to diagnose and repair any computer, network, or technology related issue that may come up throughout the school day,” he said.
Sherman High School’s computers and other technologies are state-of-the-art, ranging from two tiered computer labs with monitors to project computer images to high speed internet access in every room. A Distance Learning Lab that can broadcast any subject class to 16 school sites at once.
The Honors Computer students at Sherman, as well as some Lab Assistants, write many of the webpages throughout Boone County and West Virginia.
“Sherman is proud to be one of the few schools whose students author their own school’s webpage,” Herron said. “Students leaving Sherman’s Honors Computer Class are equipped with in depth knowledge of web authoring, computer repair, networking, programming, and a variety of other topics that will prepare the student’s for tomorrow’s technology job market. The students are not taught to memorize facts, however, but learn to problem solve. Knowing how to solve problems makes working with computers a breeze.”
As our world grows with technology so does the young minds using the new innovations. Therefore, it is no surprise to see one of our local high schools using new technology to teach, prepare and give the young minds a wealth of knowledge to shape them for the future.
Sherman High School is using technology in and out of the classroom. In 2011, they started webcasting their football season. This is something no other school in the county, and most across the nation are not doing.
Randy Herron’s computer science assistants and students make the football webcasts possible.
“This helps the students to be intrinsically motivated individuals,” said Herron.
The students who take part in these webcasts and are part of the school’s computer science programs include Kelsey Rae Williams, a computer science assistant; David Josh Lawrence, computer science honors; Josh Massey, Sherman High Webmaster and computer science assistant; John Hunter, computer science honors; Eric Miller, computer science assistant; Brittney Bandish, computer science honors; and Donavan O’Connor, computer science honors.
Bandish assists with the school’s Web page and is in the process of creating a tutoring program.
“I like working with computers and wanted to get into programming,” Hunter said. He works on the school’s Web page as well.
Williams is not going to be a computer tech in the future, she wants to get into the medical field.
“I still think learning all of this is going to help me in my future and with my career,” she said.
Massey does want to go into the information technology field as a career.
“Working in IT will allow me to be a part of every field because computers are now used in every business,” Massey said. He is currently looking for scholarships a local technology-based colleges and universities.
“We were asked by Boone County Schools Assistant Superientendent Dr. Lisa Beck to create a history of Boone County Schools, which we are currently working on,” Herron added. “We are also looking to webcast school news from the school’s Web site maybe two or three times a week.”
The students live webcasted the school’s graduation ceremony last year and a parent serving in the military in Afghanastan was able to watch it live.
“The students also were the first to webcast a state West Virginia Board of Education meeting that held in Madison,” Herron said.
The webcasts are archived to the Sherman website letting anyone who wants go back and view the games or any other event that has been webcasted. This is Sherman High School’s equivalent to YouTube.
According to Herron there are so many people living out of state and these types of broadcasts help them be a part of their loved ones life even though they are not physically there.
“It helps us connect with the community and lets our students use the tools they are using every day in the classroom,” said Herron.
These webcasts are worldwide and can be found at www.shermanhigh.com
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