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BCC trustees issued iPads
New Gas Measurement Certificate to be unveiled
new slt BCC iPads
Barton Community College trustee Robert Feldt learns how to take a picture with his iPad, with help from Charles Perkins (shown standing), Bartons Dean of Information Services, Thursday at the BCC Board of Trustees meeting. Trustee Brett Middleton, left, checks out another feature on his own iPad. All trustees were issued the notebook computers. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

New Gas Measurement Certificate to be unveiled


Barton Community College Trustees learned Thursday about a Gas Measurement Certificate curriculum that the college plans to offer starting in January.

Julie Kramp, Barton’s Business & Industry training coordinator, discussed the program developed at the request of leaders from the natural gas industry and funded with a State Energy Sector Partnership and Training Grant. As the result of the $795,499 Kansas Department of Commerce grant awarded June 10, 2010, Barton is developing this program which could draw prospects from all over the United States. Most will likely be people in related fields seeking better positions.

One of the biggest expenses of the grant is the design, fabrication and commission of a high-tech mobile training facility.

Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman said this presentation was for the board’s information, but the project was never brought to the trustees for approval because none was needed. In spite of the size of the grant, it requires no matching funds from the college.

Playing Angry Birds or learning how to download a song on iTunes may not make board meetings run more smoothly, but it can be a good introduction to 21st Century technology, Barton Community College President Dr. Carl Heilman said Thursday. Notebook computers are popping up all over the BCC campus, and now each of the six college trustees has been issued one.

It wasn’t that many years ago that board members started bringing laptop computers to meetings — not only at BCC but at school boards such as Great Bend USD 428. The next step has been the smaller, less expensive iPads.

"It makes sense," Heilman said as trustees went through some quick training with Charles Perkins, the college’s dean of Information Services. "It really allows the trustees to have a keener understanding of technology." The iPads are more portable and perfect for keeping in touch with college communications, he added. Trustees can also have face-to-face contact with another iPad user instantly in areas with wi-fi Internet, and that includes anywhere on the college’s Barton County and Fort Riley campuses.

At $480 each, the iPads were the least expensive model available and cheaper than a good laptop PC, Perkins said. He had his assistant install 40-50 free applications on each computer, so trustees have everything from ESPN and The New York Times to that Angry Birds game at their fingertips. "I helps make learning fun," Heilman said.

The trustees received other information Thursday as part of their monthly board study session. Robba Moran from the Kansas Board of Regents will be visiting both campuses, and the college is also looking forward to Monday’s visit from Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz and others for the K-State Media Blitz promotion. There will be a reception from 4-5:30 p.m. at Stoneridge that is open to the public.