Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones going online with the new WiFi capability at the Barbados Community College (BCC) as Principal of the BCC, Gladstone Best(left),Chairman of the Board of Management of the BCC, Stephen Broome (second left) and Chief Executive Officer of Regional Business Systems, Sharon Christie (right) look on. (A.Miller/BGIS)
Students and staff of the Barbados Community College (BCC) now have access to a campus-wide network and WiFi network system.
This has been achieved thanks to a project which costs about Bds $1.2 million, and gives the College state-of-the-art technological capability at both its Eyrie and Hastings locations.
Chairman of the Board of Management, Stephen Broome, speaking at today’s launch at the BCC, said that between 2009 and 2010 the Board had identified technology as an important element in the development of the College.
"We started by placing a tender for the upgrade of the College’s website. This upgrade was completed in 2010. We then identified the Campus-wide network and information communication technology internal upgrade as the next steps in the technology platform development.
"The rationale for the implementation of this new technology infrastructure was to have a seamless linkage between the campus sites at Eyrie and Hospitality Institute and allow for a homogenous, structured network that will allow campus-wide access by staff to centralised information," Mr. Broome explained.
Stating that the network would allow for the expansion of teaching in the classroom, he said this would include online teaching, access to online databases, and use of much more technology-related and aided equipment, since each classroom would have some form of internet access and the ability to access the centralised network facilities.
The campus-wide network will allow tutors and students access to the technology offerings both inside and outside of the classroom via laptops, ipads and any of the various android tablets and phones available on the market. "These tools can only be truly useful when wireless is available everywhere," Mr. Broome said, noting that Hotspots on campus would allow students and staff internet access using these personal devices with WiFi capability.
Speaking about the internal upgrades undertaken with respect to the College’s information communication technology system, Mr. Broome acknowledged that this would now allow teaching and administrative staff to communicate and share information in a secured environment.
He said: "This connectivity will allow for seamless use and sharing of the SmartStream accounting software, the new Colleague – Student Information System, centralisation of payroll services, and also allow for the introduction and implementation of productivity tools such as Microsoft Outlook email, calendaring, and storage and sharing of data files created in Microsoft Office such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other related data assets."