CRCC Students Research Technology Capacity

Feb 15th, 1999 | By | Category: 10-3: Distance Education, Tribal College News

Twelve students from Cheyenne River Community College (Eagle Butte, S.D.) have embarked on two research projects that will change the way the college and the community at large view technology at work and at home. Telecommunications and Business Networks professor Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy has developed two projects to let the students themselves analyze the role of technology on the Cheyenne River Lakota Reservation and elsewhere. “Students learn more when they research the information on their own and draw conclusions from what they actually saw and heard,” said Sarkozy-Banoczy, the college’s new technical director.

The Reservation Telecommunications Project required the students to take a hard look at the reservation infrastructure and the local telecommunications market. The students utilized one-on-one interviews, surveys, and personal inspection, blending philosophical and technical analysis as they examined global telecommunications changes affecting life, tradition, and culture. “Some of the students were very detailed and aggressive with their research,” Sarkozy-Banoczy said. “They mapped out fiber optic cable and new T1 lines, and they videotaped interviews with Tribal Telephone Authority experts and the tribal chairman.” At midterm the two teams presented their research and handed in written, drawn, and videotaped material. For future reference (and possible airing on local cable access) the presentations themselves were videotaped.

“All the information was interesting to us, because so few businesses, programs, and common people really have access to the technology that could help them,” explained Amber Marshall, a student in the class. “Some people seemed really interested and some didn’t, but we realized that most people just need to learn about it, not just people in power.” At the end of the semester, the groups will present the second project, the CRCC Telecommunications Review. This project focuses on the community college itself and its future telecommunication and networking infrastructure. The teams will conduct a formal feasibility study and all follow-up research, which will be used by the CRCC Technology Committee and college management. Then it will be up to the administration to raise money to build the infrastructure, according to Mike McCafferty, CRCC interim president.

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