Magazine article Parks & Recreation

The Answers of Tomorrow Are at the NRPA/Oglebay Computer Use Institute Today

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

The Answers of Tomorrow Are at the NRPA/Oglebay Computer Use Institute Today

Article excerpt

When you can look around a room and see directors, therapeutic recreation specialists, technicians, and professors, you might think some sort of organizational meeting was taking place. What you might not expect to find is that all these people were attending a school -- the same school. But this just what one group has done.

The fourth annual NRPA/Oglebay Computer Use Institute was held recently at Oglebay in Wheeling, West Virginia, and it provided participants with answers to many questions they had about computers.

This is the only school of its kind that features classroom sessions taught by parks and recreation practitioners, top professors in the field, and commercial vendors. The educational sessions also offer a hands-on, try-before-you-buy approach.

If by some chance a classroom or lab session still doesn't answer your questions, several of the top parks and recreation software developers and providers are available to demonstrate their packages. If that still isn't enough, a computer lab comprised of UNIX workstations, PCs, Macs, and CAD stations is available for students to work independently or with others in an informal setting.

Varied Expectations, Singular Satisfaction

"The resources at this school are amazing," said Craig Ross, this year's chairman of the Board of Regents and associate professor in the Department of Park and Recreation Administration at Indiana University. "I've used computers for 17 years, and I still learned so many things I can hardly wait to get back to try them out in my office. Another one of the terrific things I get out of this school every year is a new list of other people like me -- parks and recreation computer users who I can call on in the future for help with questions I can't find the answers to anywhere else," he adds.

Students arrive with different levels of knowledge and ability and different expectations. But they also seem to be pleased with what they learn and experience.

I would have walked into a world of hurt if I made the presentation to my board next week without having been here first. Now I have the answers they want," Cameron Dye of Virginia Beach says.

The school sees to it that students are satisfied by continually changing its technology level and focus to meet the students' needs. …

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