Tech Fair set May 21 at community college

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A technology fair to teach Marshall Countians how to get the most out of computers is shaping up as virtually an all-day affair seven weeks from now.

While programs, seminars and workshops might be more plentiful for beginners, the committee organizing the May 21 event has sought to have something for everyone.

That's according to discussion on Friday when the Three Star Technology Fair Committee of the local Joint Economic and Community Development Board (JECDB) met at Columbia State Community College, the location of the fair from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of May.

Classes on May 21 will include how small businessmen and women can design an Internet web page for their shops or services, according to Elizabeth McDow, director of the Lewisburg campus of Columbia State Community College, vice chairwoman of the JECDB.

State law calls for JECDBs in all counties and the one here, led by Edmund Roberts, has various committees on as many subjects such as housing and other ways to improve the economy here.

Roberts called for a "wish list" of classes to be developed and added to the topics already planned. Basic Internet Security is one topic that could be useful for parents and proprietors of small businesses.

"It's one of the most serious issues we've got," Technology Fair Chairman Bruce Ramsey said.

Other topics to be added to the fair include explanations about free software and Microsoft Office programming for business purposes, according to discussion during the 90-minute meeting.

Explanations on how to use the Outlook program for computers and what Web mail is and how to use it, will also be available.

Representatives from AT&T and Verizon will show what their companies offer.

How to transfer digital photos from a camera to a computer and further on through the Internet to someone else will also be explained.

Career readiness, with resume writing and computer skills, will be discussed at the conference, according to Tia Anderson, a career advisor at the Tennessee Career Center.

"We do have computers available," Anderson said.

Several classrooms at the community college on South Ellington Parkway are equipped with digital projectors that accept signals from laptop computers brought to the campus by guest speakers, Roberts said.

Technology office employees from Columbia State Community College and the University of Tennessee are expected to speak and share their knowledge of computer programs and systems.

Members of various service clubs are reportedly planning on having their meetings at the college during the fair, and WJJM could be broadcasting live from the campus that day, according to discussion at the committee meeting on Friday.

Attending the meeting were McDow, Ramsey, Roberts, Mike Wiles, Fred Haley, Greg Lowe and Donald "Stan" Standfield.

The panel is to meet again at 8 a.m. Friday at the college.