MARCH 10, 2004

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UCO names innovative teaching program in honor of State Sen. Cal Hobson


State Sen. Cal Hobson

An innovative program at the University of Central Oklahoma that is training teachers statewide about new technologies for their classrooms is being named in honor of state Sen. Cal Hobson, D-Lexington, one of the state's leading public education advocates.

UCO President W. Roger Webb made the announcement of The Cal Hobson Teachers & Technology for Tomorrow Program at a campus ceremony recently that was attended by UCO faculty, staff, students and local and state officials, including First Lady of Oklahoma Kim Henry.

Henry, a former history teacher who was accompanied at the event by her husband, Gov. Brad Henry, said Hobson is deserving of this honor because of his many years of work on behalf of Oklahoma teachers and students.

"From my perspective as a former teacher, being able to integrate some of today's technologies?like this program is helping our teachers learn how to do?is a great step forward for education in Oklahoma," she said. "Sen. Hobson's work as an advocate for education certainly makes him the right choice for this honor."

Webb called Hobson, who has served 26 years in the state Legislature, "an unfailing, tireless and dedicated champion for our schoolchildren in Oklahoma." "That's why we're here today to honor Sen. Hobson and his work as a public official on behalf of Oklahoma education and Oklahoma's teachers," Webb said.

Hobson, who begins his second year as President Pro Tempore of the state Senate, said that being recognized in this manner by UCO "is without a doubt one of the highlights of my career as a legislator for the people of Oklahoma."

"I'd like to be remembered as a lawmaker who left the state of public education in Oklahoma in a much better shape than what it was when I first entered public office," Hobson said. "In my mind, there's no more important issue for our state than education, and no issue that has more impact on our future and our success. Using technology to ensure that every student in Oklahoma has equal access to the latest facts, data and instruction is a key element in preparing our young people to succeed in the information age."

The program being named after Hobson was started by UCO last year after the school received a $650,000 grant from the SBC Foundation. The program was established to support and encourage education students and in-service teachers to use technology to enhance K-12 instruction, said Dr. Dana Owens, director of technology and special projects, UCO College of Education.

Last summer, UCO launched the program with eight, weeklong workshops for some 200 pre- and in-service teachers from across Oklahoma. "These teachers had the opportunity to develop curriculum for their classrooms that integrated technology such as digital photography and PowerPoint presentations," Owens said.

Contact: Charles Johnson, UCO News Bureau Director, 1-405-974-2315