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GCTC Offers Free Public Wi-Fi in Shawnee

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

Gordon Cooper Technology Center is offering free public Wi-Fi in its south parking lot during the current COVID-19 health crisis.

All buildings on campus are currently closed until at least April 30, but patrons will be able to access a strong Wi-Fi signal from their vehicles.

“One issue we found was student access to the internet in some parts of our district,” Superintendent Bob Perry said. “Matt Wiles, GCTC’s IT director, mentioned that we had a lot of bandwidth with our current Wi-Fi network, some of which already spilled out into the parking lot. With a little reconfiguration, we have been able to increase the signal strength to include most of the south parking lot.”

According to Perry, visitors will be asked to stay in their vehicles and abide by social distancing protocols. Wi-Fi access will not require a login, but will be filtered for content like the rest of the school’s network.

“We hope this is a resource for some of our learners who have been temporarily separate from other public Wi-Fi access,” Perry added. “We are also looking at equipping several of our buses with Wi-Fi, which may allow us to deliver a signal to some of our students outside of the Shawnee area.”

Gordon Cooper Technology Center, like other institutions in the state, was forced to deliver instruction remotely until the end of the school year.

“Delivering instruction remotely presented some unique challenges for an institution featuring hands-on learning,” Perry said. “We spent our planning time taking inventory of our distance learning resources and found that we had more options than we initially thought.

“We already had a catalog of over 2,500 courses available for digital delivery,” Perry said. “Many of our programs have robust learning management systems in place to allow students to access materials and instruction off-site.”

Parking lot Wi-Fi access is scheduled to be operational at the GCTC main campus on Friday, April 10. For more information, you can call the main switchboard from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at (405) 273-7493.

Gordon Cooper Technology Center, located near the intersection of I-40 and State Highway 18, is an accredited institution and is one of 29 Career and Technical education options within Oklahoma's globally recognized Career Tech System. GCTC serves an area in East-Central Oklahoma covering approximately three counties. To learn more about Gordon Cooper Technology Center, click here.