Picture of CLL Website Recognition

The Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) at the University of West Florida (UWF) Emerald Coast in Fort Walton Beach recently recognizes the outstanding work of Niceville High School Information Technology (IT) students and teachers for updating our website.

In the fall of 2017, the CLL in Fort Walton Beach saw the need to update its website in view of the constantly increasing capabilities of the Internet.  CLL’s webmaster, Dr. Hal Pruett contacted Niceville High School (NHS) with an idea for a mutually beneficial project to redesign the CLL’s website, during which the students would gain valuable real-world experience. Dr. Pruett explained the scope of the project to the teachers and advanced students in a couple of the digital design courses in the NHS IT Department. A primary goal was to modernize the website’s overall style, consolidate the existing contents, and add some desirable new features. Current CLL President, Vickie Warner, an advertising professional, also met with the students to explain the importance of creating a new logo that met the mission and needs of the CLL nonprofit organization.  The result of the collaboration is the current website, http://cll-fwb.org that the CLL Board unanimously approved in August 2018.

CLL is a Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI) associated with Road Scholars (formerly Elderhostel) and the University of West Florida in Fort Walton Beach.  To encourage adults to continue lifelong learning, CLL has offered non-credit classes at the local UWF campus and other sites for more than 25 years. Classes begin in September and January each year and usually last for eight weeks. CLL is an all-volunteer charity which receives its funding entirely from the low-cost membership fees it receives each term. It receives no other financial support and has given yearly scholarships to area students at University of Florida-Emerald Coast, Take Stock in Children, Children in Crisis, and other worthy educational causes.

Each of the NHS web-design students took different areas to work on to complete the redesign project. Following the life cycle stages of development used in the commercial world, the process took several months. NHS students who worked on the website in this project were: Martin Bouldo (Lead), Katie Lightfoot, Dylan Hammond, Jordan Richardson, Miguel Malayto, Dhruvi Contractor, Nathaniel Willard, and Nathan Willard. Kayla Koger, Josie Jacks, Alexandria McCraine, Grayson Kramer, and Brittney Sposito worked on the logo concepts.

During the project, to address and satisfy the project’s real-world needs, the students encountered and overcame challenges that would not normally be part of a typical classroom curriculum.  They learned effective communication and new coding languages. They also developed a spirited team environment while researching and using the latest design techniques. Group leader Martin Bouldo said, “It was interesting to apply the interpersonal skills we developed. I especially enjoyed learning about the demographics (of the CLL membership).” Katie Lightfoot, another team member, added, “I liked the project because it was tailored to real work and a great team.” The NHS instructors, Mrs. Ronda Pridgen and Jill Frakes, agreed that the project was “a successful joint effort to allow the students at NHS to apply knowledge learned in school to a real work environment.”