Thinking Technology

Monthly Archives : June, 2010

What have I been up too?

I’ve got visitors at the house until the end of next week, which has pretty much halted my Cert Study.

BUT, the course development marches on. I’ve got the 240M lab environment done! Two domain controllers, one client and a fully populated Active Directory database. I was able to import users, computers, groups and organizational units. The 288M lab environment is almost done, one domain controller, one client and one server configured to be a router. Throughout 240M and 288M students will make changes the environment via lab assignments. This is a major change from the old approach and I’m hoping it’ll be better received. I should give them more of a real-world feel to the course.

Responses to my courses have always been pretty diverse, I’ve learned a lot. I didn’t learn anything. Blah, blah blah! I read every comment and analyze it for validity and accuracy. In most cases, I find I can agree with the comments and immediately begin to think about how I can address the concerns of the student.

The changes I’m working on, will got a looooong way to address these changes.

Back to the Salt Mines

Come Fall of 2010, I’ll be teaching 3 classes (CIS-240M – Microsoft Server Administration, CIS-288M – Microsoft Networking, CIS-287I – Web Server Administration). 240M and 288M are getting a major overhaul. I’ve taught these course for 3+ years now and the format hasn’t changed much. As a part-timer instructor – maintaining was the norm. Now that I’m full time, I’m driving to make the overall experience of the class better and to address the needs of the students. Also PCC is in the process of switching Learn Management Systems (LMS). So there’s no time like the present.

287I – it doesn’t exist yet……

So the plan is to have at least half of these 3 course ready to teaching come the first day of the term. I believe this is reasonable. If I don’t get this much of the courses completed, I believe I’m setting myself up for a loooooong rough term. Which will make for a long rough year.

Also I have to consider in Winter 2011, I’ll be teaching another class I plan to redo, CIS-289M – Active Directory. And I’ll be teaching 199W (the web technician) class for the second time. It of course needs a little attention.

So today I’m going to begin to lay the ground work for these classes, yes all of the classes, but 199W. We’ll see how it plays out.

Cert Study Day 1

I plan to roll into the Fall term with at least one new cert test completed. On the not gonna happen side, it’d be cool to bang out three and get a new Cert added to my name, but baby steps.

So I made my return to Cert study this morning, bright and early. I picked Test 70-640. Based on my current knowledge, I figured this would be the easiest test for me to jump back into and pass.

Step 1: Where do I stand with my current knowledge. I purchased Selftest testing software for all of the server 2008 exams.

I took the test in certification mode with is similar to the real test environment – 50 questions, timed. My biggest challenge is always being able to sit still for that long, took me over an hour to get through 50 questions. Throughout the test I felt pretty good. There were plenty of questions I wasn’t 100% positive on the correct answer but felt good with the choice I made. READING the question AND answers carefully. Sounds like a gimme, but it doesn’t always happen. I was very careful in my approach and took extra time with any question that had similar answers.

In the end 70%, not bad for not approaching this material in a loooooong time. I did perfect on DNS, no surprise there. Everything else was between 50% and 80%. I’m going to start my study with the objective I did the worse in, additional Active Directory Services.

Time to find my study materials.

Special Congratulations

  I’d like to send congratulations to Brian Trump. Brian was a student of mine for three classes spread out over two years at PCC. Brian completed his course work, got a job and recent participated in the graduation ceremony at PCC. Brian is the first of my students I’ve kept in contact with after completing my course. Most of my students disappear into the wind when they finish. It’s good to see someone found value in what I taught them, besides what a user account is and how to install an operating system.

 Good job, I wish you the best. You’ll do well.

 Frank

Time to reflect.

The term is done, my first school year as full time is done!

First and foremost, the difference between part-time teacher and full-time teacher is NOT just teaching 1 or 2 more classes. It couldn’t be further from the truth! Becoming full time means a heck of a lot more. More work is just part of it, as full time you are fully inducted into the system, into the community that is the educational organization.

 I’m now on committees that are responsible for determining the path our students will take in order to remain relevant and successful beyond school. Now, I interact with my peers daily. I get to provide my insight as well as gain insight from others.

 For me personally, there is a new overwhelming desire to improve the quality of courses. As a part-timer, I did my job and I believe I did it well. But I never took the enormous amount of time required to truly evolve my courses, to take my courses outside of the format I’ve used for three years. Well that has changed, now I have both the desire and time to make those changes.

 I now have the opportunity for course development, plenty of course development. I developed a new web technician course from the ground up. That was quite an experience.  But fun. I’ve got another new course in my sights for Fall term.

 I’m looking forward to the summer ‘off’ it won’t be all drinks by the pool. I’ve got a lot of things I wish to accomplish. But I will be having fun!