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Cisco Refreshes IT Essentials Curriculum to Meet Changing Demands of Global Job Market


Revamped Introductory Course Includes 21st-Century Assessments and Simulations to Help Students Prepare for Certification Exams and Careers in IT and Networking

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 12, 2010 – To better prepare students for entry-level positions in information technology (IT) across a variety of industries, Cisco today announced updates to its foundational course, IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software. Designed for Cisco® Networking Academy® students in high schools, technical schools, colleges and universities, the updated curriculum covers the fundamentals of PC computer technology, networking, security and troubleshooting and provides an introduction to advanced technology concepts.

IT Essentials

* IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software is a hands-on, career-oriented e-learning course with an emphasis on practical experience to help Networking Academy students develop fundamental computer skills and essential career skills.
* The course is designed for students pursuing careers in IT or students seeking practical knowledge of how computers work. In addition, the course provides a learning pathway to the Cisco CCNA® Discovery and CCNA Exploration curricula.
* Students who complete this course will be able to describe the internal components of a computer, assemble a computer system, install an operating system, and troubleshoot using system tools and diagnostic software. Students will also be able to connect devices to the Internet and share resources in a networked environment.
* Additional topics covered include laptops and portable devices, wireless connectivity and basic implementation skills, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), network security, safety and environmental issues, applied network configurations, troubleshooting techniques and communication skills.
* Hands-on lab activities and virtual learning tools are integrated into the curriculum. The Virtual Laptop and Virtual Desktop are stand-alone tools that enable students to virtually disassemble and reassemble desktop and laptop computers. Both tools are designed to supplement classroom learning and provide an interactive “hands-on” experience in environments with limited physical equipment.
* Additionally, as a CompTIA Authorized Quality Curriculum, IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software helps students prepare for the CompTIA A+ 2009 Edition certification, which emphasizes the practical application of PC troubleshooting and networking skills.


* Interactive formative and summative assessments are integrated into the IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software curriculum and supported by an advanced online delivery system that presents assessment tasks, automatically scores and records results, and provides feedback to aid in learning.
* Immediate feedback supports instructor and student evaluation of acquired knowledge and skills. Assessments can be as simple as a multiple-choice question or as complex as troubleshooting a simulated network.

Cisco Packet Tracer

* Packet Tracer is powerful network simulation software developed by Networking Academy that allows students to experiment with network behavior and ask “what if” questions. As an integral part of the IT Essentials curriculum, Packet Tracer provides simulation, visualization, authoring, assessment and collaboration capabilities and facilitates the process of teaching and learning computer technology concepts.
* Packet Tracer supplements physical equipment by allowing students to create a network with an almost unlimited number of devices, encouraging open learning, practice, discovery and troubleshooting. The simulation-based learning environment helps students develop 21st-century skills such as decision-making, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving.

Supporting Quotes:

* Amy Christen, vice president of corporate affairs and general manager of the Cisco Networking Academy, said:

“As networks become increasingly strategic and critical for organizations of all sizes, it is imperative that technology students have exposure to the fundamentals of computer science and IT to be competitive in today’s challenging job market. With a solid foundation of technical skills, the updated IT Essentials course helps to prepare students for successful careers across a variety of industries.”

* Serdil Demir, a student in Istanbul, said:

“The course provides simulations of problems that we will face in real life. After working on virtual computers in the system, dealing with real computers becomes much easier. Following my IT Essentials training, I started to work in a small technical service company in Istanbul. After my experience there, I became an intern for a major IT company where I’m responsible for managing an advanced network.”

Supporting Resources:

* Cisco Networking Academy:
* Courses and certifications:

Technorati Tags:

Talent Development, Networking, Cisco, Cisco Networking Academy, IT Essentials, Course Updates, CCNA, CompTIA Certifications, IT, Interest in IT, Excited About IT
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