CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION CLASSROOM HIGHLIGHT
The Computer Repair and Networking class introduces students to the inner workings of computers and networks. Students learn how to troubleshoot and repair various hardware, software, and configuration problems. Students also learn how to install basic computer components as well as to install and configure software ranging from operating systems to applications. Students learn how to design, install and troubleshoot Local Area Networks (LAN) Wide Area Networks (WAN).
Q&A with Lezlie Harper: Network Systems Instructor at the Canyons Technical Education Center (CTEC).
Question: What do you want parents and the community to know about your class?
Answer: The Computer Repair and Networking class at CTEC is awesome. Students in this class are trained to work on both the hardware and software components of computers. Students learn to remove virus and spyware programs on computers; they learn to speed up the computer by using tools like Disk Cleanup and Defrag. Students learn to save money by building their own computers from scratch. We have assembled ten new computers this year and are scheduled to complete builds for other students in the computer department at CTEC. During the networking portion of the class students learn to avoid security breaches and hacks. Upon completion of this class, students will be able to configure and monitor routers.
Question: What is the number one challenge for students as they begin to learn networking?
Answer: The number one challenge for students in beginning networking is memorizing the protocols and acronyms used in networking. Without this basic understanding, students can’t adequately complete the hands-on tasks necessary to configure routers and set up networks.
Question: What projects are your students working on?
Answer: Students are currently working on a series of lap tops. Some of the lap tops are older and students are freeing up space to make the computers run faster. Some of the lap tops are currently broken. Students are troubleshooting the lap tops to determine the problem; students will then theorize about solutions and then implement the solution.
In the near future students will meet with representatives from ZAGG, a Salt Lake County-based company that makes see-through protective film for electronic devices, to submit a proposal for the possibility of creating a computer whose tower can be completely submerged in water—an underwater computer build.
Question: Explain the idea/concept behind “an underwater computer build?”
Answer: The underwater computer build will eliminate the need for cooling in the computer case. Without the need for fans, and other liquid cooling methods which are expensive, students want to maintain the temperature of the computer with easily available water. This will save space in the case as well. If successful, the technology could be used in laptops, tablets and other devices. Then there is the “COOL” factor. Imagine being the first one on the block with a computer built in your fish tank! These students are always thinking . . .
Question: What upcoming events are students preparing for?
Answer: On March 7 and March 14, students will be working with the community to upgrade, speed-up, and repair slow or broken computers. Students will be repairing community computers at CTEC from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm.
Question: Are students in your class participating in the upcoming Utah SkillsUSA competition?
Answer: Yes. On March 30 approximately 60 students from Canyons School District/Canyons Technical Education Center will compete in the Utah SkillsUSA competition at Salt Lake Community College where students will demonstrate a myriad of skills and compete against all other high schools in the state.
Question: Are there other competitions that your students are preparing for?
Answer: Yes. In March, eight students will compete in the Cisco NetRiders IT Skills Challenge world-wide competition. In this competition students will take tests to prove their knowledge and program a simulated router. Then in May, twenty-eight students will participate in the IT Challenge hosted by Utah Valley University. Students will compete for prizes and earn industry certifications.
Question: What are students saying about your class?
“It is hard to pinpoint one thing I’ve learned in this class. Everything I’ve learned is applicable to real-world careers and college,” said David Butler III.
“I’ve learned about how computers talk to each other while receiving the IC3 and A+ certifications,” said Ben Conder.
“I’m prepared to repair computers after high school. I’ve learned communication skills, although sometimes people look at me weird when I introduce myself and shake their hand. I love it!” said Justin Jones.
Visit UtahCTE.org to learn more about a career in Information Technology and the Network Systems Pathway.