MASTER THE SKILLS
Understanding the theory behind computer hardware and software support is one thing–being able to actually perform these tasks is quite another. Please understand that CompTIA gives you several performance-based items in addition to the standard multiple-choice questions.
In these performance-based questions you are given a simulated environment; for instance, a Windows 8.1 Desktop, and asked to perform a particular configuration change. Maybe you’ll be asked to statically assign an IP address. Perhaps you’ll be required to disable a device driver. The bottom line is that it is crucial that both you and your students know how to apply the knowledge that you build within the course learning paths. To this end, I strongly suggest that you build a practice networking lab so you can practice the software-related procedures.
You don’t have to spend money to build a practice lab.
Here’s the recipe:
VMWare Workstation: This is free desktop virtualization software for ECPI University students that runs on Windows, OS X, and Linux. To download VMWare, log into Canvas, go to ECPI resources, and click on DreamSpark. This is a single sign on link and you can then get the software you need and download it to your computer. With each free purchase you will get a one year access code which can be renewable every year you are a student.
VMWare images: Every ECPI campus has a library of VMWare images that you can use to create your own virtual network. Talk to your local IT help desk for details.
Microsoft Software: There is free client and server Windows software for ECPI University students. To download Microsoft software, log into Canvas, go to ECPI resources, and click on DreamSpark. This is a single sign on link and you can then get the software you need and download it to your computer. With each free purchase you will get a one year access code which can be renewable every year you are a student.
Linux: CompTIA requires us to know our way around the bash command shell. Bash is present in just about all UNIX and Linux distributions.
Building your virtual lab is only half of the work. The other side is making sure you know how to perform every single task indicated on the aforementioned exam objective blueprints. To develop computer hardware skills, you will need to have some small items in the classroom: PC technician tools, current and/or old, broken hardware.