[BSDCert] Tried to mail this at bsdcertification.org - Help a potential educator
dlavigne6 at sympatico.ca
Sun Nov 6 10:43:48 EST 2005
On Sat, 5 Nov 2005, Steve Norcup wrote:
> So now here I am, post college with a degree in air traffic control. I am
> loafing around with nothing in particular to do, but I have been following
> the news on your web site closely, because I spend 8-12 hours at a shot un
> supervised with an internet connection.
> Today I went through the BSD Associate Exam Objectives.
> Now, during my days of more involved computer nerdom, I played a lot with
> Linux and FreeBSD, and to my surprise, I feel very comfortable with the
> skills outlined and listed. So much so, that I feel I could most likely teach
> I really dont know how to go about getting started in something like this. I
> think I could write a lesson plan, and lay out a course, but I need marketing
> and a facility to teach in. I am really not sure about how to go about
> finding those things.
> I am not sure what I am asking for right now, if anything at all, but I would
> like to be involved, and this struck me as a good way to break into teaching.
> If there is anyone there that could maybe offer some direction, it would be
> greatly appreciated.
I'll start with something concrete you can do, then follow with my
personal training experience which is a bit different from Jeremy's.
Concrete: we're finalizing the wiki and formatting environment for the
upcoming Educational Guidelines document. I'll be posting an email in the
next day or so with the details for those who wish to assist in the
creation of this document. Seeing that you have the spare time and want to
learn how to gather course information, you may be interested in helping
out with this document.
Personal experience: I was already an IT trainer at a private college when
I got into BSD. This college specialized in retraining; that is, non-IT
people started at the basics and eventually emerged as system and network
administrators. I was fortunate enough to have latitude in the course
curricula and labs (read as there wasn't any pre-existing material...)--as
long as students gained skills and passed their certifications the college
was happy. So as I gained BSD knowledge, BSD started creeping into the
lectures and the labs.
Now, the college wasn't interested in a BSD class per se, as there was no
certification to offer and no business reason to justify the course to the
funder (most students were funded by govt. programs). The reasoning was
that there were other Unix-like OSs which could be taught and result in a
piece of paper: Solaris, SCO, Linux... However, I was allowed to hold a
BSD club at the school after hours. And when we started teaching security
certifications, the entire security lab ran on BSD. In the end, a whole
bunch of students who would have otherwise never heard of BSD at least
received some exposure to it and I got a reputation as a BSD advocate.
My next private college had a different audience: corporate training for
existing system administrators. This is far more challenging. Previously I
knew exactly what knowledge students had as it depended upon how far into
their program they were, and I knew that the entire class was at the same
IT knowledge level. With existing admins, knowledge can range from
complete noob to expert and varies with every particular subject at hand.
If the students are from the same dept. of the same employer, there is a
good chance they are working at basically the same level; if the class
consists of students from several employers, there is always the danger
that a lower existing skill level will slow down the course for those at a
more advanced level. The trainer then has to walk the line between leaving
students behind mired in lostness or having extremely bored and sometimes
snoring advanced students.
While the funders have changed, the business reasons have not. Corporate
training is often done for large companies who are used to spending
ridiculous sums on training and often give employees a yearly tuition
amount. So, money is not the problem. Justifying the spending of the money
is. Being who I am, BSD still creeps into my training and is often the
topic of discussion at break and lunch. Many of the sysadmins I teach have
a BSD box at home or in their work testing lab and know of at least one
BSD box being used at work as a firewall, mail server, etc. Many would
sign up in a second for a BSD course, which the college currently offers.
Yet we have yet to hold a BSD class. Why? For one, there's no
certification (yet) to write. For two, the person who cuts the cheque for
training has never heard of BSD. For three, BSD training isn't "hot".
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