Community Sharing of Curriculum

CCN members from schools across the country gather during a 2016 annual summer meeting.

CCN members from schools across the country gather during a 2016 summer annual meeting.

Four times a year, the National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) hosts a meeting of its Convergence College Network (CCN) community of over 60 community colleges and universities from 24 states across the country.  These meetings are one of the prime benefits of membership in the CCN in that they provide the perfect platform for resource sharing, peer networking, and best practice dissemination.

At a recent CCN meeting, attendees received a briefing on upcoming CCN web meetings and webinar trainings, discussed some of the online resources the CTC provides, debated some of the challenges of engaging business councils and faculty to work together to strengthen IT curriculum and meet the realities of the workforce, and conducted the usual sort of “housekeeping” items such as grant reporting.

But the last 30 minutes of the meeting was devoted to faculty sharing.  In a survey of a CCN member, the sharing of resources and practices between schools was reported as one of the most valuable elements of the quarterly meetings.  At this particular meeting, several CCN faculty members shared what they learned at the HI-TEC conference this past summer in Utah.  The hope was that these short reports would allow those who didn’t attend to take advantage of those who did.

Specifically, CCN members discussed the impact of conference sessions on…

  • The internet of things (“IoT”). This school’s IT program will be discussing the possibility of developing new IoT classes – that also includes cloud and security elements – for their AASS Networking degree next fall. To view the HI-TEC presentation here.
  • Xamarin, a platform for app development that works with iOS and Android. This university now will be considering Xamarin for both university capstone classes and summer tech camps for middle schoolers and high schoolers that develop apps. To view the HI-TEC presentation here.
  • Building automation systems. This community college may include that approach with its networking classes.  The school just built a new manufacturing center that’s all network based so “automation systems” curriculum might offer a way to integrate that manufacturing center’s infrastructure into the existing networking program.
  • FAA rules and licenses for unmanned aircraft systems (better known as drones). This knowledge will be incorporated into the school’s new drone program that was recently funded by an institutional grant. To view the HI-TEC presentation here.
  • Arduino and C. This school plans to use that technology in their “Innovation Room” lab for introductory computer classes.
  • The University of Texas’ unique online “Bachelors of Arts – IT” program. This school believes the BAIT may save its networking program by offering lower tuition costs and accepting more IT credit hours than the school’s home state. To view the HI-TEC presentation here.

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