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Come See Us at the WASTC Conference


For the sixth year, the National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) will be helping support travel for a delegation of IT faculty from its Convergence College Network (CCN) community to present best practices at a IT education conference in California’s San Francisco Bay Area.   Until 2015, this two-day January event was hosted by the Mid-Pacific ICT Center, an ATE center based at City College San Francisco.  When MPICT closed, the demand for the conference was so great that Cisco’s WASTC (Western Support and Training Center) took over organizing and hosting it.

Six presentations from CCN-affiliated programs will be delivered to attendees at the conference.  These presentations offer an interesting glimpse into the overall grant goals of the National CTC, particularly with regard to the growing need for entry-level IT workers to understand security and coding concepts.

* Ann Beheler (National CTC) – “Latest Business-Led Curriculum for IT and Communications with Cyber Infusion”

All of the CTC’s goals are built on the expert recommendation of its BILT (Business and Industry Leadership Team).  Every IT program (and every technical education program, for that matter) should develop an engaged partnership with IT business and industry leaders to help steer curriculum and support students and faculty initiatives.  Ann will talk about this successful model with the help of one of the CTC’s most active BILT members – Mercedes Adams from NetApp.

* Oner Celepcikay, Wharton County JC (TX) – “Cybersecurity Education: Make Learning Coding Great Again!”

* Rafat Elsharef, Milwaukee Area Technical (WI)  – “Cybersecurity for Industrial Control Systems”

These two sessions will look at cybersecurity concepts from two angles.  Oner will discuss ways to energize IT students in the classroom and get them interested in a cybersecurity career.  Rafat will look at the business side of cybersecurity and discuss issues related to teaching security concepts unique to industrial processes.  Regular readers of this blog will know that the CTC’s BILT continually stresses the importance of security skills.  At this point, the BILT urges every IT class to cover security concepts.

* Chenchutta Jackson, Volunteer State Community College (TN) – “Increase Female Interest and Enrollment in CIT”

Volunteer State is one of the schools participating in the National CTC’s “Diversity Summit” pilot program that supports customized recruiting and retention initiatives designed to boost IT minority student enrollment numbers.  Chenchutta is the lead faculty member steering Volunteer State’s “Diversity Summit” strategy and will share details on its progress, which includes high school outreach in high schools and a “Lunch and Learn” event series for adult students looking for a new degree option.

* Rajiv Malkan, Lone Star College (TX) – “Incorporating Secure Coding Concepts in the Curriculum”

One of the CCN’s new grant partner schools is Lone Star College in Houston.  Rajiv will present classroom tools and exercises  to teach students the concepts of secure coding – development processes to help avoid the kinds of coding errors that creates security vulnerabilities.

* Bill Saichek, Orange Coast College (CA) – “Teaching the Internet of Things Has Just Become Far More Interesting”

Bill’s one of the CCN’s resident experts on Internet of Things curriculum.  This WASTC session will be a variation on the IoT track he taught at Summer Working Connections in Texas and Michigan.  Specifically, Bill will talk about how IoT can be integrated into curriculum via exercises in programming microcontrollers using Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Echo, and Raspberry-PIs/Arduinos.

Registration for the Winter ICT Educators’ Conference is only $100 and runs through December 29:

If you’re going, please be sure to visit us at one of these sessions!

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