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Cutting-Edge Content in the IT Classroom

This spring, the National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) continued its new “Brown Bag” webinar series that offers special topic presentations via bite-sized, 30-minute segments. To date, the four “Brown Bag” webinars have attracted 194 attendees and received very positive survey feedback – 77% “strongly agreed” that attending the webinar was time well-spent, 59% ‘absolutely” or “most likely” would incorporate webinar elements in their class, and 55% “absolutely” intended to share the recording with colleagues. This series was inspired by a request from the CTC’s National Visiting Committee review panel to find new ways to offer additional faculty professional development.

The February 2021 “Brown Bag” webinar was entitled “How to Bring Practical AI to the Community College.” Matthew Cloud, Assistant Professor of Data Analytics and Department Chair of IT and Criminal Justice at Ivy Tech Community College, explored practical strategies to teach AI and ML concepts to community college students. He believes introducing students to AI concepts should initially limit heavy math programing requirements to better increase interest in the topic. Matthew specifically mentioned Oracle Academy, AWS Academy, and AWS Educate as offering good foundational lessons and tools in AI. You can watch a recording here.

The April 2021 “Brown Bag” webinar was entitled “Integrating Raspberry Pi into You IT Program.” Kerry Bruce, a CIS instructor at Central New Mexico Community College – offered a number of practical classroom uses for the Raspberry Pi, a low-cost and flexible tool for hands-on classwork. He provided a number of specific examples of possible uses of Raspberry Pi inside existing system administration, networking, cloud, cybersecurity, and programming classes. For example, in Network+ classes Kerry has his students build the network infrastructure on Raspberry Pis. More specifics can be found on Kerry’s website You can also watch a recording here.

You can watch recordings of the previous “Brown Bag” webinars – November’s Providing IT in a Crisis and December’s Avoiding LinkedIn Blunders .

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