Achieving Excellence in the New School Year – Computer Information Technology at TCAT-Shelbyville

Our Information Technology Career Cluster winner, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Computer Information Technology (CIT) program has been working hard over the summer to expand its outreach efforts, stretch its curriculum across Career Clusters and reach more students…more

Free College? The Tennessee Promise

TNPromise

Beginning with the Class of 2015, the Tennessee Promise will provide Tennessee high school graduates the opportunity to attend a community or technical college free of tuition and fees.

More information about the Tennessee Promise  (PDF download)

Can Hackers Steal Secrets from Reflections?

I encourage my students to go over and visit Rick, Paul and Bill’s blog.  In 2009, Rick posted a link to a Scientific American article on How Hackers Steal Secrets from Reflections.   Great Article.  With our students going through some of the best security courses available, these links are very valuable.

Although we used a mirror for this example, we have tried glasses and other reflective materials and you can take a picture and reverse the photo.

Reverse Image

Reversed with Irfanview

Corrected with IRFanview

Tablet or Laptop for college?

Tablet or Laptop for college?

As high school students take the summer off and begin to prepare for college, we are often asked what technology students should get for college.   Here’s our answer.  Both – maybe.  Why?

Laptops provide an adequate screen size and can be used for long periods of study.  With a larger screen size than tablets, laptops can help with periods of preparing papers, presentations and just multitask better.   Add a 17+ inch monitor to your laptop and extend your screen to bring up the internet during research.  This allows you to keep your paper up or material up on your laptop screen while researching on the other.   So why not a desktop?  You can get a desktop – however will you need portability?

With Microsoft Windows, chances are you’ll find whatever freeware or software you’ll need and it’ll more than likely have a higher compatibility than other operating systems.   What about an Apple laptop?   They are fine.  Make sure you have parallels loaded and there aren’t any compatibility issues with classes that you have.

For portability, a tablet can quickly take notes, use Microsoft Office (Free for iPad and Android devices) or maybe use apps that are offered in your class.   These devices have a longer battery life, power up quickly and are perfect for class to class operations.

So can’t I just use a smartphone for this?  Absolutely.  Tablets tend to be trendy, expensive for what you truly get- but on the other hand, they can help.   The choice is yours and this may be based on the type of classes that you sign up for.  Which tablet?  This becomes a complex question but with Apple Store, Google Play or a Microsoft Surface, you can generally find an app for your tablet.

Remember to use synchronization and iCloud or OneDrive to hold non sensitive documents so they will always be available for your laptop, tablet and/or phone.  Guard your flash drives and have at least a 16 or 32 gb drive.

Protect your asset with device tracking from Apple, Google Apps or Prey Project.  Always load anti-virus, get your updates and never leave your device unattended.

Here’s the final answer.  You should get a laptop and decide if you need a tablet or if your smartphone will do.  Dollar for dollar, you’ll get a ton more storage with a laptop and with Google Chrome loaded as a browser, you’ll be surprised at the Apps you can loaded in chrome (hundreds).  Thousand of freeware software and true computing power give laptops the edge.  With multiple USB, HDMI, Wireless or Wired Network, a tablet again doesn’t compare.

Research your classes and remember the likelihood that you’ll change majors is almost a given.

An unnecessary path to tech: A Bachelor’s degree

An unnecessary path to tech: A Bachelor’s degree.

An excellent article on education and technical careers from Computerworld.  TCAT Shelbyville”s CIT program has a 98% retention and 92%+ placement.   Is a degree worth the money?  Yes, after you start your technical career.  Your education in technology cannot end once you start your career.    Are certifications worth their weight?  Absolutely.  If you know the hands-on.   The three, academia, certifications and hands-on is the fastest way to a career in IT.

Computer Information Technology wins CTE: Excellence in Action Award

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(L-R) Mike Miller, Assistant IT Manager, Dawn Babain, Network Administrator-LMS Specialist, Ivan Jones, TCAT Director and Steve Mallard, IT Manager

 

More information on the CIT Program

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) is pleased to announce our first annual Excellence in Action award, which will recognize and honor superior Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study from around the nation.  



Selected programs of study will exemplify excellence in the implementation of the Career Clusters, and have a meaningful impact on student achievement and success. All winners will be honored at the 2014 Achieving Excellence in Career Technical Education: The National Career Clusters Institute in Phoenix, Arizona on June 16, 2014. – See more at: The National Association of State Directors – CTE

 

Winners will also be featured:

  • In a national press release, which will be distributed to national media.
  • In a one-pager, used as part of NASDCTEc’s federal advocacy toolkit.
  • In a monthly newsletter sent to members of Congress.
  • In a standalone blog on Learning that Works blog.

- See more at: http://www.careertech.org/career-technical-education/award.html#sthash.q6yrhz1T.dpuf

Solving The Security Workforce Shortage – DarkReading

According to the study, the most sought-after quality is a broad knowledge of security — more of a strategic understanding than technical know-how followed by certifications.  Read More

Opinion – While certifications are an important part of IT, the technical know-how is the most important. Getting a degree or a certification is a great advancement for your education but can you configure a firewall? Run Linux-OSX- Windows? Support mobile, wireless, servers with Active Directory and monitor and control an IT environment?   That’s the difference between $12 an hour and a career.