Taking the Cisco 350-401 ENCOR test and passing it with good grades is not an easy task. Enterprise networking technologies are increasing at an intense level. In particular, the Cisco 350-401 ENCOR certification is accessible, and the training embodies success to obtain it and pass the 350-401 exams dumps. Not every IT professional has the ability to accomplish this task. The Cisco 350-401 Enterprise certifications allow you to gain more in-depth knowledge about networking technologies. Furthermore, it assists in gaining skills to deal with security issues and implement automation methods. Consequently, one of the visible benefits of taking the Cisco 350-401 ENCOR exam is that you will excel in your career.
Indeed, the 350-401 certification will help you stand out in a crowd for several reasons.
The Cisco certification test proves the ability of an individual to deal with and manage Cisco Enterprise wireless and wired networks. It is a part of the syllabus to get the ultimate command to implement security solutions. Therefore, it is necessary to commit to prepare for the 350-401 test and acknowledge the benefits. Moreover, all 350-401 training and online material is available for the Cisco test preparation.
To understand the syllabus well, it is good to practice Cisco 350-401 ENCOR tests online. This will help to prepare well for the Cisco test and also Strengthen the 350-401 course credits. The online 350-401 practice tests are taken according to the test structure.
Candidates can start the Cisco ENCOR 350-401 test preparation right away. The 350-401 ENCOR dumps, along with practice questions and answers, are also available online. The 350-401 Crack dumps with study guide and 350-401 test dumps allow the candidate to train and pass certification at the first attempt.
Indeed, the 350-401 ENCOR dumps, practice questions, and study guide are the only solutions you need to pass the certification exams. The practice questions are joined together by the industry experts. So, get immediate online help and study hard to pass hassle-free.
Cisco 350-401 ENCOR training videos, study guides, and practice questions are gathered by the experts. Prepare, study, and pass the ENCOR 350-401 certification test by practicing test questions and going through dumps to get immediate help.
The Cisco 350-401 ENCOR test material helps many candidates master the enterprise networking technologies. It also allows them to understand the core of automation infrastructure, security, and network assurance. The test is 120 minutes’ total following the certification updates. The individuals will get a chance to broaden their IT skills and enhance their knowledge. However, after passing the ENCOR 350-401 exam, they will get great positions in the IT field. The relevant material confirms that the candidate must have skills to configure, manage, and troubleshoot wired or wireless networks.
The self-study material includes all of the practice questions, comprehensive lab videos, and various challenges. All of the challenges let the candidates validate their abilities and skills. Indeed, the idea of providing complete ENCOR 350-401 test materials is to prepare candidates for certification without any hassle. It promotes organized study involving quizzes, questions, online practice tests, and review concepts. Thus, all of the resources with brilliant content mastery are available online.
Passing the Cisco 350-401 ENCOR test will make a candidate a capable professional in automation and security. Moreover, it enables the candidate to handle all types of network technologies. So, passing the 350-401 test with a flying score is a reliable option to get a good job. Truly, a candidate needs to manage their time efficiently to prepare well for the exam. Significantly, there are several advantages to be a certified Cisco 350-401 ENCOR professional.
So, it is best to work hard for the 350-401 test by considering the reliable course material available online. While the online Cisco 350-401 ENCOR practice questions online prove to be very helpful. Complete 350-401 dumps enable to assess the knowledge growth more appropriately.
Be a Cisco 350-401 ENCOR certified professional and acquire proficiency and skills in network technologies.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :
The media, journalists, and the public are prone to oversimplification. And hackers are no exception. Hackers get a bad rap in movies and TV shows. Their reputation is often that of a shadowy, secretive, or marginal group. Here’s how people make hacking a legit career choice.
Possibly it’s the evil genius who can quickly break government systems. Why? Maybe it’s political beliefs or just the lols. But, even the introvert, “the basement hacker,” who is untrained and disorganized, can be a dangerous adversary.
As such, your imagination probably doesn’t conjure ethical hackers. In recent years, though, many large companies have hired white hat hackers. Why? They’re hired to prevent attacks, bugs, and threats and test and monitor their systems.
What’s more, ethical hackers are making a solid living. According to ZipRecruitor, the national average is $135,269 a year for an ethical hacking job in the US.
Apart from a high salary, a good hacker can make money in various ways outside of their regular job. For example, if you want to make your own schedule or don’t want to be tied to any one location, that’s appealing.
But how can you make hacking a legit career choice? Well, let’s find out.
Professional hackers test the security of companies. To verify whether their security controls are effective, they hire hackers. Additionally, they will make security suggestions.
Before releasing a new web application, a company might hire hackers to find weaknesses. The application will be less vulnerable to hackers when it hits the market as a result.
In addition, private companies and governments hire hackers. Competitive intelligence is in the interest of private companies. To force customers to switch to their services by making their competitors unavailable. Isn’t that illegal? I wouldn’t pursue this career path, although it’s 100% illegal.
Hacking other companies is considered espionage. Government information is mainly kept electronically, so accessing government agencies or third-party providers can be beneficial. Some governments also use cybercrime as a revenue source. North Korea is one of the most infamous examples because its dedicated cybercrime division generates millions of dollars every year.
Again, there are lots of controversies over hacking. A hacker can serve either a malicious or a beneficial purpose, as shown above.
Hackers generally fall into three categories:
In contrast, black hat hackers engage in illegal activities.
Awareness of different types of hackers and their legal nuances will help professionals understand their ethical hacker boundaries. For instance, when starting out, you could be a Penetration Tester. To prevent cyber-attacks, vulnerabilities must be identified in a system or application. Then, in the event that their system has a fault, they inform the organization.
Blackhat hackers have sometimes become whitehat hackers. To be a successful ethical hacker, you need high ethical standards. Blackhat hackers are undoubtedly technical. Their problem is that they lack character discipline.
Candidates for ethical hacking jobs should possess the following skills as well as the “ethical” part:
Problem-solving skills, pressure tolerance, and the ability to think outside the box are also critical. Ethical hackers also require passion, communication skills, flexibility, and innovative thinking.
So, how do you make a successful and fulfilling career in ethical hacking? The following is a complete career path for getting into ethical hacking.
To succeed in ethical hacking, you should do this first. If you plan to study ethical hacking, however, make sure your field of study is related to it. In general, CyberSecurity or IT.
A degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or a related field will provide you with the foundation. It can also help you make a living hacking even though there is no requirement for specific education.
You can earn a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in CS/IT. In addition, you can take courses on ethical hacking. These qualifications are also required when hiring ethical hackers by various organizations.
One of the most well-known certifications is offered by EC-Council. During their 5-day ethical hacking certification, they teach everything from ethical hacking to types of attacks. After completing the course, candidates can take the Licensed Penetration Tester exam.
Ethical hackers must be proficient in programming languages and frameworks. Among its many benefits are the ability to identify programming errors and vulnerabilities, the implementation of security solutions, and automation of tasks — to name a few.
Various programming languages are available to enter this field, including C/C++, Java, Python, Ruby, and others. Besides that, you’ll have to learn several operating systems like LINUX, UNIX, Windows, and iOS. Of course, these operating systems must be well understood by ethical hackers.
Ethical hacking requires an understanding of computer networks and cyber security concepts. You must have a basic to advanced knowledge of computer networking and security, such as:
It is also imperative to consider various hacking concepts, including Penetration Testing, Cloud Computing malware, SQL Injection, and Vulnerability Assessment.
Various resources are available for learning about computer networks and cybersecurity, including books, journals, YouTube videos, and online courses.
To learn ethical hacking, you must work your way up from beginner to advanced. Meanwhile, you can learn about ethical hacking through books and videos. But, of course, you’ll also have to interact with experts and get hands-on to gain more knowledge and exposure.
A relevant and worthwhile training program or boot camp can also help you gain practical experience in ethical hacking.
After you complete the above learning processes, it’s time to get certified and validate your ethical hacking skills. You can land various career opportunities even if you have no experience. Certifications include:
Certifications such as Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) are among the most demanding and renowned ethical hacking certifications. Within 240 minutes, candidates must answer 125 multiple-choice questions about SQL Injection, Backdoors, Session Hijacking, and other ethical hacking topics.
Now you can start your professional career as an ethical hacker. At first, you might be a Security Analyst or Penetration Tester. From there, ethical hacking jobs include Network Security Administrators, System Administrators, Web Security Managers, and Information Security Managers.
Additionally, you can join several government organizations, such as the investigation department, law enforcement, etc., as an ethical hacker besides private businesses.
The easiest way to make money hacking? Working as a penetration tester. In essence, you’d be a full-time employee testing company security.
The low barrier to entry makes this an ideal first job. Moreover, you’ll be able to learn from more experienced people. As such, you get to grow at work and increase your pay.
As a freelancer, you can work either part-time with a job or full-time. There are many bug bounty programs where companies, such as Apple, Intel, and Cisco, permit people to hack into their networks, applications, and websites. In exchange for disclosing what the hacker has discovered, the company rewards the hacker with cash.
If this is something that interests you, here’s a list of the 30 top bug bounty programs here. There’s no limit to how much you can work, and it’s open to everyone.
However, there is a great deal of competition. In addition, it can be hard to find bugs significant enough to warrant a reward early on in your career. As such, I would recommend this to intermediate to experienced computer hackers.
Unlike freelance work, a contract position usually involves working for one client. Usually, this is for a short time period, such as 6-12 months.
Many companies don’t hire penetration testers full-time for a variety of reasons. For example, a company only needs to test new products once or twice a year. So basically, they’ll hire someone for a short while to perform the testing and then let them go when they’re no longer needed.
Programmers might find this interesting. Most hacking tasks are performed using premade scripts or software. However, experienced hackers usually create custom scripts and tools to simplify their work.
As a hacker, you can make serious money selling software. It’s easy to resell tools once you make them and update them. Eventually, you can earn passive income this way.
Despite their skill, many hackers do not continue hacking full-time. Instead, they often take their expertise and start a security business that tests companies’ security. This method can maximize profits, but it will require a high level of experience, expertise, and specific knowledge.
It’s even possible for people to go from getting criminal charges for cybercrime to setting up their own businesses. The case of Kevin Mitnick, who was convicted of computer and communications crimes in 1995, is an example of this. As of today, he is the founder and CEO of Mitnick Security Consulting LLC. Aside from being the Chief Hacking Officer for KnowBe4, he is also an advisory board member for Zimperium.
Image Credit: Cottonbro; Pexels; Thank you!
The post How People Make Hacking a Legit Career Choice appeared first on Calendar.
Why Study Cybersecurity at EIU?
Strong Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment opportunities for Information Security Analysts is expected to increase at a much higher than average rate over the next decade, at 18% from 2014-2024. Similarly, The Illinois Department of Employment Security projects over 30% growth in the profession from 2012-2022. There is significant and growing demand for professionals with an information security background, and not enough supply of graduates to meet this demand. The M.S. in Cybersecurity is designed for working professionals with a general information technology background to specialize in this growing field to help to fill the projected demand for security expertise and to provide accessible professional growth opportunities for Illinois professionals and those from other areas interested in cybersecurity.
Clear and Marketable Career Path
The cybersecurity program prepares our students to become leaders and technical managers in cybersecurity, which requires solid understanding of security technology and organizational management principles and practices in order for graduates to make sensible and responsible decisions. Typical positions include (but are not limited to):
Network Security Specialist
Information Assurance Specialist
Computer Security System Analyst
Web Security Engineer
Information Security Officer
Information Security Operations Manager
Identity Management Analyst
IT Security Manager
The M.S. in Cybersecurity requires successful completion of 32 semester hours of coursework. The program courses are designed to provide a well-rounded balance among technical, administrative and design applications in cybersecurity. Because of its focus on practitioners, the decision was made to offer a culminating residential capstone experience, rather than require completion of a thesis. This comprehensive course will separate students into teams that use the knowledge acquired throughout the program to design, implement and administrate security for a computer network. Each team will then be tasked with breaking into another team's defense system. Post-exercise, evaluation will include discussion, team presentations, and written reports applying program concepts to evaluate the experience, describe lessons learned, produce an IT risk assessment and security audit, and develop organizational security policies and plans.
Cybersecurity Growth Opportunities
The EIU Cybersecurity program is designed to prepare graduates to take relevant certification exams, specifically CISCO Certified Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and the COMPTIA Security+. According to the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), are requisites for entering and performing successfully in the cybersecurity profession. Online laboratories will allow students to practice at their convenience so they can growth at their own pace or experiment with alternatives not discussed in class or as part of special assignments or projects.
Dedicated and Highly Qualified Faculty
Faculty in the program have all experience teaching technology security related courses at the undergraduate and the master's levels but a combination of certifications and technical courses aimed to teach practical technological applications. They are actively engaged in professional development and research in their respective specialized areas. Faculty members are always dedicated to the true success of the students.
Extensive Engagement Opportunities
Students in the M.S. in Cybersecurity will have the opportunity to attend, publish and/or present their course special projects or research in this annual conference aimed to engage and interchange professional experiences with other professionals in cybersecurity. In addition, former EIU cybersecurity students working as cybersecurity certified in top notch companies (i.e. Google, AT&T) will be invited to share their experiences via online conferences at which our students can ask questions regarding their future opportunities as cybersecurity specialists.
Eastern Illinois University: MS in Cybersecurity
DevOps is an enabler of digital transformation.
How DevOps works in the enterprise is one of key questions business leaders have been asking.
This relatively new discipline, which Atlassian describes as agile applied beyond the software team, is helping businesses release products fast, but without cutting corners — which is “the name of the game at the moment in the digital world”, according to Gordon Cullum, speaking as CTO at Mastek — now technology director at Axiologik.
Increasingly, DevOps is the style in which businesses want to interact with each other in the digital age; it’s about rapidity of release without sacrificing and compromising on quality.
Patrick Callaghan, vice-president, partner CTO at DataStax, goes one step further.
He suggests that businesses “can’t truly function as an enterprise without applying DevOps software development principles…. DevOps in practice is ideal for organisations looking to streamline production, automate processes and build a culture of collaboration within their software teams. DevOps innovators are confident in their code because they both test it and make it fail in order to produce reliable apps.”
How important is diversity in implementing a successful DevOps and IT strategy?
The importance of new ideas and embracing new ways of thinking can’t be underestimated when thinking about DevOps and IT. Read here
How DevOps works? Before getting into this, it’s important to understand what is DevOps.
Quoting AWS, ‘DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organisation’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products at a faster pace than organisations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes. This speed enables organisations to better serve their customers and compete more effectively in the market.’
This is a very practical explanation, but there are multiple definitions of the term.
It’s often described as a set of evolutionary practices inherited from the ways of agile working, which are more tuned to bringing the delivery and operational support communities closer together. This surrounds using processes and tooling that has been developed over the years for things like test automation, continuous integration, continuous deployment, to enable the faster flow of code. These new releases of code could be new functionality, architectural change or bug fixes.
“It’s a combination of keeping the lights on and changing delivery,” says Cullum.
DevOps or disappear: 5 reasons business leaders need to embrace development and operational IT integration
What is the right storage software needed for DevOps to be a success?
3 DevOps pitfalls and how to avoid them
DevOps and CloudOps: The connection behind digital transformation acceleration
Why DevOps must become BizDevOps for business and IT collaboration
Best DevOps practices for 2019
The future of DevOps
Bringing delivery and support together is a throwback to the 1980s and 1990s, “where IT just did IT and you didn’t care whether you asked them to fix a bug or deliver functionality,” continues Cullum.
This ethos is being reinvigorated in DevOps. But the reason it works and is more powerful today is because of the emergence of enabling technologies and new ways of working.
“While, 20 to 30 years ago we may have had JFDI approaches for getting stuff into live environments, what we now have are very controlled, measured processes, brought around by tools such as Puppet and Jenkins — these all create the robust, quality, managed pipeline that allows fast delivery,” explains Cullum.
Culturally, the discipline brings lots of old and new ideas together
The reason DevOps has emerged now is because companies are involved in a highly competitive arms race.
Everything is accelerating so fast from a delivery point of view; if businesses can’t release code quickly, then they are probably already being disrupted. This brings challenges, but also provides advantages if you are already on that curve. Agile work patterns, for example, only really work if the organisation already has a relatively modern architecture.
The other area in the acceleration of DevOps is the emergence of cloud services. Over the last five to 10 years, the cloud has enabled very quick, easy and at times cost effective processes and techniques. These can be spun out in environments, infrastructures, platforms or whole services, and can be wired together very easily.
What this means is that architects are more able to build componentised architectures that are independently able to be released, modified and scaled from each other.
“So modern techniques, such as microservices and even serverless architectures, really accelerate the uptake of DevOps capabilities from a delivery and support point of view within an organisation,” says Cullum.
Bringing all these things together; the rise of cloud, the need to get things out faster but at a high quality, the rise of all the tooling that enables fast pipeline deliveries, changing culture and IT, what you’ve got is DevOps.
According to Statista, 21 per cent of DevOps engineers have added source code management to their DevOps practices, in the aim to accelerate the release of code.
DevOps vs Agile: pulling in the same direction in the enterprise
DevOps vs Agile. How do these two disciplines work in the enterprise, and why are they crucial in moving forward in a collaborative, customer-focused way? Read here
What is the best approach organisations can take to DevOps? “It’s horses for courses-type conversation,” answers Cullum. By this, he means there are a lot of “complications under the hood”.
The first thing for organisations would be to identify why they want to adopt DevOps, so “they can keep their eyes on the prize”.
“It’s not about a marketing term, it’s not about somebody at c-level saying we want to implement DevOps, go away and do it,” suggests Cullum. “You have to know why you’re trying to do it. What is it you want? Do you want repeatable quality? Do you want cheaper or faster deliveries? Do you recognise a need to modify the architecture,” he asks?
The leaders at legacy organisations, such as an older bank with monolithic environments, can’t just send their IT department on a DevOps training programme and expect them to be able to change the way they release software on mainframes. “It isn’t going to work like that,” suggests Cullum. In this scenario, there needs to be an architecture enablement programme that takes place, “which is how these legacy organisations can make sure that the services they deliver through the IT estate can be componentised in a way that delivery teams can run at their own pace.”
So, how DevOps works depends on the journey. There is no simple answer. But, the key takeaways for business leaders would be; don’t underestimate the cultural change required (people have to buy into the idea, similar to digital transformation), don’t rely too much on heavy documentation (you’re not going to know everything up front) and approach risk proactively (don’t be afraid of change).
If business then decide to implement DevOps within teams, from a process and method point of view, then these questions must be addressed; is your architecture able to support it? Is a leadership roadmap in place that creates the environment necessary to start delivering fast, high quality, automated deliveries?
“It’s a good question and requires a very consultative answer,” says Cullum.
As with any new disciple, even traditional ones in technology, the skills gap proves irksome. So, when implementing DevOps, should organisations retrain or bring in new talent?
It’s probably a bit of both, but the biggest thing people need is the right attitude. Mastek soon found this, according to Cullum. The programmers, designers and product managers who have been in the industry for 15 to 20 years are sometimes resistant to the change DevOps brings. They need to embrace a rapid change mindset, and accept that delivery and operations need to get closer together.
Generally, however, if “you aren’t already stuck in the mud at a senior level”, individuals in the industry are already well versed in the pace of change and in learning new techniques — they have to be “cross-skilled,” as Cullum describes.
Top DevOps interview Questions and Answers revealed
Five experts provide Information Age with their top DevOps interview questions and answers, while revealing the skills and attitudes that impress them the most. Read here
Justifying this, he explains that what Mastek is finding is that it’s easier to train trainee engineers in new techniques, because they haven’t yet been conditioned to think in the older, waterfall-style ways of thinking.
“It’s harder to change attitude than it is to change a technology skill set,” he says. “So, we are cross-training and it’s working quite successfully, but we are seeing an accelerating effect by focusing on DevOps and agile techniques for our trainees.”
To satisfy this, there are seven key skills for businesses to consider:
2. Security skills
4. Scripting skills
6. Infrastructure knowledge
7. Soft skills
Digital transformation is a wholesale reinvention of business — embracing digital, culturally and technologically.
“If you’re not reinventing your business processes, then you are not doing a transformation,” points out Cullum.
But, if businesses are reinventing business processes, then by definition they’re probably going to be overhauling large chunks of their IT estate, including the aforementioned legacy.
Why do we need DevOps? For the business and consumer
Businesses — especially large enterprises — must embrace DevOps to challenge the competition and meet their consumers’ digital experience demands. Read here
By embarking on this journey, sooner or later, these transformative businesses will be moving into a modern-style architecture with different components and different paces of different deliveries.
“In our case, we often talk about pace-layered deliveries,” says Cullum. “You’re going to put a lot more focus in your systems of differentiation and innovation, and they have to have rapid relatively robust change going in,” he says.
DevOps is the enabler of that.
If businesses aren’t doing DevOps — they might call it something else — or repeatable, automated deployment testing processes then they are not embracing change and able to make releases at the speed of change.
DevOps, like digital, is an assumed norm now. It’s probably a little late to start thinking about it.
“If you aren’t already thinking about it or aren’t already doing it, you’re probably way behind the curve,” warns Cullum.
In digitally-resistant organisations it is likely that there are “guerrilla factions” that are trying DevOps. “In this case, you should probably go and look at what’s going on there and work out how you can industrialise that and scale it out,” he advises. “If you aren’t doing any of that, then you’re probably holding yourself back as a business.”
Some argue, however, it’s never too late to join the DevOps integration race.
The DevOps challenge: outdated IT estate architectures
The biggest DevOps challenge is that not all IT estate architectures are suitable for a DevOps approach… they are not modern. Read here
Callaghan suggests that Netflix is a great example of making DevOps work for the business.
He says: “Netflix has used Apache Cassandra™ for its high availability, and to test for this they wrote a series of testing libraries called “Chaos Monkey.” For example, both “Chaos Kong” and “Chaos Gorilla” tests are used to decimate Netflix infrastructure to evaluate the impact on availability and function. As a result of the practice, Netflix is confident in their system and its reliability. DevOps software development practice enables Netflix to effectively speed up development and produce an always-on experience for their users.”
The DevOps engineer: fulfilling the software development life cycle
The DevOps engineer is becoming a more common presence in the enterprise. But, what exactly does the role entail and how can you become one? Read here
How to drive impact and change via DevOps — Stephen Magennis, managing director for Expleo Technology (UK technology), discusses how impact and change can be driven via DevOps.
How intelligent software delivery can accelerate digital experience success — Greg Adams, regional vice-president UK&I at Dynatrace, discusses how intelligent software delivery can accelerate digital experience success.
In 21st century classrooms, blackboard chalk is on the endangered list, the pop quiz has been replaced with clicker questions, and bowling alley technology (overhead projector transparencies) has disappeared, thanks to digital projectors and document cameras.
But if you’re going to point to any aspect of the classroom that still hasn’t covered much ground on its trip into the 21st century, it has to be the textbook. This ubiquitous accessory has been beset by editorial controversy as we have seen recently in Texas; has seen consistently high price increases of an average of six percent per year; and still inspires parental derision for the outdated information often portrayed.
And then there’s the matter of weight. The heft of textbooks was the subject of a 21-page report written in 2004 in California for the state’s board of education. According to researchers, the combined weight of textbooks in the four “core” subjects (social studies, math, reading/ language arts, and science) ran, on average, from eight pounds at the first grade level to 20 pounds at the 11th grade level. Legislation to mandate weight limitations quickly followed in that state.
As this comparison of two school districts on opposite sides of the country and economic spectrum illustrates, in a world rich with alternative methods of delivery of content exemplified by digitized conversation, Google books, the Kindle and iPad, the textbook is the next classroom object worthy of transformation.
“Everyone has a different 1:1 approach,” says Gary Brantley, chief information systems officer for the Lorain City School District. “Ours was to eliminate the books.”
Lorain City Schools is located in a city 35 miles from Cleveland. The district has 18 schools and 8,400 students. By moving to digital delivery of textbooks Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson saw an opportunity to address several larger district challenges than simply replacing outdated texts. A majority of families are low-income; its schools were struggling to meet yearly academic progress measures; and the district had just come out from under a state-mandated “fiscal watch.”
And, recalls Brantley, Atkinson was sincerely concerned about the weight of the textbooks being hauled around by the kids in her schools.
That was the atmosphere under which initial discussions began, he says. The district quickly realized that adopting a 1:1 program with digital textooks at the heart of the initiative could reduce textbook expenses and help bring students into the 21st century. “We’re an inner city school district,” says Brantley. “We saw this as a way to level the playing field for our kids and give them equal access and opportunities with technology.”
After a pilot program in 2007 and 2008, the district went after a federal grant to partially fund a full rollout to 9th and 10th graders for the following year. In January 2009, the district used federal Title 1 and Ohio state educational technology grant funds to lease Dell Inspiron 910 netbooks. The following year that program was expanded to 6th, 7th, 8th, and 11th grades, and the district switched to Acer Aspire One AOD150-1577 netbooks. This fall the district hopes to add 12th graders to the program.
The publishers the district is working with on the program are the traditional ones: Pearson Prentice Hall; Holt McDougal; and McGraw-Hill/Glencoe. They have provided versions of the texts, Brantley says, that go beyond simply being a PDF of the book. “It’s interactive. For example, if you have someone like Martin Luther King or John F. Kennedy in a history book, you can click on a picture, and it will tell you information about [that person] or [you can] do a search from the book to get more information about that particular person.”
Brantley is quick with numbers. He says that for 2,600 math books—the number of texts needed for grades nine through 12—the cost was going to be about $182,000. That’s $70 per book. The e-book edition for that same math book was about $15,000. The savings on that one text alone covered a large part of the expense of that first rollout of digital textbooks. The savings don’t stop there. An English textbook was priced at $163,673.05 for 2,475 books—about $66 per book. The digital version of the same volume was a fourth of the cost—$36,554.45.
Explains Brantley, Superintendent Atkinson “was very persistent” that the district find a content provider for the program, even if it wasn’t one of the three or four big textbook publishers. The publishers were willing to try the program in pilot mode. “A lot of trust was built on both sides to make this happen,” he says.
Now, says Brantley, students don’t have to travel to labs to gain access to computers. “Basically, there’s a lab in every classroom. Every kid is using that netbook as a textbook and as a computer.”
Brantley knows the technology is making an impact. “I think it’s pushed us a long way. It’s allowing the students to become a lot more creative in what they do and how they do it. It’s also leveled the playing field. A lot of these kids don’t have computers or internet access at home. Because the books are loaded on the hard drive, [Superintendent Atkinson] has given kids the ability to work on things they’d only have access to in a limited time within the classroom or in the lab.”
Although Brantley says student testing scores have gone up, he can’t confidently point to quantifiable results tied directly to the digital textbooks. “We brought different pieces of technology into the district in the same period, so we have to let the program run for a little while,” he explains.
The Campbell Union High School District, next door to San Jose in California’s Silicon Valley consists of six sites, five of which have been designated by the state as excellent. During the 2009-2010 school year, they performed a pilot program to experiment with the replacement of textbooks with e-readers. Director of Technology Charles Kanavel and his IT team of five distributed 270 Sony Reader Touch model PRS-600s into English classes across the district’s sites.
“These kids get technology. They go home and look at YouTube all day. An e-reader isn’t that hard for them,” Kanavel explains. The goal of the pilot was to get a “true sense of what’s it like for the everyday student to use one of these things in terms of wear and tear and what they wanted to see on the device.”
The effort was spurred by the Williams Settlement, Kanavel says. That California statute calls for California schools to have sufficient educational materials and conditions to meet curriculum standards. In order to meet standards of currency, textbooks need to be replaced every seven years—an expensive proposition in a district with 8,000 students. “It’s $180 for a biology textbook. That’s just one. With e-readers and how ubiquitous they’ve become,” Kanavel recalls asking, “Why do they need to carry 80 pounds worth of books around, when we have the technology to do this differently?”
But that initial test might never have come about if Kanavel hadn’t persisted in trying to woo Sony to participate in the proof of concept, a process that took seven months. The Campbell director focused on Sony because of its durability, price, and open platform. “Kindle, if you drop it, it’s game over,” he says. “With the Nook you have to buy everything from Barnes & Noble. The [Apple] iPad with 32 or 64 Gb, that’s $600 to $800. With one iPad, I can get four e-readers from Sony at around $200 each.”
But persuading the manufacturer to pay attention to education’s needs wasn’t an easy sell. Kanavel, who has a background in investment banking, studied the company’s financial reports and figured out how many e-readers had probably been sold through its nearby Silicon Valley area store, the largest Sony store in the United States.
When he approached the company about doing a test, it replied, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, interesting. But why do we care?” In response, he used this argument: “You sold 14,000 at the Valley Fair store in a three month period. Those are respectable numbers. But realistically, our district is 8,000 kids. You’d sell me 8,000 units. Then I’d have to buy a quarter of that every year forever. Once I start on it, I can’t get off.” He also pointed out that Campbell was only a medium-sized district. “Take San Jose Unified —55,000 students right next door. That would make your store numbers look like nothing. And there are 32 districts in Santa Clara County alone. Think of the entire country. Then they started caring.”
Once Sony was on board, the next hurdle was the textbook publishers trying to safeguard the pricing model, according to Kanavel. He estimates that a single school might have 300 copies of a particular book. On average the textbook will cost $120 on the low side and $180 on the high side. That’s a total outlay of $36,000 to $54,000 for a single textbook in a single school in the Campbell district.
For English classes, however, many of the books contained classic works of literature that are now in the public domain and available on various digital book websites. “Shakespeare is Shakespeare. The guy’s not writing a new version,” Kanavel says. He has been able to make a deal with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for some digital textbooks in PDF format; but others—particularly novels —came from the Sony Reader Store; on Project Gutenberg (a good source for Shakespeare, he says); and via the OverDrive School obtain Library.
The challenge faced by textbook publishers, he points out, is that they have to change their business model. Kanavel wants to set up a site license with the publishers, but so far those negotiations are still on-going, and, besides, many still have to convert their textbooks into the epub format.
But the financials, as this former numbers guy points out, still work out nicely for the district. “For example, historically we have paid $9 a book for paperback copies of Macbeth and 70 to 80 percent of them come back unusable at the end of the year. Now with the e-reader, that replacement cost goes to zero.”
On average 15 out of every 100 books in the district need to be replaced because they’re damaged, lost, or stolen. Often, the same student loses multiple books when he or she loses a backpack. “If you’re a parent, you have to pay to replace all of those books. If your student loses a history book, biology book, math book, and English book, that’s about $600,” Kanavel says. “If they lose an e-reader or it breaks, you pay for the replacement cost of the e-reader —$200 -- then we just obtain the content.” This, he adds, “has long-term implications for budgeting and funding.”
So far, Kanavel says, the pilot has been successful with students. “They’ve taken good care of them. I’ve only had three break out of 270, which is pretty good.” He plans to add an additional 200 e-readers to the district for the next school year. “One thing I’ve been very focused on with this pilot is offsetting the cost of textbook replacement with this device and making it easier on the kids.” He believes the district is on the right track.
Teachers and students are discovering other advantages. The e-readers have built-in dictionaries. If a reader has a visual impairment, text can be upsized quickly. Users can annotate, draw, and take notes—something that’s forbidden with traditional textbooks. When the year is over, the kids will return the devices, and that added material can be wiped from the hard disk.
But e-readers still aren’t perfect, he adds. First, not every book is available in a digital format. He cites a high school classic, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, as an example. Many textbooks have already been put on CD, but those are designed to be used in a PC. Publishers haven’t made huge inroads into converting their materials into the standard epub format that works with the major e-readers. But Kanaval is hopeful those gaps will diminish with time.
With the expected expansion of the pilot, negotiations with Sony continue. “We’ve proven that the kids can take care of them. The technology does work,” Kanavel says. “The next thing is to get Sony to build something bigger—an eight and a half by 11 inch format. And there are a lot of features that we don’t use. We’ve given them feedback on those things. There may be ways to cut cost by eliminating feature sets that can help them balance the cost of manufacturing.”
So given the experiences of these two districts—and others—how does a standard textbook stack up against an e-book? If a publisher needs to repair the mistakes introduced in the text, as happened with math books issued in Sacramento County in spring 2010, it won’t have to arrange to destroy the outdated books and incur shipping costs for the new ones; it can correct the errors and electronically distribute new versions of the content. In the face of a quickly evolving business model, publishers will be forced to adjust their pricing schemes—no doubt, to the advantage of the districts. In the matter of weight— well, the Acer netbook comes in under three pounds, and the Sony device is a little over 10 ounces. Those are metrics anyone can use no matter how much digital content sits on the devices.
In order to have a successful 1:1 implementation, you need hardware, bandwidth, content, and teacher professional development and buy in. But each district will be unique in its approach to implementing each aspect and the entire program. The question of when in implementation a district allows connection to the internet is a case in point. Campbell Union High School District in Silicon Valley wants students to stay on task as it implements e-books. Therefore, the Sony Reader Touch devices being used there don’t include web access. Although Sony does make a model of its e-reader that includes WiFi, according to Director of Technology Charles Kanavel, the decision to leave that feature out helps simplify the transition teachers have to make in integrating the device in the classroom.
“If I’m a teacher and I have these new devices in class, it affects my lesson planning,” he explains. “Without administrative control of access to the internet, some smart kid will make the thing text another e-reader. Then once that kid knows, all the kids will know. In class, instead of reading, they’re texting each other, surfing MySpace, and doing everything else. Have I just disrupted an entire class with this device? So let’s get the adoption in first. Let’s get the hurdles out of the way surrounding usage of content, usage of technology, and how it integrates into your standards in the classroom. Once that’s outlined, then we’ll figure out how to do WiFi.”
That absence of web access has also streamlined professional development. The district had 270 devices, which it handed out in English classes spread fairly evenly across its six sites. To ensure that the pilot wouldn’t get put on the back-burner by teachers uninterested in using the ereader, Kanavel had the principals at those sites nominate teachers to participate who were a “little bit tech savvy.”
From there, his IT team called teachers in for a demonstration of the Sony product they’d be using with their students. “That was it,” he says. “Maybe 30 minutes of Q&A with teachers, and off we went. The devices aren’t that complicated. You turn it on, pick your book, turn to the page, and that’s it.”
To make sure the program is on track, Kanavel has been doing evaluation of it in “real time.” “It’s not something we threw out there and said we’ll come back to you in six months. Every couple of weeks I’m pinging these teachers. They have direct lines back to me. As they’ve noticed things, they’ve emailed me.” Along with that, device maker Sony has put out surveys for the users too.
What complicates implementation of digital content in a 1:1 program is when the device being deployed is used for other purposes too. That’s the case at Lorain City School District in Ohio, which has distributed Acer netbooks to 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students. The goal there is to give its students access to technology and the wider world it can deliver. Many don’t have computers or an internet connection at home. Therefore, Chief Information Systems Officer Gary Brantley has chosen to implement WiFi on the devices.
The devices, which cost about $300 with software and maintenance, are loaded with a gigabyte of RAM, a 150 Gb or 160 Gb hard drive, an Intel Atom processor, a webcam, Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Office, a couple of calculators, 802.11 b/g WiFi, and, of course, digital textbooks.
Teachers have an interest in educating students about social networking, so, although access to the internet is filtered, the devices do allow access to sites such as Twitter, and Facebook. But that, says Brantley, “is being carefully monitored.”
Also, connectivity is necessary for implementation of CompuTrace, a program from Absolute Software that provides a service for tracking down lost, stolen, or missing devices. “We were finding that we were spending a lot of money replacing textbooks,” Brantley explains. “Now, we actually are spending less. If CompuTrace doesn’t find the netbook within 60 or 90 days, they pay for it. I can tell you they have found every single one.”
To simplify operations, the district uses only two images for the netbooks. Every middle school book in use is on every middle school netbook; and the same with all high school books. That approach, says Brantley, makes IT’s work easier since they don’t have to worry about granular inventory or “fool around” with what books any given student should be able to access.
The district has tackled the challenge of teacher acceptance from multiple sides. First, there was a teachers’ union aspect. Would it promote the change in teaching approaches necessary for success? To gain support, Brantley took the head of the union to a 1:1 conference to show her what could be done. After that, he says, “She came on board for the professional development piece.”
The next aspect was putting together programs and teams for professional development. Since the district has an “early release” day once a week, “that’s the block of time that increasingly is being dedicated to helping teachers learn how to integrate the technology into their classes. Gaining traction in that area is a longer haul,” Brantley admits. “It takes a while to get teachers on board with this.”
Next up for the Lorain district: implementation of a teacher recognition program and some type of graduate credit to motivate the teachers to try out new methods of instruction.
An area where Brantley has seen success is having the kids teaching the teachers. “That’s one thing that we’ve been trying to push,” he says. “Don’t be afraid to let the kids show you something as well. It becomes a collaborative effort.”
Challenges have surfaced in two IT areas. First, the sheer number of new devices has put a strain on Brantley’s department, which has 10 employees. “We’ve doubled the number of computers in the district but didn’t add one staff member,” he says. Second, IT has to be able to supply technical support to students in a timely manner. “Turnaround can’t be longer than a day. Even though we have spares, we still have to turn around these machines really quickly, so kids aren’t left without their books.”
But these burdens aren’t slowing down the district’s dreams. Brantley says eventually the netbook and digital textbook program could be expanded to every student in the district, from the fourth grade up.
A SASE architecture is the future of security, combining networking and security functions in the cloud to connect users to the applications and data they need, wherever it is, from wherever they are. Read More
This ebook can help security and IT professionals quickly deploy cloud-based cybersecurity that can easily scale as business needs change and protect users on and off the network. Read More
Security professionals need an easier and more reliable way to Strengthen visibility and security both on and off the network. This ebook looks at the problems that outdated security systems can cause. A new and proactive approach is required to protect people and their devises. Read More
A cloud-centric workforce requires new ways of tacking security challenges. This ebook explains how a SASE framework can help you secure the cloud and enable resilient protection for your whole network. Read More
This ebook describes how Cisco Umbrella’s secure internet gateway, can help increase flexibility by providing 360-degree security for cloud access and use, ensuring a successful future in the face of sophisticated threats. Read More
Institutions need to be more flexible, more communicative and more efficient than ever before. A modernized communications platform enables schools to rise to that challenge, better serve students and ultimately meet the institutional mission. An everchanging landscape requires a modernized approach to streamline and strengthen communication. Using a cloud-based communication platform can help. Read More
If K-12 School Systems weren't equipped to support online instruction prior to the pandemic, they are now. But how can districts continue to leverage the tools and resources acquired to continue to benefit from their digital investment? Discover 10 tips for building an IT infrastructure that can power an inclusive future for all. Read More
COVID showed K-12 leaders that connected classrooms enhance the student experience. We must build reliable, resilient school-based networks across our communities that keep both children and faculty safe and secure, while affording them ready access to the cloud and each other. Connected classroom development enables a whole new level of experience for K-12 students, educators, and parents. Now it’s time to assess, update, and strengthen current practices. Read More
Student Success is more than just a score on a standardized test. To succeed beyond high school, students must learn fundamental workforce skills such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creative problem solving. Students also must learn how to become self-directed, lifelong learners. Read More
The richness of the concept of smart spaces may easily be undervalued due to the brevity and simplicity of the phrase. But smart spaces pays homage to the redefinition of the way we engage with “space” as our communication abilities continue to expand. It also connotes the unprecedented ability to bring intelligence to the way we design such space, and the wide array of smart tools and functionalities that are facilitated in it. Read More
K-12 technology leaders are expecting a post-pandemic surge in the number of devices connecting to school networks as students return to campus. Fortunately, new WiFi technologies have emerged that can Strengthen the throughput speeds for each user. Read More
Esports, or competitive video gaming, is experiencing phenomenal growth worldwide. In 2020, the global esports market was valued at just under $1 billion ($974 million), up from $776 two years earlier — and total esports revenues are expected to reach nearly $1.6 billion by 2023. Read More
Esports, or competitive video gaming, is exploding in popularity — and this phenomenon is reaching many K-12 schools. In fact, the number of schools taking part in the High School Esports League (HSEL) grew from around 200 in fall 2017 to more than 3,000 in January 2019 — a 1,400 percent increase. As of January 2021, HSEL was up to 3,100 schools. Read More
Now that the rush to stand up remote learning so teachers could connect with students, collect assignments and give valuable feedback has passed, it’s time for K-12 leaders to assess how well remote learning is proceeding in their districts and use the lessons they’ve learned from this experience to plan for the future. Read More
Richland School District upgrades technology, increases efficiency, and reduces costs with VDI. Read More
Schools must continuously provide a flexible desktop environment for their students, teachers, and administrators. obtain this white paper to learn more about desktop virtualization solutions that are uniquely positioned to deliver rapid deployment of desktops and offer superior control and security of centralized desktops—all while reducing overall desktop total cost of ownership. (TCO). Read More
Indianapolis Public School District installs virtual desktops to increase student access to new learning materials. Read More
Oak Hills Local School District supports academic success by providing students with more access to the classroom. Read More
Cisco VXI delivers an end-to-end virtual workspace solution that provides the security, scalability, and flexibility of desktop virtualization together with voice and video capabilities for an uncompromised and productive user experience. Read More
School District uses web-based tools to help teachers share information and enhance instruction. Read More
With each one of your students bringing their unique perspectives to the classroom, how can you take advantage of technology to help them learn more effectively, develop specialized skills, and provide the foundation for their success in the 21st century global economy? Read More
Learn how Fontana Unified School District increases student, faculty, and staff collaboration utilizing Cisco TelePresence solution. Read More
Unified Workspace is a strategy for delivering Cisco Smart Solutions within your educational environment, helping you empower learners, Strengthen agility, and operate more efficiently. Read More
Learn how Katy ISD transforms education with mobile learning. Read More
Learn how Farmington Public Schools installed network solutions resulting in increased mobility for students and staff. Read More
Learn how Mooresville’s “Digital Conversion” puts kids first. Read More
Download this white paper to learn how the Cisco BYOD Solution for Education helps to get mobile devices connected both simply and securely. Read More
General Education – Elective: Introduction to Technical Communication (WI-GE)
This course introduces students to current best practices in written and visual technical communication including writing effective email, short and long technical reports and presentations, developing instructional material, and learning the principles and practices of ethical technical communication. Course activities focus on engineering and scientific technical documents. Lab (Fall).
Information Assurance and Security
Computer-based information processing is a foundation of contemporary society. As such, the protection of digital information, and the protection of systems that process this information has become a strategic priority for both the public and private sectors. This course provides an overview of information assurance and security concepts, practices, and trends. syllabus include computing and networking infrastructures, risk, threats and vulnerabilities, legal and industry requirements for protecting information, access control models, encryption, critical national infrastructure, industrial espionage, enterprise backup, recovery, and business continuity, personal system security, and current trends and futures. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
General Education – Elective: Software Development and Problem Solving I
A first course introducing students to the fundamentals of computational problem solving. Students will learn a systematic approach to problem solving, including how to frame a problem in computational terms, how to decompose larger problems into smaller components, how to implement innovative software solutions using a contemporary programming language, how to critically debug their solutions, and how to assess the adequacy of the software solution. Additional syllabus include an introduction to object-oriented programming and data structures such as arrays and stacks. Students will complete both in-class and out-of-class assignments. Lab 6 (Fall, Spring).
General Education – Elective: Software Development and Problem Solving II
A second course that delves further into computational problem solving, now with a focus on an object-oriented perspective. There is a continued emphasis on basic software design, testing & verification, and incremental development. Key syllabus include theoretical abstractions such as classes, objects, encapsulation, inheritance, interfaces, polymorphism, software design comprising multiple classes with UML, data structures (e.g. lists, trees, sets, maps, and graphs), exception/error handling, I/O including files and networking, concurrency, and graphical user interfaces. Additional syllabus include basic software design principles (coupling, cohesion, information expert, open-closed principle, etc.), test driven development, design patterns, data integrity, and data security. (Prerequisite: C- or better in SWEN-123 or CSEC-123 or GCIS-123 or equivalent course.) Lab 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
General Education – Mathematical Perspective A: Discrete Mathematics
This course is an introduction to the syllabus of discrete mathematics, including number systems, sets and logic, relations, combinatorial methods, graph theory, regular sets, vectors, and matrices. (Prerequisites: MATH-101, MATH-111, NMTH-260, NMTH-272 or NMTH-275 or a Math Placement test score of at least 35.) Lecture 4 (Fall, Spring).
General Education – Mathematical Perspective B: Applied Calculus
This course is an introduction to the study of differential and integral calculus, including the study of functions and graphs, limits, continuity, the derivative, derivative formulas, applications of derivatives, the definite integral, the fundamental theorem of calculus, basic techniques of integral approximation, exponential and logarithmic functions, basic techniques of integration, an introduction to differential equations, and geometric series. Applications in business, management sciences, and life sciences will be included with an emphasis on manipulative skills. (Prerequisite: C- or better in MATH-101, MATH-111, MATH-131, NMTH-260, NMTH-272 or NMTH-275 or Math Placement test score greater than or equal to 45.) Lecture 4 (Fall, Spring).
Computer System Concepts
This course teaches the student the essential technologies needed by NSSA majors, focused on PC and mainframe hardware topics. They include how those platforms operate, how they are configured, and the operation of their major internal components. Also covered are the basic operating system interactions with those platforms, physical security of assets, and computing-centric mathematical concepts. Lab 2 (Fall, Spring).
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
General Education – First Year Writing (WI)
General Education – Ethical Perspective
General Education – Global Perspective
School of Information Second Year Seminar
This course helps students prepare for cooperative employment by developing job search approaches and material. Students will explore current and emerging aspects of IST fields to help focus their skill development strategies. Students are introduced to the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education, and learn about their professional and ethical responsibilities for their co-op and subsequent professional experiences. Students will work collaboratively to build résumés, cover letters, and prepare for interviewing. (Prerequisites: This class is restricted to HCC-BS or CMIT-BS or WMC-BS or COMPEX-UND Major students with at least 2nd year standing.) Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
Web & Mobile I
This course provides students with an introduction to internet and web technologies, and to development on Macintosh/UNIX computer platforms. syllabus include HTML and CSS, CSS3 features, digital images, web page design and website publishing. Emphasis is placed on fundamentals, concepts and standards. Additional syllabus include the user experience, mobile design issues, and copyright/intellectual property considerations. Exercises and projects are required. Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
General Education – Elective: Introduction to Database and Data Modeling
A presentation of the fundamental concepts and theories used in organizing and structuring data. Coverage includes the data modeling process, basic relational model, normalization theory, relational algebra, and mapping a data model into a database schema. Structured Query Language is used to illustrate the translation of a data model to physical data organization. Modeling and programming assignments will be required. Note: students should have one course in object-oriented programming. (Prerequisites: ISTE-120 or ISTE-200 or IGME-101 or IGME-105 or CSCI-140 or CSCI-142 or NACA-161 or NMAD-180 or BIOL-135 or GCIS-123 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
Web & Mobile II
This course builds on the basics of web page development that are presented in Web and Mobile I and extends that knowledge to focus on theories, issues, and technologies related to the design and development of web sites. An overview of web design concepts, including usability, accessibility, information architecture, and graphic design in the context of the web will be covered. Introduction to web site technologies, including HTTP, web client and server programming, and dynamic page generation from a database also will be explored. Development exercises are required. (Prerequisites: (ISTE-120 or CSCI-140 or CSCI-141 or NACA-161 or IGME-105 or IGME-101 or NMAD-180 or GCIS-123) and (ISTE-140 or NACA-172 or IGME-230 or IGME-235) or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
Undergraduate Co-op (summer)
Students perform paid, professional work related to their program of study. Students work full-time during the term they are registered for co-op. Students must complete a student co-op work report for each term they are registered; students also are evaluated each term by their employer. A satisfactory grade is given for co-op when both a completed student co-op report and a corresponding employer report that indicates satisfactory student performance are received. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) CO OP (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Task Automation Using Interpretive Languages
An introduction to the Unix operating system and scripting in the Perl and Unix shell languages. The course will cover basic user-level commands to the Unix operating system, followed by basic control structures, and data structures in Perl. Examples will include GUI programming, and interfacing to an underlying operating system. Following Perl, students will be introduced to the basics of shell programming using the Unix bash shell. Students will need one year of programming in an object-oriented language. (Prerequisite: GCIS-124 or ISTE-121 or ISTE -200 or CSCI-142 or CSCI-140 or CSCI-242 or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Fall, Spring).
System Administration I
This course is designed to give students an understanding of the role of the system administrator in large organizations. This will be accomplished through a discussion of many of the tasks and tools of system administration. Students will participate in both a lecture section and a separate lab section. The technologies discussed in this class include: operating systems, system security, and service deployment strategies. (Prerequisites: NSSA-241 and (NSSA-220 or CSCI-141 or GCIS-123) or equivalent courses.) Lab 2 (Fall, Spring).
Introduction to Routing and Switching
This course provides an introduction to wired network infrastructures, topologies, technologies, and the protocols required for effective end-to-end communication. Basic security concepts for TCP/IP based technologies are introduced. Networking layers 1, 2, and 3 are examined in-depth using the International Standards Organization’s Open Systems Interconnection and TCP/IP models as reference. Course syllabus focus on the TCP/IP protocol suite, the Ethernet LAN protocol, switching technology, and routed and routing protocols common in TCP/IP networks. The lab assignments mirror the lecture content , providing an experiential learning component for each Topic covered. (Prerequisites: NSSA-102 or CSEC-101 or CSEC-140 or NACT-151 or CSCI-250 or equivalent courses.) Lab 2 (Fall, Spring).
General Education – Elective: Introduction to Statistics I
This course introduces statistical methods of extracting meaning from data, and basic inferential statistics. syllabus covered include data and data integrity, exploratory data analysis, data visualization, numeric summary measures, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The emphasis of the course is on statistical thinking rather than computation. Statistical software is used. (Prerequisite: MATH-101 or MATH-111 or NMTH-260 or NMTH-272 or NMTH-275 or a math placement test score of at least 35.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
General Education – Artistic Perspective
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective
General Education – Elective
Designing the User Experience
The user experience is an important design element in the development of interactive systems. This course presents the foundations of user-centered design principles within the context of human-computer interaction (HCI). Students will explore and practice HCI methods that span the development lifecycle from requirements analysis and creating the product/service vision through system prototyping and usability testing. Leading edge interface technologies are examined. Group-based exercises and design projects are required. (Prerequisite: ISTE-140 or IGME-230 or NACA-172 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
Information Requirements Modeling
Students will survey and apply contemporary techniques used in analyzing and modeling information requirements. Requirements will be elicited in a variety of domains and abstracted at conceptual, logical, and physical levels of detail. Process, data, and state modeling will be applied in projects that follow a systems development lifecycle. Object-oriented modeling will be explored and contrasted with data and process oriented modeling. Individual and team modeling assignments will be required. (Prerequisites: ISTE-230 or CSCI-320 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Undergraduate Co-op (summer)
Students perform paid, professional work related to their program of study. Students work full-time during the term they are registered for co-op. Students must complete a student co-op work report for each term they are registered; students also are evaluated each term by their employer. A satisfactory grade is given for co-op when both a completed student co-op report and a corresponding employer report that indicates satisfactory student performance are received. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) CO OP (Fall, Spring, Summer).
CIT Concentration Courses
General Education – Social Perspective
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective
General Education – Immersion 1
Senior Development Project I
The first course in a two-course, senior level, system development capstone project. Students form project teams and work with sponsors to define system requirements. Teams then create architectures and designs, and depending on the project, also may begin software development. Requirements elicitation and development practices introduced in prior coursework are reviewed, and additional methods and processes are introduced. Student teams are given considerable latitude in how they organize and conduct project work. (This course is restricted to WMC-BS, HCC-BS, CMIT-BS, and 2 ISTE-499 completed or (1 ISTE-498 completed and 1 ISTE-499 completed).) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Senior Development Project II (WI-PR)
The second course in a two-course, senior level, system development capstone project. Student teams complete development of their system project and package the software and documentation for deployment. Usability testing practices introduced in prior course work are reviewed, and additional methods and processes are introduced. Teams present their developed system and discuss lessons learned at the completion of the course. (Prerequisites: ISTE-500 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
CIT Concentration Courses
General Education – Immersion 2, 3
How many video meetings have you taken this week? Chances are the answer isn't none. Video conferencing has become the new normal for most businesses, particularly those that have embraced hybrid work. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic made working from home a necessity, many companies were cutting back on work-related travel and using video conferencing to connect workers in satellite offices or even in conference rooms on different floors. This new reality means it's critical to invest in the best video conferencing system you can find.
The proprietary end-to-end systems you've probably seen deployed in smart conference rooms are still around, but the star players today are cloud services that require little more than an account and a webcam. We're focusing on these for this review roundup, since they're the most relevant to remote work. But first, you'll need a good understanding of how they work.
We've come a long way from the proprietary video conferencing systems of yesteryear. Today's cloud video services use TCP/IP as the primary network protocol. The majority of video calls go over the internet, rather than a private LAN. Also, their hardware support is generally open, meaning you can use whatever webcam or microphone works with your computing device. These new services often support an entirely web browser-based experience without the need to install any app (though a standalone app usually gives the best experience). Mobile devices are typically supported too, including apps for Android, Chrome OS, and iOS.
The challenge with these systems is that they typically don't interoperate. For example, you can't attend a video conference initiated in Microsoft Teams using a Cisco Webex meeting client. That means that if your workers need to join a video meeting with a company that uses a different system than yours, they'll either need to install a compatible client or rely on their browsers. On the other hand, the advantage is that these systems no longer require one large system purchase. Instead, they are services offered on a per-user or per-host subscription basis (see below for more about hosts). This can seriously reduce costs, as we'll see later.
Modern video conferencing systems also offer a big bucket of new capabilities that older systems never had. Best-in-class video conferencing services let users share their screens, remotely access one another's desktops, chat via text, exchange files, communicate via digital whiteboards, and even broadcast conferences to large groups of passive viewers (like webinars). Some are part of business-geared Voice-over-IP (VoIP) packages that let you dynamically change a voice call to a video call or initiate a shared meeting at the touch of a button without ever losing the original connection.
Those features are great for central offices, but they're also fantastic communication aids for work-from-home scenarios, especially when viewed through a long-term lens. However, video conferencing can go even further. For example, it's a perfect tool for addressing customers' support questions live or interacting with customers in real-time during a webinar. These and other factors are likely to continue to drive user adoption of these services for at least the next few years, as shown by growth projections from Fortune Business Insights:
Many of us were introduced to video conferencing in the COVID-19 era. But even pre-pandemic, many small to midsize businesses (SMBs) spread across geographic locations. While that trend has both cost and hiring benefits to most companies, it also brings complex challenges for communication. Face-to-face meetings often aren't feasible due to limits on travel expenditures, and that's also true for customers and partners. This is where video conferencing can deliver a serious boost to your company's bottom line.
Even without considering geography, video conferencing can save money. Many of the new collaboration features included with this round of contenders aim to automate tasks that used to cost extra. Two prime examples are meeting transcription and recording.
In older, proprietary systems, recording a meeting meant either a separate camera or a third-party microphone for audio-only recordings, plus server space for storage. Modern services have automated recording that you can initiate with the press of a button and then automatically save the recording to the cloud and auto-share it with all meeting attendees.
Transcription, too, used to cost extra, with meeting managers sending an audio recording to a transcription service. Many new video conferencing services now contain artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of virtual meeting assistants that manage things like attendance tracking and transcribing meetings directly to PDF or Microsoft Word documents. They can then send those docs to everyone in the discussion or save them in shared cloud storage.
As with many software services, video conferencing providers offer multiple pricing tiers. The prices quoted in our reviews are typically for the vendor's middle pricing tier, and those are usually charged on a per-user per-month basis. For more pricing information, click through to the individual reviews. Most video conferencing services offer free trials, typically for 30 days, and many don't require a credit card. That means you don't have to worry about being charged automatically when the trial ends.
Most services offer free plans with a limited feature set. These can be great for individuals who want to reach friends and family, or for distributed teams who don't plan to spend a lot of time in conferences. Once you move to a paid tier, however, you need to pay attention to pricing details. For example, many products tested charge differently for hosts and users. Digging through the fine print, you'll find that hosts are users that can initiate meetings. Not all companies need to make every user a host, depending on how your organization handles collaboration. That can have a significant impact on your overall price, so be sure to nail down the details before buying.
Many services scale their pricing based on the number of hosts and attendees you need. That's why we recommend not just using the features in our top-rated video conferencing services; you should also leverage that trial time to experiment with how many users need to have meeting manager status. In other words, evaluate how video conferencing best fits your organization's culture and workflows.
Generally, services that are priced per host instead of per user are more cost-effective for webinar-type environments, where a few hosts will present to many attendees (users). Plans that are priced per user tend to be more attractive to collaborative-style engagements where anyone could start a meeting.
Another price consideration is hardware. Most every laptop has a microphone and a serviceable (if fairly mediocre) integrated webcam. Some laptops, such as the 2021 Apple MacBook Pro and Microsoft Surface, ship with high-quality 1080p webcams, and the same goes for many higher-end mobile devices.
Desktop PCs, however, will need additional hardware. If you're looking for enhanced clarity of sound or video, you'll need the best microphones and high-end webcams you can get. Depending on how many desktops and conference rooms you're looking to outfit this way, you can significantly affect the overall cost of your video conferencing solution, so you should budget for that upfront.
Because video conferencing is likely to be a new way of working for many employees, which in turn means a platform's ease of use is a great place to compare one vendor's capabilities with another's.
In each review, we discuss the ease of signing up, creating a meeting, inviting participants, and setting up audio and video controls for each review. We also look at the user experience (UX) from the meeting invitees' point of view and how easy it is to access smart meeting controls. That covers whiteboard-style collaboration and file sharing, annotation, and the virtual assistant features mentioned above.
We've also tested each service's prominent features, but it's up to you to decide which features you need most. Do you need dial-in numbers, VoIP support, or both? How about features like screen sharing or remote control? Some services offer both teleconferencing with dial-in numbers (local or toll-free) and VoIP calling, while some offer just one or the other. A few offer international dial-in numbers.
All of the products reviewed offer video calls via webcam, which is a feature that's creeping into several team messaging platforms, like Microsoft Teams and Slack. In Teams' case, this is a complete video conferencing solution, which is why we've reviewed it here. On the other hand, Slack and some of its competitors have only implemented person-to-person video calling, which is why we haven't included them in this roundup.
However, Slack's strength in this regard (and it's a strength shared by its competitors) is its very long list of out-of-the-box integration options. While you can only do person-to-person video. inside Slack itself, the platform also integrates with Google Workspace, Teams, Zoom, and a host of other communications platforms, including the ones we've reviewed here. A skilled Slack administrator can build full meeting functionality this way.
In all of these reviews, we hosted and joined meetings to test the experience of registered and non-registered users alike. We made sure to outline how easy it is to join a meeting, including whether a participant needs to obtain software before joining (which could cause a delay). When that's the case, it's important to communicate with employees about hardware compatibility and your preferred browser. Other services simply require that attendees enter a code to access the meeting.
Our reviews also cover the host's administration features. The best services let you set up various types of meetings, such as lecture-style meetings where all participants are muted, or a discussion or Q&A mode in which presenters can mute and unmute participants as needed. Other options include enabling and disabling webcams, locking latecomers out of a meeting, creating a waiting room while preparing for the meeting, and allowing break-out sessions.
For presentations, screen sharing is essential. But so are more granular options, such as the ability to share just one , document, image, or application (Microsoft PowerPoint, for example), not just your entire desktop. Most of the video conferencing services in this roundup also offer a text chat mode not only during a meeting but sometimes outside a video call, too.
During a trial, you should experiment with all these features and think carefully about how much real collaboration you need in your various meetings. That means evaluating the service with more than just IT personnel. You should also include stakeholders from your various departments, so you've got an accurate representation of the different kinds of gatherings your employees hold between themselves and folks outside the organization.
Unfortunately, even in a centralized network like the one in your main office, working with any stream-dependent app, and especially video, becomes trickier the larger the network and the more apps there are competing for bandwidth. If you're running all or part of your solution on a high-traffic network, some network settings may need tweaking by your IT staff to minimize video artifacts, stuttering, or excessive buffering that pauses the stream.
The situation is even more complicated for remote workers. This could be a persistent problem for your IT help desk personnel, who will have little control over the consumer devices and home network routers that will power your remote employees' home offices. Then there are additional peripherals, such as webcams and microphones. Most of these weren't purchased by the IT department, which means IT support staffers haven't been trained to service them. All of this makes supporting those home users on an end-to-end basis very difficult. That's not even considering the conditions on the internet, which handles most of the network traffic (and is something that your IT department doesn't control, either).
Most businesses will have little choice but to handle this problem on a case-by-case basis. If an IT pro can service a router remotely, that's what happens. If not, then it's down to either sending the device to a central location to be reconfigured, or walking the employee through the required steps over the phone.
Because of these concerns, it's a good idea to develop long-term solutions for remote workers. For example, IT could pre-configure a number of router models and then distribute them to remote workers so that everyone is using the same platform.
Virtual private networks (VPNs) are another related problem. Many businesses require employees to use these services when working remotely, both to protect themselves from cyber-attacks and to protect corporate data. Because they use encryption, VPNs can often cause bandwidth or throughput problems that affect video streaming performance. They're also run by companies other than your video conferencing vendor, so supporting the combination of the two usually ends up as an internal problem.
To help, you'll need to investigate VPN offerings for remote connections and potentially work with your IT staff to implement Quality of Service (QoS) features on both your main network and users' home networks. That'll help protect the bandwidth required during your video conferences. Still, be aware that the public internet remains its own beast and problems will inevitably arise that are outside the control of your IT staff.
Don't discount support resources from your vendor. The best video conferencing services offer phone, email, and chat support in addition to extensive online documentation. End-user support in this manner may cost extra money, but it's worth considering if your IT staff is small. Checking for a professional services arm that helps train users and IT pros is another important factor, and an active user community is a good resource, too.
Thursday, July 14, 2022
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a district court’s opinions and orders and remanded the case for further proceedings before a different district court judge because the original judge had failed to divest all financial interests in the case. Centripetal Networks, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc., Case No. 21-1888 (Fed. Cir. June 23, 2022) (Dyk, Taranto, Cunningham, JJ.)
Centripetal sued Cisco for patent infringement. The original district court judge presided over a 22-day bench trial, which included a more than 3,500-page record, 26 witnesses and more than 300 exhibits. The court heard final arguments on June 25, 2020. While the case was still pending before the district court, the judge learned that his wife owned Cisco stock, valued at $4,687.99. The district court judge notified the parties on August 12, 2020, that he had discovered that his wife owned 100 shares of Cisco stock. He stated that his wife purchased the stock in October 2019 and had no independent recollection of the purchase. He explained that at the time he learned of the stock, he had already drafted a 130-page draft of his opinion on the bench trial, and virtually every issue had been decided. He further stated that the stock did not—and could not have—influenced his opinion on any of the issues in the case. Instead of selling the stock, which might have implied insider trading given his knowledge of the forthcoming order, the judge placed it in a blind trust. Under the terms of the trust, the judge was to be notified when the trust assets had been completely disposed of or when their value became less than $1,000.
Centripetal had no objections. Cisco, however, filed a motion for recusal under 28 U.S.C. § 455(a) and (b)(4). The judge ordered Centripetal to file a response. On October 2, 2020, the court denied Cisco’s motion for recusal. On October 5, 2020, the court issued a 167-page opinion and order containing the judge’s findings that Cisco willfully infringed the asserted claims of the patents-at-issue and awarded Centripetal damages of more than $755 million, pre-judgment interest of more than $13 million and a running royalty of 10%. Cisco moved for amended findings and judgment under Rule 52(b) or a new trial under Rule 59(a)(2). The court denied both motions. Cisco appealed the district court’s findings and asserted that the judge was required to recuse himself under 28 U.S.C. § 455(b) absent divestiture under § 455(f) (the only exception to the bright line rule that a federal judge is disqualified based on a known financial interest in a party).
On appeal, the Federal Circuit addressed two issues: whether the district court judge was relieved of his duty to recuse under § 455(b)(4) because his wife had divested herself of her interest in Cisco under § 455(f), and, if the requirements of § 455(f) were not satisfied, a determination as to the proper remedy.
The Federal Circuit analyzed whether placement of the stock in a blind trust satisfied the divesture requirement of § 455(f). The Court explained that a blind trust is “an arrangement whereby a person, in an effort to avoid conflicts of interest, places certain personal assets under the control of an independent trustee with the provision that the person is to have no knowledge of how those assets are managed.” Centripetal admitted that there are no cases holding that placement of stock in a blind trust constitutes divestment. The Court next turned to the intent of Congress when it drafted the statute. The Court reasoned that to “divest” was understood at the time to mean “dispossess or deprive,” which is only possible when an interest is sold or given away. The Court also noted that Congress used the present tense—that a judge should not sit when he or she has a financial interest in a party. The Court concluded that while placing the stock in a blind trust removed the judge’s wife from control over the stock, it did not eliminate her beneficial interest in Cisco. The Court also found that the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Codes of Conduct had previously ruled that a judge’s use of a blind trust does not obviate the judge’s recusal obligations. Accordingly, the Court found that placing assets in a blind trust is not divestment under § 455(f) and, thus, the district court judge was disqualified from further proceedings in the case.
As for the appropriate remedy, the Federal Circuit considered whether rulings made after August 11, 2020, when the district court judge became aware of his wife’s financial interest in Cisco, should be vacated as a remedy for his failure to recuse. The Court determined that the risk of injustice to the parties weighed against a finding of harmless error and in favor of vacatur. The Court reversed the district court’s opinion and order denying Cisco’s motion for recusal; vacated the opinion and order regarding infringement, damages and post-judgment motions and remanded for further proceedings before a new judge.