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Instructors are the Heart of Networking Academy - Can DevNet be Part of their Future?

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For roughly 20 years in a row, Cisco Networking Academy had yet another successful event in Bellevue, WA on March 29-31, 2017! Northwest Regional Cisco Conference: ICT Educator’s. I was proud to be invited to speak at this event. One thing I've learned? Instructors are the heart of Networking Academy!

Cisco Networking Academy is an IT skills and career building program for learning institutions and individuals worldwide. You can find instructors teaching Cisco Networking in over 8000 schools worldwide. It’s important for instructors to gather at regional events and teach each other about different areas of expertise, discover new technologies and concepts, share information on best practices, and learn about the Networking Academy roadmap. What better way to do all this than at an in-person conference?

Who am I?

I’m Tessa Mero, one of the Developer Evangelists for Cisco DevNet, as well as one of the Community Managers for integrating the Networking Academy and Cisco DevNet community as one. Cisco DevNet you ask? DevNet is Cisco’s Developer Community with over 450,000 registered users who use our software and technologies. It was launched less than 3 years ago!

Networking Academy Community on Cisco DevNet

“Explore DevNet tools and resources to support lifelong learning. Prepare yourself for the future of automation, programmable networks, and the Internet of Things. Gain exposure to software development experts driving industry transformation.”

You can find out how the Cisco DevNet community can help your students become more successful. Cisco provides free curriculum to add to their learning. There is also a Networking Academy community on the Cisco’s DevNet website.

Cisco DevNet spoke at several Network Academy events around the country. At this event, I gave a presentation on an Overview of Cisco DevNet and and a workshop on Cisco API’s and Cisco SparkBoard.

It was very surprising to know that many instructors were highly interested in the presentations and wanted to know more information. Their sparked interests brought me to writing this blog, which is a place to get information you need to change how your student learns.

What’s the Purpose?

Cisco DevNet offers free curriculum for Networking Academy instructors to keep students on the latest technology on Programming, APIs, Network Programmability, Security, and the Internet of Things (IoT). All the important skills to help your student succeed with their learning and success. You can find the learning Beta version of the track on the Cisco Learning Labs DevNet Beginner track.

How Does it Work?

Several Cisco DevNet employees used to be college instructors, including me. We understand the amount of time it takes to update and add new curriculum in conjunction with the time it takes for approving new content. Well, we want to solve this by providing you minimal material where you can navigate through the content and choose which modules to add. Now, imagine having curriculum that you never have to update or manage, ever???

To compare the Learning Labs with how Learning Management Systems (LMS’s) work, comparing with Canvas/Blackboard: a Learning Track is a “course”, a Module is a “Module” and a Learning Lab is a “hands-on assignment”. So with this DevNet Beginner learning track, you can either implement all the modules, or simply select which modules makes sense based on the level of your students and what would be helpful to their learning experience. Each module only takes a few hours of their time, and they’ll be able to walk away and implement what they’ve learned. They can even find additional materials and learn new technologies on their own time.

How Do Students Prove Their Work?

Cisco DevNet recently launched “Badges”. On completion of a module or learning track, they will receive a badge where they will be able to link directly to each one that shows what was accomplished. In the LMS, student can submit an assignment as a “link” to the badge to prove their work.

How Can You Help?

We would like instructors to participate in running through the Learning Track and provide us with their knowledgeable feedback so that we are able to launch this product from beta to LIVE!

The first step to begin this journey is by signing up for a free Cisco DevNet account to access all of the materials and content.

Questions? Email tmero@cisco .com

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