A+ For High School Students

OoteROoteR Member Posts: 65 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hello All,

This may be one for those of you who have taken the test and started from no experience.

I am the Director of Technology at a small school district and I'm thinking of starting the organisation of an extra-cirricular A+ certification class for High School students. The small size of our district doesn't allow us to offer this as a real course in our curriculum. The main objective behind this is to help some kids get their feet a little bit wet, and at the same time earn them some tech school credit.

I'm not A+ certified myself, but am Network+ and MCP and hold a BS in CS from a state university, I've got somewhere around 5 years of working experience in desktop/network support. Frankly, I blew off the A+ tests after a couple of hardware courses in college, and regret not heading in to take the test. I'm thinking I wouldn't mind doing it now with them.

I'd like to get a group of students together and work our way through a certification book and do some hands on labs. I've got some P4 boxes that are going to be going to the junk pile soon, and they would work great for kids to get some hands-on experience before they are tossed/donated. I'd like to do both the 701 and 702, but I don't know if there will be enough time. (5+ months if we start in January)

I want to say that the class I took (this was 5 years ago) was 2x a week for an hour of lecture, and then 1 hour 50 minutes of lab time available a week. That went on for 14 weeks.

My guess then puts the class time at 28 hours, and the lab time at ~28ish.

I would hope an hour or 1.5 hours a meeting 2x a week would be enough....

So, anyway the general summary of my questions:

How many hours do you feel should be dedicated to in-class lecture/question time?

How many hours worth of labs?

What book would you recommend? I've looked at:
Amazon.com: CompTIA A+ Complete Study Guide: Exams 220-701 (Essentials) and 220-702 (Practical Application) (978047048649icon_cool.gif: Quentin Docter, Emmett Dulaney, Toby Skandier: Books Seems pretty straight forward to me. There is a test at the begining of the book that allows for testing.

Does anyone else have any input on this?

Keep in mind these students wouldn't receive a grade per-say from myself, just a bit of guidance and time to play with live equipment that they may not have available at home.

I'd likely be meeting with them a couple of times a week for an hour or so after school. They would have to do the majority of studying on their own.
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Comments

  • Divine-AssaultDivine-Assault Member Posts: 61 ■■□□□□□□□□
    OoteR wrote: »
    Hello All,

    This may be one for those of you who have taken the test and started from no experience.

    I am the Director of Technology at a small school district and I'm thinking of starting the organisation of an extra-cirricular A+ certification class for High School students. The small size of our district doesn't allow us to offer this as a real course in our curriculum. The main objective behind this is to help some kids get their feet a little bit wet, and at the same time earn them some tech school credit.

    I'm not A+ certified myself, but am Network+ and MCP and hold a BS in CS from a state university, I've got somewhere around 5 years of working experience in desktop/network support. Frankly, I blew off the A+ tests after a couple of hardware courses in college, and regret not heading in to take the test. I'm thinking I wouldn't mind doing it now with them.

    I'd like to get a group of students together and work our way through a certification book and do some hands on labs. I've got some P4 boxes that are going to be going to the junk pile soon, and they would work great for kids to get some hands-on experience before they are tossed/donated. I'd like to do both the 701 and 702, but I don't know if there will be enough time. (5+ months if we start in January)

    I want to say that the class I took (this was 5 years ago) was 2x a week for an hour of lecture, and then 1 hour 50 minutes of lab time available a week. That went on for 14 weeks.

    My guess then puts the class time at 28 hours, and the lab time at ~28ish.

    I would hope an hour or 1.5 hours a meeting 2x a week would be enough....

    So, anyway the general summary of my questions:

    How many hours do you feel should be dedicated to in-class lecture/question time?

    How many hours worth of labs?

    What book would you recommend? I've looked at:
    Amazon.com: CompTIA A+ Complete Study Guide: Exams 220-701 (Essentials) and 220-702 (Practical Application) (978047048649icon_cool.gif: Quentin Docter, Emmett Dulaney, Toby Skandier: Books Seems pretty straight forward to me. There is a test at the begining of the book that allows for testing.

    Does anyone else have any input on this?

    Keep in mind these students wouldn't receive a grade per-say from myself, just a bit of guidance and time to play with live equipment that they may not have available at home.

    I'd likely be meeting with them a couple of times a week for an hour or so after school. They would have to do the majority of studying on their own.


    Well I don't know if I can help you much but I can give you my opinion on what I would do. I used the same Sybex you posted and it worked well. I was able to pass my A+ exams in a month with about 5 hours of study each day. I think it is possible but their success is mainly going to depend on themselves and how much they study. You as the teacher would just review over the chapters and answer questions that the students had difficulty in. I think the 28 hour lecture and 28 hour lab seems alright, maybe add some more time into lab for better practice.
    Currently Studying for: 70-291

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  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,400 ■■■■■■■■□□
    OoteR wrote: »
    Hello All,

    This may be one for those of you who have taken the test and started from no experience.

    I am the Director of Technology at a small school district and I'm thinking of starting the organisation of an extra-cirricular A+ certification class for High School students. The small size of our district doesn't allow us to offer this as a real course in our curriculum. The main objective behind this is to help some kids get their feet a little bit wet, and at the same time earn them some tech school credit.

    I'm not A+ certified myself, but am Network+ and MCP and hold a BS in CS from a state university, I've got somewhere around 5 years of working experience in desktop/network support. Frankly, I blew off the A+ tests after a couple of hardware courses in college, and regret not heading in to take the test. I'm thinking I wouldn't mind doing it now with them.

    I'd like to get a group of students together and work our way through a certification book and do some hands on labs. I've got some P4 boxes that are going to be going to the junk pile soon, and they would work great for kids to get some hands-on experience before they are tossed/donated. I'd like to do both the 701 and 702, but I don't know if there will be enough time. (5+ months if we start in January)

    I want to say that the class I took (this was 5 years ago) was 2x a week for an hour of lecture, and then 1 hour 50 minutes of lab time available a week. That went on for 14 weeks.

    My guess then puts the class time at 28 hours, and the lab time at ~28ish.

    I would hope an hour or 1.5 hours a meeting 2x a week would be enough....

    So, anyway the general summary of my questions:

    How many hours do you feel should be dedicated to in-class lecture/question time?

    How many hours worth of labs?

    What book would you recommend? I've looked at:
    Amazon.com: CompTIA A+ Complete Study Guide: Exams 220-701 (Essentials) and 220-702 (Practical Application) (978047048649icon_cool.gif: Quentin Docter, Emmett Dulaney, Toby Skandier: Books Seems pretty straight forward to me. There is a test at the begining of the book that allows for testing.

    Does anyone else have any input on this?

    Keep in mind these students wouldn't receive a grade per-say from myself, just a bit of guidance and time to play with live equipment that they may not have available at home.

    I'd likely be meeting with them a couple of times a week for an hour or so after school. They would have to do the majority of studying on their own.

    I would break the class into two parts personally. I would make one class cover the Essentials exam 701 & the next class would cover the 702. That’s how we did it when I took the A+ classes in college; of course there is some overlap between the objectives.
    I would make your courses two nights a week 1 hour per night for 12 weeks. 3 months per Exam
    So the 701 would be 3 months
    Then the 702 would be 3 months too
    So that would be a total of 6 months
    Some labs for the 701 could include:
    Installing Vista, Windows XP
    , and Windows 2000
    These operating systems are all included on the test.

    Using command line, Control panel, installing programs, ect
    Then do the same for the 702 class, and you can maybe get some old mother boards, memory sticks, NICS, processors, hard drives, ect. You might be able to find these at an e waste recycler, or talk to other people on this forum as to where to get these items.
    Now with the 702 what you could do is have the students bring in their computers to fix. Maybe down the line offer an economical option for them to build their own.

    Also I would look at this Sybex site, so that you can get an evaluation copy of the A+ book to look over for yourself.

    IT Instructors: Free Evaluation Copies of Sybex Books and More! - Sybex
    Now with the 702 what you could do is have the students bring in their computers and work on them in class. Also, you could have you class fix other students and faculty computers for free.
    Good luck!
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • nx1nonx1no Member Posts: 36 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm giving feedback as a person who took an A+ exam/class as a Junior in HS in 2003.

    The teacher we had was also our web design/math teacher. We met in class 2 times a week for half a school year (I'm trying to think, maybe 20 weeks) with no lab. We spent most of the classes as 30 minutes for reading/video, and 30 for hands on experience.

    There were many instances where our teacher was just as puzzled as we were, which didn't help anyone. We were given the option at the end of the year to go for the test, and see what happens.

    Even though I spent a lot of time studying, the lack of hands on experience and hands on diagnosing really killed me. I failed.

    I just started preparing recently to take this exam again as I have been a tech at a retail store for about 2 years now. The hands on experience has proved all the difference for me, and I feel very confident. I've spent some time reviewing material, and am doing very well.

    My advice would be (and it may not count for much), as long as you know the material yourself, and give decent labs/hands on scenarios, it should prove useful to the kids. Even if they don't go for the test at the end, they'll have the knowledge to land a job as a beginner tech at a Best Buy or something. I think had I not taken that A+ class in HS, I might not have wanted to persue a career as an IT professional.

    Hope it helps :\
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