On Oct. 14, CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association, will release its new CompTIA Instructor Network (CIN). CIN is an easy-to-use, worldwide community for instructors to collaborate, share best practices and receive help from CompTIA, including free-training and tools.
CompTIA Instructor Network is the brain-child of CompTIA president and CEO, Todd Thibodaux, who noticed numerous queries from instructors seeking additional tools and resources to help teach and support their students in an easy and organized manner. CompTIA, as always, was quick to respond. "Instructors are the lifeblood of our programs," said Thibodaux. "We want to do everything we can to support them and nurture their growth."
It is important that CompTIA instructors be proficient and current with their knowledge. CIN will help provide support, training and resources that will enable instructors to offer excellent and timely learning solutions to their students. Better prepared test candidates will of course result in more IT pros who are ready and able to contribute to their organizations, thus strengthening the entire IT sector.
Before CIN, instructors typically shared ideas and tips more or less at random, with individuals finding one another via online forums and in-person conferences. "Trainers are now sharing — a bit haphazardly — with one another to fill in whatever gaps their training resources have," said technical instructor Nicholas Lane. "With such gaps in communication and relationship, a network is needed to create structure."
CompTIA Instructor Network will give instructors such a network to connect and collaborate with hundreds of other instructors around the world, while simultaneously enabling them to receive free training and tools from CompTIA that are designed to help classroom instruction.
CIN is for all current and future instructors who deliver training on CompTIA certification courses. It's also designed so that instructors can easily join (it's free), participate at their level of comfort and interest, share best practices and locate resources quickly.
Students and certification candidates will benefit from CIN because instructors will have the needed tools to offer timely and effective learning solutions, as well as better prepare students to appreciate the value of certification and get certified. The result is that students will be more proficiently trained and employable, leading to more opportunities in the IT realm.
To help develop CIN, CompTIA utilized a working and advisory committee comprised of 27 academy and commercial training partners, including current instructors, deans and program managers. Through the free flow of thoughts and ideas, committee members brought a depth of practical knowledge and hands-on experience to the development process.
"Already it has been incredibly positive to connect with like-minded activists and educators and become part of a potential community 'sharing good practice' amongst other experiences," said Andrew Smith, a senior lecturer in networking at The Open University.
Prior to the development of CIN, CompTIA also conducted industry research as to the usefulness of such a program. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with 92 percent of instructors and 88 percent of management noting that they were interested or very interested in such a network.
"I believe the networking opportunities are very valuable," said Dr. Deanne Cranford-Wesley, at Forsyth Technical Community College. "The idea of being a part of a community of like individuals is also important. The aspect of sharing ideas and seeking information from others that are teaching similar course is awesome!"
CompTIA Instructor Network will initially be offered for CompTIA's more prominent certifications: A+, Network+, Security+ and CTT+. It is anticipated that "all CompTIA courses will be added by the end of the year," said Tazneen Kasem, CompTIA's Director of Product Development.
In the future, CompTIA will offer more instructor training and tech updates, as well as several webinar series. New offerings will rely heavily on instructor opinions and needs. "Users will help us develop CIN's future offerings," said Kasem. "We will regularly survey users to get useful feedback so that we can continue to improve the network."
CompTIA's mission is to advance the growth of the IT Industry through educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications and public policy advocacy. CIN goes a long way toward helping meet that goal. Joining is free for any current instructors and individuals who are in the process of becoming an instructor. Those wishing to join CIN can register on CompTIA or via the LinkedIn group site.