At NexGenT, we take pride in creating context around the things we teach. We believe it’s important for learners to visualize the big picture of a particular subject as much as possible before diving into the smaller pieces. We call this objective deconstruction and it seems to be particularly effective when conveying information around technical subjects and even more-so when the subject matter is complicated. Not only does it appear to help with learner motivation, but also with grasping the individual lessons. A great example of this is combining objective deconstruction with true project-based learning. For example, rather than just stating what the end result of a project may be it’s best to actually show the learner the end result and allow them to experience what it does, as much as possible. This way, as the learner is working toward the end goal it is more apparent how the individual puzzle pieces actually fit together to create the final project outcome.
Now, let’s dive a bit deeper into the subject of project-based learning itself. What I mean by “true project-based learning” is a learning method based around a realistic project scenario. In the world of Information Technology projects are a huge player in career success. Having an early understanding of how projects are deployed into an IT infrastructure is crucial for any prospective IT Engineer. So, at NexGenT we have implemented true project-based learning and combined it with objective deconstruction to allow for what we believe is the most effective learning experience. Our flagship project is called the Full Stack Networking Project. In this project we take the student on a journey through the entire project process. The student gets to plan and implement an entire reality-based computer networking project, all on their own. This includes routing, switching, voice, wireless, and network security in a realistic networking environment with a Headquarters office and two branch offices. To begin, we explain the goals of the project and the project process. We then introduce the final outcome which is the completed network environment and allow the student to experience all the components after they have already been put together. Then, we deconstruct and the student rebuilds it piece by piece.
You see, one of the major problems with most IT training is there is usually very little context around the technical aspects of what is being learned, or how it actually makes an impact to a true-to-life network or business. That’s why we are super passionate about what we do at NexGenT, and are constantly working on new and inventive learning techniques such as objective deconstruction and project-based learning. And, to close out this post I’d like to state that for many people the IT Industry itself can seem to be an enigma and very difficult to understand. But, I’d like you to know that IT can truly be cracked (pun intended). We aim to help demystify IT for anyone who wants to learn, and are on a mission to create and inspire the next generation of Rockstar Engineers.