NETLAB+ User Group Conference Call March 25, 2016

NIST Standards Services Curricula Development Grant

Steve Linthicum is working with Nancy Jones at Coastline Community College to submit a grant proposal for $75,000 that will provide funding for faculty to develop or update labs in the NETLAB+ environment.

As part of this process, Steve has contacted John Sands at Moraine Valley Community College (Illinois) to discuss his compensation structure. Preliminary estimates for faculty compensation are $1,000 for a course outline and general course content, and $150 for each lab. This would equate to $3,250 for a 15-lab course. Additional investigative work is being done and Steve will distribute the proposal to the group when completed.

WASTC Faculty Development Conferences

Southern CA
Coastline Community College – June 20-24

Northern CA
Sierra College – June 27-July 1

This summer WASTC is hosting two sessions of week-long ICT professional development training. Courses offered will help update faculty on the latest technologies and provide opportunities for hands-on learning. Registration opens April 4, 2016 and the cost is only $100 per session.

Two courses will be sponsored and taught by NDG (vendors for NETLAB+) as follows:

SoCal: What’s New for NETLAB+ will cover beginner orientation, administration, and new content available. A Security+ class that uses NETLAB+ will also be offered.

NorCal: Designing a Pod, Producing Labs, and Sharing on NETLAB+ will cover the planning and development of pods and lab content for faculty. Faculty participating in this session will learn how to put together labs based on NDG standards development with Windows 10 as the subject matter. An Ethical Hacking course using NETLAB+ will also be offered in an effort to bolster cybersecurity skills among college and high school faculty.

Richard Grotegut is working with John Sands’ group (Moraine Valley Community College) on the development of Windows 10 labs. NDG is paying for the outline development and lab content for the first few labs, then the group hopes to create a set of 20 labs related to Windows 10 support.

Grotegut reminded participants that colleges with a Microsoft agreement have access to DreamSpark, which is a required in order to use CSSIA’s content that includes Microsoft. DreamSpark is a great marketing tool for colleges that gives students access to thousands of dollars in software.

Potential Statewide Effort for NETLAB+

A possible funding opportunity ($13 million) may provide for the statewide expansion of NETLAB+. The NETLAB+ User Group could provide guidance for effective use of the funds.

The group discussed maintaining a regional structure for NETLAB+ that would allow regional hubs to service local colleges, then serve others with any extra capacity. Administrators within a region could also work together and be “on call” for each other during absences. This model could be demonstrated by the North/Far North and Bay Area Regions.

It may be prudent to establish an advisory group to help guide the NETLAB+ expansion. Members with experience running data centers would be ideal candidates as well as a statewide team of business leaders.

Avoiding NETLAB+ Capacity Restraints

Strategies to avoid capacity restraints were discussed, and include:

  • Faculty can schedule teams of students to access NETLAB+. For example, a team of 3 students can log in as one user and simultaneously work on a lab.
  • It’s recommended that faculty coordinate NETLAB+ usage schedules with each other when possible – establishing open lines of communication is important.