The biggest reason I keep this blog is so that people taking future versions of these modules have some clue as to what to expect from them. I’d planned on having a pretty detailed description of the day school experience, excluding the content of the activities and questions.
Due to measures aimed at slowing contraction of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, the OU has cancelled all face-to-face tutorials for the time being, including day schools.
The alternative learning experience (ALE) in place for people who couldn’t attend the day school for exceptional circumstances, such as disability, can’t be scaled to the necessary size required to accept all students for practical considerations. What we’ll be getting instead is just another Packet Tracer activity to run through. It also appears that we’ll be working on the activity individually, rather than in a group in real-time.
It’s a real shame that some people will be getting through this experience without ever having touched a non-consumer router or switch, but it’s certainly the right thing to do at this time. It’s also rather sad that students won’t experience group dynamics in network troubleshooting, as this is an excellent way to learn for both inexperienced and experienced network technicians. Teaching somebody is a great way to cement knowledge, and for me it makes sure I know it 100% as I don’t want to give out potentially bad information. Having incomplete information is fine if the worst case scenario is that I have to redo some work, it’s terrible if I’ve caused someone else to fail.
If anybody is taking this module and has a bit of cash lying around, you might want to look on eBay for Cisco test equipment kits, use it, then sell it on afterwards. It still won’t be the same, as you won’t be troubleshooting, for example, somebody using the wrong cable between two devices, but it will be better.
(Also, I can’t help but mention that I was going to be in Disney World the week after the day school for the first vacation I’ve been able to plan without extended family since before I got married 14 years ago. Disney World is now closed a couple of weeks before Easter, and will probably be closed over Easter when we were planning to go, too. My kids are disappointed, we’ve lost a few hundred pounds already, but hopefully it won’t be a few thousand, and we’re going to try again for Halloween. And we’ll definitely find a way to make it up to the kids.)
Anyway, if I don’t take a break next year, hopefully I’ll get a run-down of the day school then. Good luck all, stay safe, and wash your hands you filthy animals.