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The Thinking Behind CEDIA’s Networking Workshops

A Q&A With Luke Amos, Senior Director of Curriculum and Learning

If you’ve gotten an email from CEDIA in the last few weeks, there’s a good chance you’ve heard that the association is taking training “on the road” these days, offering two immersive, two-day courses in networking at various locations around the U.S. We had questions–specifically, how do these two courses differ from the Networking Boot Camps offered at CEDIA HQ in Indy, and what’s covered?

To find out more about CEDIA’s “Principles of Networking” and “Advanced Networking Concepts” workshops, we had a sit-down with CEDIA’s senior director of curriculum and learning, Luke Amos, one of the key folks responsible for building these workshops.

How were the “Workshops” developed–where did the curriculum come from?

Luke Amos: Over the last six years, the IT Task Force has developed and revised a number of networking courses for ESC-N certification prep and delivery at the show. The “Principles” session is comprised of residential networking and wireless courses that are in regular rotation in the U.K. The “Advanced” class is essentially our Advanced Networking boot camp we’ve held at HQ in last couple of years.

How did the concept come about–this “on-the-road” training–and who’s helping CEDIA facilitate it?

We’ve been wanting to sprawl education out on a regional basis again for some time. Hiring in as the online learning developer, I’ve been all about making education more accessible throughout the year. We’ve found it is those who need the training most who can’t find the time and resources to make it to the show. We also realize that it is unsustainable to expect those who are prepping or maintaining certification to wait for one week every year for their professional development needs.

Who’ll be instructing these?

Many of the same folks who help develop the material and who have taught at CEDIA shows in the past. We’re also open to anyone who may have interest as well. Email [email protected] if there’s any interest or if you feel there is a sizable group that may be interested in bringing the training to you.

How do they differ from what we’ve come to call the ‘Boot Camps?’ How are the days structured?

For the Principles class, the first day takes the time to cover the foundation of IP networking (802.3), a basis that needs to be well understood before going into more advanced topics. Day two covers wireless (802.11) technology, as well as what you need to know for planning and implementing good Wi-Fi coverage throughout a residence.

Here’s the scoop on the Advanced class: It’s the same material from our offerings at the show and the Advanced Networking boot camp. It’s essentially EST333, EST353, EST423, and EST443 condensed into two days. One thing we had to do with the workshop versus the Networking Boot Camp we host at HQ is remove the ESC-N exam so that we can fit it in that time frame.

How ‘hands-on’ are these?

We realize the importance of hands-on training. It’s hard to imagine or even retain information when you can’t practice what you’ve learned right away. Each student rack has a router, switch, access point, and camera at a minimum. As an example, the Principles course has 12 different exercises in which the student may need to use the knowledge they’ve just gained. There’s science behind retaining information better when it can be put it into practice, and that’s why hands-on is so important to us. We want to build these sessions so that employers can see immediate performance improvement when they get back to the office.

Can folks take the ESC-N exam elsewhere after completing the ‘Advanced’ course?

You bet. We recently expanded our testing network and it’s likely there’s a center in your neighborhood.

Lastly–and maybe most importantly–what do the attendees get for lunch?

If I were asking the questions I think I’d put this one up top. Lunch is provided, but unfortunately, the specifics are outside my purview. I can say I’ve never been disappointed in what the meetings and events team has chosen. Perhaps some local suggestions could be recommended to training location contact if one has a preference. And for that matter, make sure you communicate any dietary restrictions to us and we’ll be sure to accommodate you.

Keep tabs on the CEDIA Events page for more “on-the-road” training opportunities: