Information technology is a rapidly evolving field that doubles its capabilities, from storage space to processing, every 18 months. With such rapid change that requires businesses to stay at the forefront of technology, information technology professionals are in strong demand to stay abreast of and manage these changes to help businesses remain competitive.
Assisting in training tomorrow’s competent IT professionals at Minnesota School of Business-Rochester is Rod Wright, information technology chair, who is not your typical IT instructor. He seamlessly combines his expert IT knowledge with uncanny wit and humor in the classroom for preparing MSB-Rochester’s IT professionals. Here, Rod brings that wit and humor to our reading audience in this month’s program spotlight:
Do you remember playing in a sandbox as a kid?
I know I do and absolutely loved it! Well, guess what? In the information technology program, our college degree-seeking students still get to play in a sandbox! Okay, okay, so wait just a second before you go get your own shovel and bucket, let me explain what our sandbox is.
In IT, a sandbox is a set of equipment that our students get to “play” with and practice real-life job skills. We get to explore different operating systems like Windows (which the IT students get free) or Linux. Students set up networks and practice troubleshooting all in an environment in which it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them. Our students are encouraged to try things that they may be curious about and just want to see if they can do it. If they break anything, well, we are IT, so we just fix it!
The campus recently designated room 207 as an IT lab and purchased equipment for us to practice with. One of our adjunct instructors, Jim Koelsch, was able to bring in extra PCs and we also received several from the Rochester Catholic School system. These extra systems allow us to practice even more!
The IT department at MSB-Rochester also dedicated 3Mbps of our Internet connection just for our sandbox in room 207. How cool is that; we get our own dedicated Internet bandwidth! The campus director has also given us permission to make some changes to the look of room 207 so it feels more comfortable to our students; watch for those changes in the near future. He still won’t say yes to the 60 inch flat panels and gaming consoles, but, hey, at least we get to make the room our own!
Noting the value provided by the recent enhancements, several students express how the change has improved their education and training:
“I actually find the equipment in 207 a real valuable asset to the program. It allows the IT students to get hands-on experience on items that we cover in class. It also allows us to mock emergencies and situations that we may encounter on the job.” — Jason Van Every, IT student
“The new and improved sandbox is a huge step from our old lab. This additional technology has also been a huge step for providing the IT program with the best training the school can offer. The current students that use the new lab really enjoy having their own server as well.” —Denny Skou, IT student
The IT program has a bright future thanks to our students, and we look forward to increasing our equipment to ensure our students get the best hands-on training possible! So, if you find yourself at MSB-Rochester, feel free to join in on our fun by coming to play in our sandbox!
Want to reserve a spot to play in the sandbox? Contact Rod Wright, IT program chair, at email@example.com or call 507 536-9500.