Tony Fitzgerald, an expert in mobile technology and network infrastructure, currently works as a disaster recovery analyst for a local company. In addition, he instructs IT program courses at Minnesota School of Business-Blaine (MSB). One of the classes Fitzgerald instructs is Network Infrastructure Administration, which teaches students how to manage and investigate the properties of computer networks and their structure. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program with an emphasis in Networking and Security are required to take this course.
“In Network Infrastructure Administration, we cover network troubleshooting, so to add value to this unit, I gave students a research and writing assignment to include iPads and other mobile devices into the course work,” Fitzgerald said.
As part of the Educational User Experience initiative, all students at MSB-Blaine have an iPad, making this project even more engaging and timely. Each student was assigned to research and find an app for their iPad or mobile device that allows them to do network troubleshooting.
“All of my students chose to use their iPads or iPods for this assignment,” Fitzgerald said. “The students were able to come up with a number of apps that allowed them to run some network troubleshooting and network discovery tools on the network to which they were connected.”
One of the iPad apps showed the students how to discover active IP addresses with a potential description of what is connected to each device. Other apps allowed for network communication commands to be executed. The students were also able to analyze the local Wi-Fi network and were able to find a number of devices and resolve the device name/manufacturer, giving them some sense of whom and what was connected to the network.
Students were able to share the content on their iPads using the Apple TVs, installed in every classroom at MSB-Blaine.
“The capability to wirelessly switch between the instructor’s iPad screen, the student’s iPad, and the desktop computer enhances the interaction that students have with our IT instructors,” John Daley, IT program chair at MSB- Blaine, said.