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The Cisco Networking Academy® IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software curriculum provides an introduction to the computer hardware and software skills needed to help meet the growing demand for entry-level ICT professionals. The curriculum covers the fundamentals of PC computer technology, networking, and security, and also provides an introduction to advanced concepts.
IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software is a hands-on, career-oriented e-learning solution with an emphasis on practical experience to help students develop fundamental computer skills, along with essential career skills. The Cisco® IT Essentials curriculum helps students prepare for entry-level ICT career opportunities and the CompTIA A+ certification, which helps students differentiate themselves in the marketplace to advance their careers

In addition, the course provides a learning pathway to the Cisco CCNA® Discovery and CCNA Exploration curricula.

Features

IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software provides a comprehensive introduction to the ICT industry and interactive, hands-on exposure to personal computers, hardware, software, and operating systems. The curriculum offers the following features and benefits:

  • Students develop working knowledge of how computers operate, how to assemble computers, and how to troubleshoot hardware and software issues
  • Hands-on labs and virtual learning tools help students develop critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills
  • The course emphasizes the practical application of skills and procedures needed for hardware and software installations,
    upgrades, and troubleshooting systems
  • Cisco Packet Tracer simulation-based learning activities promote the exploration of networking and network security concepts and
    allow students to experiment with network behavior
  • Interactive assessments provide immediate feedback to support the evaluation of knowledge and acquired skills

Who Should Enroll

  • Students seeking career-oriented, entry-level computer hardware, software, and networking skills
  • Students who want to gain fundamental PC hardware,  software, and troubleshooting skills

Prerequisites

  • There are no prerequisites for this course

21st Century Skills

IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software integrates practical skills training into the technical curriculum to help students succeed in future educational, entrepreneurial, and occupational endeavors.
In addition to learning the fundamentals of hardware, software, and operating systems, students develop problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and negotiation skills, which can help them succeed in the 21st century global workplace.

Assessments

Innovative formative and summative assessments are integrated into the IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software curriculum and supported by an advanced online delivery system. Immediate, rich feed-back supports instructor and student evaluation of acquired knowledge and skills. Assessments can be as simple as a multiple choice question or as complex as troubleshooting a simulated network.

Course Description

The IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software course covers the fundamentals of PC hardware and software as well as advanced concepts. It is designed for students who want to pursue careers in ICT and students who want to gain practical knowledge of how a computer works.

Students who complete this course will be able to describe the internal components of a computer, assemble a computer system, install an operating system, and troubleshoot using system tools and diagnostic software. Students will also be able to connect to the Internet and share resources in a network environment. Additional topics covered include laptops and portable devices, wireless connectivity and basic implementation skills, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), security, safety and environmental issues, applied network configuration and troubleshooting skills, and communication skills.
Hands-on lab activities and virtual learning tools are essential elements that are integrated into the curriculum. The Virtual Laptop and Virtual Desktop are standalone tools that enable students to virtually disassemble and reassemble desktop and laptop computers. Both tools are designed to supplement classroom learning and provide an interactive “hands-on” experience in environments with limited physical equipment.

Course Outline

1.    Introduction to the Personal Computer  :

  • Identify and describe the various components that make up a personal computer and define information technology

2.   Safe Lab Procedures and Tool Use  :

  • Identify and describe tools used for computer service and explain how to use those tools safely

3.   Computer Assembly Step-by-Step :

  • Describe the assembly of a personal computer

4.   Basics of Preventive Maintenance and Troubleshooting • Describe the purpose of preventive maintenance and basic troubleshooting steps

5.   Fundamental Operating Systems :

  • Describe operating system capabilities, the installation process, navigation, basic preventive maintenance, and troubleshooting

6.   Fundamental Laptops and Portable Devices:

  • Identify and describe the main components of laptops and portable devices, basic preventive maintenance, and troubleshooting

7.   Fundamental Printers and Scanners:

  • Identify and describe the differences between printers and scanners, installation and configuration, basic preventive     maintenance, and   troubleshooting

8.   Fundamental Networks :

  • Identify and describe basic network components, technologies, basic preventive maintenance, and troubleshooting


9.    Fundamental Security :

  • Identify and describe security threats, procedures, basic preventive maintenance, and troubleshooting

10.  Communication Skills :

  • Describe professional skills and communication techniques

11. Advanced Personal Computers

  • Describe the process for replacing or upgrading personal computer components and apply preventive maintenance and troubleshooting
    techniques

12. Advanced Operating Systems :

  • Describe the processes used to install, upgrade,configure, and optimize a computer operating system, and apply preventive maintenance and troubleshooting techniques

13. Advanced Laptops and Portable Devices:

  • Describe the process for replacing or upgrading laptop or portable device components, describe common wireless communication technologies,and apply preventive maintenance and troubleshooting techniques

14. Advanced Printers and Scanners  :

  • Install and configure local and shared network printers and scanners, and apply preventive maintenance and troubleshooting techniques

15. Advanced Networks :

  • Design and implement a basic network based on customer requirements and apply preventive maintenance and troubleshooting techniques

16. Advanced Security   :

  • Implement security measures based on customer requirements and apply preventive maintenance and troubleshooting techniques

Upon completion of the IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software course, students will be able to perform the following tasks:

  • Define information technology (IT) and describe the components of a personal computer
  • Describe how to protect self, equipment, and the environment  from accidents, damage, and contamination
  • Perform a step-by-step assembly of a desktop computer and install and navigate an operating system
  • Explain and perform preventive maintenance
  • Explain the steps of the troubleshooting process and perform basic troubleshooting
  • Upgrade or replace components of a laptop, printer, or scanner based on customer needs
  • Configure computers to attach to an existing network
  • Implement basic physical and software security principles •   Apply good communications skills and professional behavior while working with customers
  • Assess customer needs, analyze possible configurations, and  provide solutions or recommendations for hardware, operating  systems, networking, and security

Industry-Recognized Certification

As a CompTIA Authorized Quality Curriculum, IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software helps students prepare for the CompTIA A+ certification (www.comptia.org). The fundamentals part of the course, chapters 1-10, helps students prepare for the CompTIA A+ Essentials exam (220-701), which covers the fundamentals of computer technology, networking, and security, and validates the communication skills and professionalism required of all entry-level IT professionals.
The advanced part of the course, chapters 11-16, helps students prepare for the CompTIA A+ Practical Application exam (220-702), which builds on the CompTIA A+ Essentials knowledge and skills, with more of a hands-on orientation and scenarios in which troubleshooting and tools must be applied to resolve problems. Students must pass both exams to earn the CompTIA A+ certification.

Careers

The IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software curriculum supports students who want to prepare for entry-level positions in the ICT field. Job titles include enterprise technician, IT administrator, field service technician, call center technician, help desk technician, and PC or support technician.