CompTIA Helps Teachers Set Course in Mexican School

by Jim Staats | Nov 05, 2012
Gerardo Lorenzana, computer science teacher at Centro Cultural Anahuac, shows students how to assemble a computer.

A prep school in Mexico City is doing its part to educate and enlighten a region for generations to come.

With an assist from CompTIA, both the faculty and student body of Centro Cultural Anahuac are leading the way in technical skills and environmental know-how that extend beyond the classroom.

The private institution became the first of its kind in the country to roll CompTIA into its IT curriculum when CompTIA A+ training was included in 2008. This year, the school again earned trailblazer status with faculty trained and certified in CompTIA Green IT.

The CompTIA Green IT certification program brings awareness of eco-sensitive issues in the IT industry with a focus on reduced energy consumption, proper recycling methods, virtualization and international standards. With such a wide scope and breadth of areas covered, this training is likely to leave an indelible impression on young students being introduced to these issues for the first time.

Introducing Green IT

"We like innovation," said Gerardo Lorenzana, the school's computer science teacher and coordinator of its CompTIA Green IT classes, the first such prep school offering in the entire region.

"We believe that certifications are very important," said Lorenzana. "We also like to help the environment, so we were very pleased to offer CompTIA Green IT certification."

"We want to be conscious about the conditions of the planet and know which decisions are best for our (technical) equipment,"  he said.

To date, 20 of the 22 members of the school's academic and administrative staff who took the class have earned their certification.

The secondary school for junior high and high school students started incorporating CompTIA Green IT into its curriculum this school year with initial certification testing opportunities for the first 80 students beginning January 2013. Lorenzana said favorable feedback for the subject matter and community interest prompted staff to take an unusual step. For the coming year, plans are being put in place to offer classes for parents.

Teachers and Students Benefit

More and more people and companies believe that it is not only important to be an expert, but to prove it. That is the reason why certifications are very important nowadays.

Gerardo Lorenzana, Centro Cultural Anahuac teacher

School principal Ariadna Delgado, who earned her CompTIA Green IT certification this past July, said the newfound skillset is applicable "to the modern technologies and in activities that we do each day.

"My goal is to apply this knowledge every day in my work and in my personal life," she said, noting the classroom experience helped bring administrative staffers closer together "to develop our skills and to take part in our responsibility of helping the world."

Anahuac is a CAPP Academy. As part of the CompTIA program, Anahuac has access to information, tools, and resources designed to help school administrators and instructors plan, prepare, and deliver an effective IT curriculum.

Lorenzana, himself certified in both CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Green IT, said to date some 400 students have taken the required CompTIA A+ course. However, only a handful of students went the extra —and optional — step of earning certification.

He expects that gap to close a bit as more attention is directed toward earning certifications. About 60 students are expected to earn their CompTIA A+ certifications this school year, Lorenzana said.

"More and more people and companies believe that it is not only important to be an expert, but to prove it," he said. "That is the reason why certifications are very important nowadays."

The school has been a Cisco Academy for the past four years and also offers Microsoft and Adobe Systems certifications, but Lorenzana said CompTIA stands out for its practical applications.

"What you learn from CompTIA can be applied everywhere, not only at school, at work, but also at home," he said.

Luis Benigno, a school administrator who became certified in CompTIA Green IT in July, said his young charges have been very receptive to the technical foundation provided by CompTIA A+ and initial feedback to the new offering was equally impressive.

"(Students) are very interested because it gives them the possibility to apply it in their lives," he said.

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