Free/opensource A+ or A+ like textbooks or materials

bdelong

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2021
5
13
Bowling Green KY
All,
I am teaching CYBER JROTC Year 1 curriculum focused on the A+. The curriculum just consists of PPT and no other associated material. Would anyone know of a free or opensource book or that would be easily printable i could get ahold of. I want to provide another form of learning for my cadets without breaking the bank. Thanks.
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
  • Aug 31, 2020
    10
    2
    Maryland
    It goes without saying that the starting resource that's "free" is what you can find on Professor Messer's website. Tons of videos that are mapped to the exam objectives for the Core 1 and Core 2 exams.
    In addition to the videos, you will find transcripts of what's in the video. That can be your "reading" component.
     

    jgoodrich

    Well-known member
  • Jun 23, 2020
    12
    2
    Lansing, Michigan
    I am running into the problem that CompTIA wants to move to ebooks, but they don't want us to use random/general emails. My high school can't afford to buy each student an A+ book. When we buy textbook we get three years' use from them. However, they want us to buy an ebook for each student. I want them to sell seat licenses. We buy 25 licenses and we can give them to student01, and student02. Not have to give them each to timmysmith.

    The only thing not letting do this is going to drive more schools away from ordering any CompTIA books.
     
    I am running into the problem that CompTIA wants to move to ebooks, but they don't want us to use random/general emails. My high school can't afford to buy each student an A+ book. When we buy textbook we get three years' use from them. However, they want us to buy an ebook for each student. I want them to sell seat licenses. We buy 25 licenses and we can give them to student01, and student02. Not have to give them each to timmysmith.

    The only thing not letting do this is going to drive more schools away from ordering any CompTIA books.
    That might be tricky with how CertMaster is architected.
     

    jgoodrich

    Well-known member
  • Jun 23, 2020
    12
    2
    Lansing, Michigan
    Rick

    The problem is that asking schools to triple or quadruple their textbook/curriculum budget is not going to happen. Teachers are already under attack by people, our budgets are being gutted. Then we are being told by the administration and government to you "free course/open source" books.

    IN the past I could buy a book for say $100 and it would last for 3 years or 4 years. Then now it is $58.00 per student. I now have to pay $174.00 for three years or $232.00 for 4 years.

    This will drive people/schools from the material. I am already looking for other material to use, because I was already told there was no textbook money left this year for my new books because other classes etext budget had tripled.

    CompTIA needs to rethink its policy on this.

    I really think CompTIA for K-12 needs to follow Cisco NetAcad and provide this free. By giving the material to K-12 it allows you to create lifetime customers. NetAcad allows people that score 70% on the test to get discounted vouchers.
     
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    Stuart

    Well-known member
    May 28, 2022
    35
    33
    I understand the issue Jgoodrich printed textbooks could be used by a number of students and using Comptia Certmaster is a per-student fee which pushes the cost up.

    The value of Certmaster Learn is on a per-student base you can track how the student is moving on with the training. I feel this tracking of the student adds to the value of the product

    As Steve said Professor Messer has a large amount of free content that could be of use if you are hard pushed. It's a chicken and egg issue on which way is best to go in your case
     

    jgoodrich

    Well-known member
  • Jun 23, 2020
    12
    2
    Lansing, Michigan
    Stuart,


    Most people don't care about tracking as we all have LMS systems that we use. Also I am only talking about a license to the ebook not the other product.

    The cost of those is so high to put them out of reach for most K-12 and even some Community Colleges.

    Most schools still require us to get text book/curriculum approval. We can't get a school board to approve youtube video as they change.

    Also I can track students in Cisco NetAcad and still free.

    Cisco is even going large with open up courses to anyone not just academic settings.

    But again, I just want the license book to be per seat, not per student.
     
    Well, while I'm not trying to get into a charged debate on CIN, I do have a couple thoughts. And being an educator myself, I truly know what it means to not have the materials you need in the classroom to teach your students. I can certainly sympathize and even empathize with your situation.

    First, I cannot speak for how your district operates or funds its constituent schools, as well as government funding from the state, but for them to tell you to go get free materials because they are unwilling or unable to fund your schools technology program, to me, is a problem with the district/government, not with how CompTIA markets its products. To say that CompTIA needs to market products for K-12 education at discount or free, to me is saying that CompTIA has to come in and fix something that's not their problem. It also seems to me that if the district feels it's necessary to provide this kind of career training, they would enable you to do it, regardless of the cost - if they value it that much.

    Second, we all understand that technology does not follow the same kind of update track as general studies type course, such as math and geography. So you can't get an A+ book and have it remain current the same way as Algebra 1. Technology changes far too rapidly. The way I see it, providing seat licensing would not make good business sense to CompTIA,

    There are other publishers out there that market products to schools, such as Cengage, Pearson, McGraw Hill, and others. None of these are creating "per seat" licensing for K-12. In fact, does any textbook publisher do this? Why would CompTIA be any different in that regard?

    Comparing CompTIA to Cisco, to me, is something of a red herring. CompTIA is an $103M non-profit company. Cisco is a $51.5B public company. Cisco has far more resources and ability to provide discounted/free solutions to K-12 than Cisco does. I don't think you can use this as a viable comparison.

    Now I know that CompTIA has an initiative for getting middle school aged students involved in technology, primarily as part of Project Agora - that's CompTIA Spark (Formerly IT Futures). I don't think that helps you too much, but that's one of CompTIA's K-12 approaches.

    Not trying to start any arguments here, but I just see an opposite side of the issue.

    /r
     

    jgoodrich

    Well-known member
  • Jun 23, 2020
    12
    2
    Lansing, Michigan
    Rick,

    IT is marketing and it is a tax write-off even for a non-profit.

    The cost to provide an additional ebook is nothing. To make copies cost nothing.

    By starting marketing to middle and high school students you lock in life long customers.

    However, I am not even advocating for free. I just want the per-seat license not per student. Thus we buy them CompTIA still gets money just not per student.

    Also maybe that $105 million could grow to 150 million if more people have CompTIA accounts, have certifications and have access to fill one of the 2.2 million projected IT job openings.

    But it is about the short term, not long-term gain.
     
    Also maybe that $105 million could grow to 150 million if more people have CompTIA accounts, have certifications and have access to fill one of the 2.2 million projected IT job openings.

    But it is about the short term, not long-term gain.
    Coming out of ChannelCon this Summer, I don't think the goal is for short term gain, but the long game has a different approach to that through Project Agora. I would encourage you to have a look at that. I still believe the concerns you've laid out would be better addressed by the school district, rather than CompTIA.

    /r
     

    jgoodrich

    Well-known member
  • Jun 23, 2020
    12
    2
    Lansing, Michigan
    Coming out of ChannelCon this Summer, I don't think the goal is for short term gain, but the long game has a different approach to that through Project Agora. I would encourage you to have a look at that. I still believe the concerns you've laid out would be better addressed by the school district, rather than CompTIA.

    /r
    Rick,

    I am sorry but the issue is with CompTIA. Because the pushback I get when I ask for funding is why not use free material like NetAcad, AWS, etc. I have to go and justify the cost. Which I have always been able to do when I can buy a book for $50 to $100 and I can get several years of use out of it. But when asked to pay per student every year, every semester there is no way school budgets can support that. We pay for two to three certifications for students.


    From what I know about Agora it is focused on middle school not high school students. I could be wrong. I only saw a blurb about it.
     
    I can't accept that it's CompTIA's responsibility to solve a problem that a school district refuses to address. As I said before, if the district thinks its something of value, they will fund it. CompTIA has no say into how a school district spends money, so they have no liability when a technology program goes unfunded. Even if CompTIA could give everything away for free, it's simply not their responsibility to do so. It's your district's choice to provide those 2-3 certifications to students, so I would simply chalk it up as the cost of doing business. It's fallacious to say that the cost of doing *this* business should be the same as the cost of doing *that* business. CompTIA cannot arrange your school district's priorities, even in the face of large initiatives like Agora. It's going to require advocacy from folks who are on the ground, like yourself.

    I really hate where this conversation is going, because what it boils down to is, really, who is actually entitled to what., so I won't be commenting on this thread any further, after I press the blue button. I know it's frustrating because the impetus is that you have to teach a class and your district refuses to support you at a level that you think is necessary to deliver content to meet the mandate your district has placed on you. Honestly, I see it all the time, in my own school and in the schools I've reviewed over the years. The best thing for it is for you to continue to advocate your case and hope someone in your district's administration will listen that understands how to balance investment in the future with fiscal frugality.

    The only alternative I think you have is to use hardcopy texts and replace them every three years. You can always try to replace them with every other revision of an exam - that will give you about six years use. It will just be on instructors to make up that 15-25% difference when you're in the off season (using v11 material to teach v12 objectives), for example. But I'm pretty sure that CompTIA isn't going to create a per-seat model for CertMaster, the ebook, or anything else.

    Project Agora isn't about "middle school" students - that's actually CompTIA Spark. Agora is a large initiative that is designed to bring more IT talent into the industry, to fill that 2.2M shortfall in personnel. It is effectively looking to compete against other industries for manpower, by creating systems of awareness and draw to pull people into the IT field.

    Best of luck in this.

    Rick
     

    jgoodrich

    Well-known member
  • Jun 23, 2020
    12
    2
    Lansing, Michigan
    Rick

    "I can't accept that it's CompTIA's responsibility to solve a problem that a school district refuses to address. "

    No it is CompTIA like everyone else wants more money. So instead of selling books, they want more money so they push e-books and want to charge 3 to 4 times more. While the deliver of the ebook cost no extra.

    Also your attitude has me now thinking how much of relationship I want with my company or my students that takes this view. Your comments may have just pushed me from every after this year teaching or working with CompTIA away for good. I have been certified for almost 20 years.

    CompTIA only wants to care about money and not filling its 501(c)(3) mission may it should lose its 501 status. But what do I know I only have a JD and Masters in US/International Tax law.

    So if CompTIA wants to fix this you or your boss might want to reach out try to deal with this.

    But as of this moment you have pushed your biggest advocate in my district from fighting to keep your certs as relevant.

    My district did not pick the certs I did. I picked them because I thought your company had value.

    Per Seat I can pay $150 per student per year and get testout through MICE and have access to all there material, books, practice labs and certifications. Which address my states requirements. If my choice is having to pay for CompTIA high prices for one or two certs when I can get MICE/Testout for $150 and get https://www.micek12.com/shop/ material

    I can get 10 packaged curriculum ebook/test/etc and 10 certification preps.

    To think that you think it is a district problem when it is a pricing problem and the tone deaf CompTIA problem.

    Also to tell a customer/trainer/educator that you are done talking about an issue. Way to go what customer service that is!

    Yes I am pissed!
     
    Rick

    "I can't accept that it's CompTIA's responsibility to solve a problem that a school district refuses to address. "

    No it is CompTIA like everyone else wants more money. So instead of selling books, they want more money so they push e-books and want to charge 3 to 4 times more. While the deliver of the ebook cost no extra.

    Also your attitude has me now thinking how much of relationship I want with my company or my students that takes this view. Your comments may have just pushed me from every after this year teaching or working with CompTIA away for good. I have been certified for almost 20 years.

    CompTIA only wants to care about money and not filling its 501(c)(3) mission may it should lose its 501 status. But what do I know I only have a JD and Masters in US/International Tax law.

    So if CompTIA wants to fix this you or your boss might want to reach out try to deal with this.

    But as of this moment you have pushed your biggest advocate in my district from fighting to keep your certs as relevant.

    My district did not pick the certs I did. I picked them because I thought your company had value.

    Per Seat I can pay $150 per student per year and get testout through MICE and have access to all there material, books, practice labs and certifications. Which address my states requirements. If my choice is having to pay for CompTIA high prices for one or two certs when I can get MICE/Testout for $150 and get https://www.micek12.com/shop/ material

    I can get 10 packaged curriculum ebook/test/etc and 10 certification preps.

    To think that you think it is a district problem when it is a pricing problem and the tone deaf CompTIA problem.

    Also to tell a customer/trainer/educator that you are done talking about an issue. Way to go what customer service that is!

    Yes I am pissed!
    So I guess I am going to have to respond here, despite my earlier statement, so I'll be brief in my reply:

    Look, first, I'm not an employee of CompTIA. I work for a private, for-profit College and am an ardent supporter and contributor here on CIN, as well as a great supporter of CompTIA in general. My opinion is just that, my opinion. I have no control or say over CompTIA's processes, business objectives, or anything relating to this conversation. I'm merely stating my view. I also have no control over whether you decide to direct your anger at CompTIA or me personally - that's not within my scope of control either. I'm alright if you wish to blame me for your irritation and anger relating to this discourse. It's fine. I don't take it personally. I just have a different opinion than you do and that's what discourse is and I am sorry if my expressed opinion angers you; it was not my intention and I mean no disrespect.

    If you are able to get training material from a different vendor, I would encourage you to do so. If CompTIA's certifications have less value to you, well, I'm sorry to hear that, but that doesn't change my opinion either. I would be the first to tell you that CompTIA isn't the end all answer for every training situation. You have to find the solutions that work for you and your students, your institution, and your training environment.

    Beyond that, all I can do is offer my perspective and opinion. If it's of value, well, great. If it is not, well, that's fine too.

    Best,

    Rick