E-mail contact
Charlotte McCullough

Teacher Bio
Charlotte McCullough is the Vocational Instructor of Networking and Information Processing at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, a School to Career school. An original techie, she developed her programming expertise during the dawn of modern computer technology. Her certifications combine to endow her students with cutting-edge training plus historical perspective. As HTML creator of the first 100 pages on boston.technet.org, CharM continues to advise and consult. Her several awards include the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Teacher of the Year, and Golden Apple Teacher. Through TechBoston she has received the City Excellence Award for Innovation in Education sponsored by John Hancock and the Boston Management Consortium.

Subject Areas
Networking & Information Processing. English Language Arts

Grade Levels
11 & 12

Tech Voc Ed Juniors & Seniors, many of whom are new immigrants



TechAssist 2 ~ Cisco Kids Help Schools


Key Question How can students incorporate technology with Service Learning?

Overview Building on PC and Network Hardware and Software foundations received in their sophomore year, juniors and seniors proceed to the Cisco Networking Academy Program. Students learn to design, build and maintain computer networks and prepare for the 21st century workplace with a thorough immersion in cabling, media, connections, electronics, routers, bridges, switches, and hub setup and management, network security and documentation. TechAssist Part II students continue to install, troubleshoot, maintain and repair computers with an emphasis on school networks. By assuming active roles in career choices and service, they show younger peers how Cisco Kids can be Successful Adults.

Active Exploration + Applied Learning + Adult Connections
Classroom Activities
Community Activities
Career Activities
Disseminate info about TechAssist throughout school.
Respond to tech requests.
Begin TechAssist classroom logs.
Diagnose, classify & document computer problems.
Clean & maintain computers & peripherals.
Return repaired computers.
Communicate problems & solutions to clients.
Process aspects of referral, service & service production.
Research networking subjects & compile TechAssist Reports.
Document TechAssist with multimedia, pictures, digital video & computer slide shows.
Work in teams to provide classrooms with computers in working order.
Visit middle school & describe TechAssist principles.
Maintain e-mail contact with middle school techies.
Take 9th & 10th graders on a networking lab tour.
Share TechAssist computer slide show (or download, 1.91 MB) with prospective students & visitors at expos & conferences.
Meet with community leaders including senators, the mayor & Cisco executives.
Visit municipal & school Tech Centers.
Observe & interact with professional troubleshooters.
Develop problem-solving skills for after-school positions. Ex: Lab Tech Assistant.
Research qualifications for positions in computer networking industry.
Apply for after-school & summer technology positions.
Examine technology service-related positions in the public sector: CityYear, libraries, hospitals & municipal or state offices.

Academic Rigor

Learning Standards Technology
Understand & work with technical information.
Resolve computer & network support problems.
Use application & system software & computer training equipment.
Process job input/output.
Provide documentation & forms.

Learning Standards English Language Arts

Use various formats & technology to complete & enhance work.
Understand & use the writing process effectively.
Collaborate on project that applies learning to educate others.

School to Career Competencies

Practice Communication & Literacy Skills.
Collect & organize information.
Problem Solve.
Use Technology.
Complete Entire Activities.
Act Professionally.
Understand All Aspects of the Industry.


The most definitive assessment of a TechAssist student is a working computer and a satisfied user. Class work and homework assignments are assessed through tests many of which are online. Students refer to Rubric scores for TechAssist Logs and Reports.

Software or Materials Used For repair activities: small tool kits, cable & tester, crimper & RJ45 jacks; for text; Cisco Networking Academy online curriculum; plus demonstrations on a large screen monitor, Diagnostic Utilities, software installation disks; computer slide & digital whiteboard presentations; Microsoft Office for TechAssist logo, business cards, service forms, feedback forms, etc.

Teacher Developed Materials Guidelines for TechAssist Logs and Reports, Rubrics for TechAssist Logs and Reports

Student Developed Materials Flyers advertising TechAssist, Logs, Reports, Computer Slide Show

Web Sites Microsoft Office; HP Technical Support; Cisco Connection Online

Final Words When TechAssist students discover they are in demand for summer and full time tech positions in major companies and government organizations, they agree rigorous curriculum plus hard work pays off.

Teacher Tip Teamwork is key to providing service in Networking and Technology. The more students work together to solve endless computer glitches, the better they do. Communication skills also improve with careful documentation in Logs and Reports.

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