Part of Unit: Preventive Maintenance and Trouble shooting
Lesson Plan Overview / Details
When a customer has an issue and he or she is not able to make it into the store, IT techs can help if the issue is not a layer one issue. Sometimes, it is the simplest thing to help someone who is having a problem with software, especially programs. If the customer is able to turn on his/her computer and connect to the internet, the technician is able to help with questions or problems, and even teach the customer a bit about the computers he or she owns.
There are many virtual private network (VPN) programs out there for free. OpenVPN is one program that is free until a certain amount of data is transferred - then the cost will start to factor in. I find that this lesson teaches my students a bit of responsibility because cost in this case depends on type of use. If the program, TeamViewer, is used individually by a person for non-commercial uses, it is free. If it is used commercially, by an IT technician for example, it will cost the technician some money especially when its use becomes a tool that the technician uses in his or her business. This is perfect time to discuss costs vs. profit, and personal integrity vs. dubious trustworthiness. These students will learn about such programs and need to discuss the value of trust and dependability in this field, especially when there are so many people of lesser morals out there doing this job for the pure profit motive. The additional factor of being able to help a customer at the very moment he or she needs it is such a wow factor in the business world and for a few minutes of care, concern, and help, a tech may be able to earn valuable return customers and their friends who are in need of help. What a great business move!
- Classroom/ Lab
- 1 - 3 Class Periods
California Career and Technical Education Standards
- IT.FS.4.2 Understand the use of technological resources to access, manipulate, and produce...
- IT.FS.8.2 Understand the concept and application of ethical and legal behavior consistent ...
- IT.FS.8.3 Understand the role of personal integrity and ethical behavior in the workplace.
California Academic Content Standards (Reinforced)
- ELA.9-10.R.CAGT.2.6 Demonstrate use of sophisticated learning tools by following technical direction...2
Objectives and Goals
- Students will learn what a virtual private network is, its pros and cons.
- Students will learn how to manipulate the VPN to remotely help customers.
- Students will learn and discuss the ethical and non-ethical uses of this type of software in hopes that the ideologies discussed will influence them in a proper moral direction that should be exhibited by an IT professional.
- VPN materials needed.docx [ Download ] A short list of what is needed to do this lesson
Activities in this Lesson
- Hook, Line, & Sinker - Hooks / Set
You need an iPhone or smartphone of some type on which TeamViewer can be loaded. Have a computer with TeamViewer loaded hooked up to the overhead, running, and ready.
When the class enters the room, turn off the lights.
You are standing away from the front of the room while your partner is standing somewhere else or even outside the room, manipulating the computer at the front remotely using this VPN software. Students will start to really pay attention when they see things happening to the cursor and programs on the desktop without you even being close to the keyboard and mouse.
Say out loud, "Hey, knock it off up there!" insinuating that someone sitting near the computer is manipulating it. Students near it will deny they had anything to do with it. After you go over and 'realize' there is no one physically touching the machine, scratch your head and try to figure out what is happening. Meanwhile, your 'partner' is having a good time, moving things around.
After a few more minutes of this, have your co-conspirator walk into the room and, using his or her iPhone, have him or her show the students that the iPhone is the controlling factor.
- What the Heck? - Lecture
Introduce the students to virtual private networks - the idea that a computer can be controlled remotely over the network.
At this time, you can show the short little movie, "How to Set Up a VPN Using Windows XP."
This gives the kids the idea about setting up a VPN on XP. It is all good except the fact is that it is not a good idea to set this up on customers' computers because each case is so different. Most, if not all, computers will be behind firewalls and customers are very wary of these types of programs unless they trust the IT tech. Also, not all computers are using XP AND you may have to help someone with a Mac instead of a PC.
It is much better to have a program that is evident and that the customer can turn off, so he or she has some control of what you are doing, even if you are helping them. It helps them to feel in much more control and secure.
In this discussion, the pros and cons of using VPN software should be discussed. The powerpoint file, "VPN pros and cons" is available for download for you.
- Let's Talk Money - Lecture
This is the time to discuss the idea regarding legitimate uses of the 'free' version of the program vs. paying for the professional version.
If a person is going into business for him or herself and using the software to help his or her customers, it should, by definition, be paid for. Go over the price charged by Teamviewer for the software and run some figures showing students that the more customers they have, the less per customer it costs. Also, when the pro version is purchase, the IT tech can put his or her own logo on it AND the software can be used by his or her team to instruct each other on issues they have run across in the field. Help can also be had by IT tech team members by turning over the ID and pass to another team member who can help if there's a problem.
All in all, the primary purpose of using the software is the customer. Happy customers mean happy clientele and word of mouth will help increase a person's business more than they realize. Customer service is personal and professional, something missing many times in this day and age.
- Download and Installation of Teamviewer - Independent Practice
Have the students download Teamviewer software to their computers. They can also download it to their iPhones.
When the program is set up, have the students read the directions as provided on the website of the program. One thing they must be told is to use only one set of information. Each terminal with Teamviewer installed will have an ID and Password. Tell them to use only one terminal to connect to the other one. Have them take the ID and password of one terminal and use the other terminal to connect to it. They will figure it out when they use it long enough. What excites them is the ability to use their iPhones to connect to the remote computer.
Also tell them that when they are using this to help a customer, the IT tech and the customer are talking to each other over the phone line. It behooves the IT tech to be on a remote computer (or another phone) so that he or she can speak to his or her customer and walk them through what is being done on their computer in front of them. It is a great teaching tool as well as a great work tool as long as guidelines are followed, the problem with the computer is not a connectivity problem with the internet, integrity is kept, and the customer is happy with the results.
- Show Me the Money! - Check Understanding
Have students work with Teamviewer and get to understand all that it can do. Have them transfer files, manipulate each other's desktops, and shut computers off with the program. Also, have them find the 'help' files and read them to discover where to find information if they have questions about Teamviewer or its functions.
Walk around the room and give students things to do so that they can show you that they know the program.
- The Final Grade - How Did They Do? - Assessment
By observation, students are graded on this for the success in the following:
1) downloading and installing the proper version of the software
2) following the instructions as to how to log into the 'remote' computer
3) instructing as to how to perform a function via the VPN while the class instructor observes
This is another of those lessons that is project-based and hands-on success oriented. It is easy to grade students on this type of activity as their success is usually very obvious. There are enough 'peer' instructors in a class who love to help/show off/boss around other students and be the hero, and that is the great part about any type of hands-on training. The learning that occurs between peer-to-peer connections is much greater than that of teacher-student learning in many cases. It is truly amazing to watch these kids absorb this lesson!
I have also added another assessment which can be used to 'test' the ability of the students to use the program and problem-solve. I have attached it below.
- Assessment Types:
- Journals, Teacher-Made Test,
Along with the other assessment, this written assessment can be used for both a quiz and very interesting discussions on personal integrity, identity theft, and good/bad character, especially of a business owner. You will find it interesting discussion topics.
- Assessment for the lab What Do I Do.doc [ Download ] The Written Assessment for What Do I Do lab.