JB Hensler College and Career Academy Networking Students Shoot “How To” YouTube Videos




Students at JB Hensler College and Career Academy have become accustomed to learning in a less traditional educational environment. And for many students, this is a great thing! JB Hensler offers an opportunity for students to get hands-on practice in applying what they have learned from their teachers and curriculum.


Networking students, currently in their third year of the Information Technology Pathway, recently worked on a project showcasing both their skills and creativity. One of the educational standards that students must meet for this particular class is to demonstrate how to cut, crimp, and punch down UTP networking cables. Students listen to a lecture and complete digital worksheets over UTP cabling topics. Once the worksheets are finished, students move on to watch a video on how to create their own cables. Next, students move into the shop, grab the necessary tools and components, and begin to make their own UTP networking cables for the first time. As students complete their cables, the instructor moves around and tests each cable for continuity and proper pin alignment. If there is an error, then the student must start anew until he or she has created a working network cable.


Most students believed they were finished with this topic once they successfully created their own cable. Their instructor, Kyle Kettler, had one more activity for his students. Studies have shown that learners retain 90% of what they teach to someone else.With this in mind, Kettler developed a project in which the students would break off into groups and create their own “How To” video for YouTube. In this video, the students would demonstrate how to cut, crimp, and punch down Cat 6 Ethernet cables. This video would be shared on YouTube so anyone who wanted to make their own cable could use this video as a reference.


Student response to this project ranged from tepid to enthusiastic. A rubric was provided for the students so they knew what the video should include. It should have an introduction and description, include stills of the wiring schematic used, show several video shots of the cutting and punch down process, demonstrate successful testing of the cable, and culminate with a conclusion. Quality, creativity, length (4-8 minutes), and a peer review would also factor into a student’s grade on the project.


Fortunately, there were several rooms available for the groups to use so they would not disturb one another. JB Hensler has a spacious design that facilitates this type of hands-on learning environment. Over the course of three days, the groups were able to complete their videos. The class then watched each of the videos together and enjoyed commenting on what their peers had accomplished.


Alvin High School senior Shakobi VanDenburg said, “Watching both my video and the videos created by others showed me where I was lacking, and enabled me to advance my own knowledge of the subject.” Shadow Creek High School senior Ethan Alexander commented, “The project required us to go over each individual step properly and explain it, which helped to memorize the steps for making a CAT 6 cable.”


For more information about this program or other programs and/or facilities, please visit www.alvinisd.net/Page/31243.