Sunday, December 4, 2011

Principal Seeking CompTIA A+ Certification: Waste of Time or Worthwhile?

This weekend, I began studying for my CompTIA A+ certification. After a great deal of soul-searching, I decided that I wanted to pursue this certification. I have spent quite a few years tinkering with PCs. While this certification does not directly impact my current job as a school administrator, I am finding the challenge of exploring all of the intimate parts of a PC fascinating.

I’ve been a “digital-tinkerer” all the way back to my first Windows 3.1 desktop. As the years and operating systems have passed, I’ve continued that fascination. This weekend my interest was re-ignited when I successfully set up my desktop computer as a print-server. There was a great deal of personal satisfaction when I successfully made it possible to print to my desktop printer from multiple wireless devices, including my laptop.

The techno-geeks out there are probably chuckling a bit at my bravado here, but for me, learning about technology has happened in those moments of experimentation and exploration. There is satisfaction in learning something I did not know before, and for me that captures my whole fascination with computers. There is a great deal to be said about experimentation and exploration in the implementation of technology in education settings.

Is it a waste of time for a principal of a school to seek CompTIA A+ computer certification? I like to think learning is valuable regardless of it’s direct impact on my job performance. After all, is this not adding still another perspective to my understanding of PCs and technology? Perhaps others would say principals seeking such certifications is a waste of time. What do you think?


  1. Go for it.

    Please recognize that the A+ certification is a hardware certification, perhaps the most basic for computer technician jobs. For those not ready, on their own, to tear the guts out of a computer and rebuild or upgrade, this is the right course. If you are lucky, the tech department in your district will have several older computers you can use during the process. Make it as hands-on as you can.

    Of course, be careful. The tech coordinator might ask you to go out on help desk calls once you qualify!

    Get some further experience with command line tools and some fundamentals of programming (Try Scratch from MIT first...and get your students into it!)

  2. Thanks for the comment. I have been tinkering with computers way back to an old 486 I still have in the attic, along with a couple of Pentium 2's. I have installed memory in computers several times. I have also installed hard drives, CD ROMs and DVD ROM's. So I am pretty comfortable inside the PC already. In fact, I've hardly missed a question in the practice tests I've taken.