Cloud computing, smartphones and tablets on tap as computer course expands in Virginia Beach

High school students would learn about cloud computing, examine mobile devices and analyze operating systems as part of new course that’s envisioned for Virginia Beach’s Advanced Technology Center.

The course, Computer Systems Technology II, would begin during the 2016-2017 school year in an effort to meet the demands of the evolving technological world, according to Patrick Konopnicki, director of Technical and Career Education. Among other things, the course would cover installing an operating system, cloud computing, tablets and smartphones, preventative maintenance, troubleshooting and configuring Windows 10 devices.

The Advanced Technology Center could be adding a new course for the 2016-2017 school year. (Courtesy of
The Advanced Technology Center could be adding a new course for the 2016-2017 school year. (Courtesy of

The class would be coupled with Computer Systems Technology to create a two-year course for students at the Advanced Technology Center at the Virginia Beach Tidewater Community College campus. Once a student completes both phases they would be eligible for industry certifications, such as a Microsoft Specialist (Windows 10) certification and a CompTIA A+ certification, “a powerful credential that helps IT professionals worldwide ignite their IT career,” according to the CompTIA website.

“This portion of the course has been designed to create planned work experiences for all students,” Konopnicki said.

Staff for the new course is already in place, Konopnicki said. The  cost of $2,000 for

The school division’s Technical and Career Education Center will reallocate $2,000 from its budget to fund the training needed for the instructor, James Spruill, who teaches existing Computer Systems Technology course.

“You’re using resources and staff that are in place, and you’re adding this wonderful new course,” School Board Chairman Dan Edwards said at a Dec. 1 presentation about the class. “Is there any downside?”

“This is the expansion of a very successful course that now Mr. Spruill has taken ownership of,” Konopnicki said.

Konopnicki called the new class a natural expansion of the program and credited Spruill with pushing the department to add the second year.

School Board member Joel McDonald, a graduate of the Advanced Technology Center, said he appreciated the continued growth of the center and its curriculum.

The course will become official upon approval by the School Board, which could happen as early as Dec. 15.

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