Saturday, February 28, 2009

An Interview With The Cisco Packet Tracer Team

At the National Science Foundation sponsored Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) combined (The Mid Pacific Center for ICT and The National Center for ICT ) winter conference last month held at the City College of San Francisco , I had the opportunity to interview three key members of the Cisco Systems Packet Tracer Team - Dennis Frezzo, Isaac Majerowicz and Mark Chen.

Packet Tracer is a network simulator used by hundreds of thousands of Cisco Networking Academy students around the world. Recently, Packet Tracer version 5.1 was released - here's some info from an FAQ on the product found on the Packet Tracer website:

Packet Tracer (PT) 5.1 is a comprehensive, networking technology teaching and learning program that offers a unique combination of realistic simulation and visualization experiences, assessment and activity authoring capabilities, and opportunities for multiuser collaboration and competition. Innovative features of the PT 5.1 software will help students and teachers collaborate, solve problems, and learn concepts in an engaging and dynamic social environment. Some of the benefits of Packet Tracer 5.1 are as follows:
  • Provides a realistic simulation and visualization learning environment that supplements classroom equipment
  • Enables multiuser, real-time collaboration and competition for dynamic learning
  • Enables authoring and localization of structured learning activities such as labs, demonstrations, quizzes, exams, and games
  • Empowers students to explore concepts, conduct experiments, and test their understanding
  • Allows students and teachers to design, build, configure, and troubleshoot networks using virtual equipment
  • Supports a variety of teaching and learning tasks such as lectures, group and individual labs, homework, and competitions
  • Supports integration with external applications through an API to enhance the functionality of Packet Tracer in areas such as curriculum and assessment delivery, games, accessibility, and interfacing with real equipment.
In the interview, the team describes the Packet Tracer product.

Cisco Packet Tracer Team Interview Part 1 (9 min 15 sec):

Cisco Packet Tracer Team Interview Part 2 (9 min 45 sec):

I'm really excited about version 5.1 - especially when you consider the user base. The ability to integrate Packet Tracer 5.1 with external applications will provide some innovative academic and training solutions. You can find out more about the Cisco Network Academy and Packet Tracer here.

Other ways to access this interview:

You can watch a high-definition stream of the entire 17 minute and 58 second interview by clicking this link:

If you have iTunes installed you can watch and listen to this one, watch and listen to others, and subscribe to our video and audio podcasts by following this link:

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