A New YouTube Channel from Wendell: Network Upskill

 In General, News

I’ve written and taught a lot during my career, but I’ve never made a concerted effort to use YouTube. Well, it’s time. The channel name is Network Upskill, and the URL is www.youtube.com/@networkupskill. You can go straight to the channel and watch the channel intro video—or read this short post for a few words about the channel!


Just Watch! Channel Intro

You could just go to the channel and watch the channel intro video – it’s embedded here. But I wrote a few words as well for easy reference. Your choice!



Three Guiding Principles – so Far!

I’ve invested a fair bit of time learning, planning, building skills, recording, and getting all the small tasks under control. I’ve rolled out the first few videos, and I hope to release them weekly for the forseeable future.

I will shock no one with this bold statement: The channel will be mostly about CCNA for the forseeable future. I may do more with it, but it’s CCNA to start.

That said, I landed on three guiding principles regarding the CCNA content in the channel.

Principle 1: Useful for All, but More Useful to Those Who Have my Books

I’ve got about 30 CCNA content videos either completed or in mostly complete drafts ready to record. When working through that process, I wanted to make sure that you did NOT have to own the books. So there are no dependencies.

(What books? Well, let me introduce myself for those who didn’t make that connection. I’m Wendell Odom, operator of this blog. I’m also the author of all editions of the authorized CCNA Official Cert Guides from Cisco Press. They’re the best-selling CCNA certification books.)

Anyway, I would easily have created videos that depended on you to refer to book content.  None of that.

At the same time, since statistically so many of you do use the books, I wanted to find ways to make the combination of the books and the YouTube videos to be especially useful. How? The videos follow the book outline – to a point. Let me explain.

Consider figure 1 below. It shows the concept of what’s in the CCNA Official Cert Guide, Volume 1. Within both Volume 1 and Volume 2, the books organize the content into parts. Each part has multiple chapters. The figure shows the idea with the first five parts in Volume 1.

Figure 1: Volume, Part, and Chapter Organization of the CCNA Official Cert Guides

Each chapter of course uses various headings. The main headings in the technology section of the chapter (Called Foundation Topics) are section headings. Figure 2 shows that concept.

Figure 2: Chapter and Section Organization of the CCNA Official Cert Guides

To sum up this first design point: I intend to create CCNA content videos about the topics in an identifiable section of a chapter. The benefit?

  • You can take a break from reading on occasion, and watch a video about the same topics.
  • You can easily identify the video that matches a book section

But wait! The second design point matters just as much.


Principle 2: Content Videos Use a Different Appoach Vs. The Books

The second principle: Attempt to teach the topic differently in the video than how it’s presented in the books. Why? Well, most people use multiple study resources when studying for a certification exam. A video that explains a topic in the exact same way as the written words is great if you use only one or the other… but not as useful if you’re using both. So, to be most useful to those who have the books, I want to give you alternate takes on the content where possible. How?

  • Simple things, like a different topology, addresses, and values in examples.
  • Different analogies
  • Different topic order when useful

The goal? For those who read the book section AND watch the matching video, whichever you use second, you get more than a review. You get new insights and a chance to uncover ideas that you might not have caught in the first resource you used. That’s what using multiple resources does for you!!

Principle 3: All Content Has Effective Review

I did not start with this one, but I just felt like I needed to do it. For all of us, me included.

More of us can make a good habit of watching videos, or even reading and highlighting a book. But far too few of us work at getting better with methods and habits to review and study what we learned. So… the goal: Every CCNA content video will close with a review activity.

Figure 3: Separate Content and Review Videos and Activities

You might think, well, of course. What’s the big deal?

This feature is not for the causal viewer. It’s for someone who watches lots of the videos. I can see a future with most if not all of the sections in the books with a matching YouTube video. For anyone that systematically watches the content videos, I want to build in a review system that you can embrace and use effectively, much like the review tools built into the books.

Second, I want to use tools that work best with the modern learning science concept of retrieval practice. In particular, review should not happen immediately after learning.

Third, effective review uses varied tools. I’ll do my best to work that into the plan.

Watch the channel and experience it, and let me know what you think!


Do YouTube-y Things!

If you read this far, thanks! Now it’s time to get into the channel.


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I love the design even I have got the books. You really make the CCNA teaching alive in multi-dimension.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dongming
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