IT issues educause 2017

New partnership offers IT students a live virtual training environment

Students develop skills in high-demand IT and computer programming fields with Practice Labs.

Cengage, an education and technology company, and Practice Labs, a London-based edtech company, announced the integration of live virtual machine labs into MindTap, Cengage’s flagship digital learning platform. The integration will prepare students to succeed in the high demand field of computer and information technology (IT), where employment is projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.

Practice Labs is integrated directly into MindTap. This allows students to work with live servers and networking hardware from their web browser without leaving the MindTap platform. This hands-on practice helps students develop and master skills that are immediately transferable to the workforce.

“Learning experiences that give students access to the same real live servers and software that they will be using later in their careers build confidence and lead to higher levels of engagement and improved real world outcomes,” said Balraj Kalsi, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Science, Technology and Math at Cengage. “With job growth in IT and computer programming on the rise, this integration will help students develop skills that are in high demand, while reinforcing the importance of critical thinking.”

Available for nearly 1,000 courses spanning fifty disciplines, MindTap gives instructors complete ownership of their content and learning experience. Instructors customize the interactive syllabi, emphasize the most important topics, and add their own material or notes in the eBook. The outcome-driven application helps challenge every student, build their confidence, and empower them to be unstoppable.

“Practice Labs is a powerful tool that provides students the hands-on practice that builds confidence, operational and troubleshooting skills,” said Ricky Doyle, CEO of Practice Labs. “Students love that they are working in a live environment with real servers and networks that they can explore, fail, try again until they succeed. Instructors love that the labs are already built and tested – and that they map to the certification objectives, the Cengage text and their curriculum. Administrators love that they do not have to invest in the hardware to build, host and maintain an in-house lab.”

MindTap courses available for CompTIA and Microsoft flagship certifications, as well as computer forensics, include:

  • CompTIA Security+
  • Network+
  • Linux+
  • A+ Guide to IT Technical Support
  • MCSA Guide to Installing and Configuring Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 (Exam # 70-410)
  • MCSA Guide to Administering Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 (Exam # 70-411)\

For release in January 2017

  • MCSA Guide to Microsoft Windows 10 (Exam 70-697, Configuring Windows Devices)
  • A+ Guide to Software
  • MCTS Guide to Microsoft Windows 7 (Exam # 70-680)
  • MCITP Guide to Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Server Administration (Exam # 70-646)
  • Guide to Computer Forensics and Investigations
  • MCSA Guide to Configuring Advanced Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Services, (Exam # 70-412).

To learn more, please visit:

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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