The Cisco Networking Academy program is designed to keep pace with the evolution of networking systems by providing innovative curricula and educational tools that help students understand the complexities of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Within this framework, the Cisco Packet Tracer e-learning software was developed to help Networking Academy students gain practical networking technology skills in a rapidly changing environment.

Packet Tracer is a powerful network simulation program that allows students to experiment with network behavior and ask “what if” questions. As an integral part of the Networking Academy comprehensive learning experience, Packet Tracer provides simulation, visualization, authoring, assessment, and collaboration capabilities and facilitates the teaching and learning of complex technology concepts.

Packet Tracer supplements physical equipment in the classroom by allowing students to create a network with an almost unlimited number of devices, encouraging practice, discovery, and troubleshooting. The simulation-based learning environment helps students develop 21st century skills such as decision making, creative and critical thinking, and problem solving.

Packet Tracer complements the Networking Academy curricula, allowing instructors to easily teach and demonstrate complex technical concepts and networking systems design. With Packet Tracer, instructors can customize individual or multiuser activities, providing hands-on lessons for students that offer value and relevance in their classrooms. Students can build, configure, and troubleshoot networks using virtual equipment and simulated connections, alone or in collaboration with other students. Most importantly, Packet Tracer helps students and instructors create their own virtual “network worlds” for exploration, experimentation, and explanation of networking concepts and technologies. The software is available free of charge to all Networking Academy instructors, students, and alumni.

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