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Corporate Social Responsibility

Wow! Learning Management Systems (LMS) have come a long way! Cisco Networking Academy had a vision for a network-based LMS in 1997, when we were founded. We had to build our own custom LMS, because there were no options in the market. Today at InstructureCon, an annual gathering of education technology leaders, I was amazed to see not only how far the technology has come, but how broadly the vision of LMS and education assisted by networking technology has gained acceptance!

I was so excited to share with the Canvas community that Cisco Networking Academy will be incorporating Canvas as the LMS portion of our new platform, Cisco NetSpace, which we will announce and unveil at the NetAcad Global Conference on Monday. As Networking Academy continues to grow, the ability to continue to innovate to deliver high-impact educational offerings to instructors and students will be critical. It was time to enhance the essential core business functionality with an engaging, feature-rich, and personalized user experience that incorporated the latest in educational best practices for learning solutions. The new NetSpace will deliver results today, yet is flexible enough to accommodate future innovations to help improve education through the use of technology and the network.

Over the past two days at InstructureCon, a gathering of Canvas users, I have been able to highlight how Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education is critical.  I have also been able to demonstrate the power of collaboration by sharing the story of the Cisco Networking Academy.

Almost 15 years ago, light years in technology innovation, Cisco engineers began to work with schools to access the Internet. The engineers built and installed networks in their local schools, believing in the promise of connection. But they discovered that the schools couldn’t maintain the network:  It was difficult to find individuals with networking skills.

That is how Cisco Networking Academy was born, with a mission to make ICT knowledge and skills available to students around the world, regardless of their economic and social situation.  What started out in seven states in the United States has now grown into the world’s largest classroom, with more than 1 million students per year in over 165 countries. Amazing!!!!

Today, more than 10,000 high schools, community colleges, universities, and other non-profit organizations participate in the Cisco Networking Academy, a public-private partnership between Cisco and schools/universities around the globe.  This global “classroom” provides knowledge in ICT, from basic PC and software to complex routing and switching protocols, but also 21-century skills that help students excel in today’s networked economy.

Every day, NetAcad shows that when you combine the power of human and technology networks, you can multiply your impact in amazing ways! I am excited about the future of the Cisco Networking Academy and all that it promises for students around the world. There are so many inspiring student success stories from the program: Check them out on our website.

And as I’ve said to all the educators here at InstructureCon, GET INVOLVED! PROMOTE Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in your local schools, community colleges and universities, in whatever way you can. It is critical to providing a future for our students, our communities, and our countries in today’s competitive networked economy. You, working with your networks (both technical and human) can make a HUGE impact on people and the communities where they live.

Let’s get out there and create opportunity through great education!

For more information on Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility programs, visit csr.cisco.com.

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