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A Half Million Likes on Facebook: Cisco Networking Academy Uses Social Media to Engage and Educate

Hilal_ChoumanThis post was written by Hilal Chouman, social media strategist for Cisco Networking Academy

Since late 2009, Cisco Networking Academy (NetAcad), one of Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, has been present on various social media networks. The earliest presence was on the rising social network of that time: Facebook.

In late 2010, NetAcad’s Facebook page hit its first 100,000 likes. After this milestone, the Facebook page continued its growth, following the growth of the number of students in the NetAcad program.

Today, NetAcad’s Facebook page hit a half million likes (fans).

Cisco Networking Academy 500K Fans

It is amazing how a social presence can accelerate in content and size, as soon as it grasps the right connection with the audience.

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Girls at 80 Cisco Offices Learn About Careers in Technology

April 26, 2013 at 3:55 pm PST

April 25 was International Girls in ICT Day, a global event held on the fourth Thursday in April each year to help inspire girls to consider a future in technology. The number of girls and young women opting to study technology-related disciplines is on the decline in most countries worldwide.

In only its third year, Girls in ICT Day continues to gain global momentum. This year, events hosted by governments, private sector companies, and nonprofits took place in more than 100 countries.

Cisco is committed to championing the important role a career in technology can play in creating far-reaching opportunities for women and girls. Eighty Cisco offices held Girls in ICT Day events in 60 counties.

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On Girls in ICT Day, Cisco Encourages Teens to Pursue Technology Careers

April 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm PST

Teenage girls use computers and the Internet as much as boys do, but are five times less likely to consider a technology-related career.

In the United Kingdom, fewer than 1 in 5 computer scientists are women (Women and ICT), and in the United States, women hold more degrees than men and make up 58 percent of the professional workforce, yet their representation in ICT is less than 25 percent (NCWIT).

Companies around the world will try to reverse these trends on International Girls in ICT Day this Thursday, April 25 – an initiative organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

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Cisco Tied for #1 with Google on Greenpeace Cool IT Leaderboard

April 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm PST

Greenpeace started evaluating global Information Technology (IT) companies in 2009 because IT companies have a central role to play in enabling a modern, renewable-powered energy infrastructure. The IT sector has the opportunity to drive transformative change in the consumption and production of energy, with the potential to drive a significant reduction in the greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

Today it was announced that Cisco is tied with Google for the top spot on the Cool IT Leaderboard -- a scoring system that analyzes IT companies’ contributions to achieving global greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 15 percent by 2020.

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The Greenpeace analysis of Cisco’s performance said “Cisco’s leadership improved across each of the three evaluation areas, particularly for updated commitments to manage its energy footprint and increase the amount of renewable energy powering its operations.”

Read more about Cisco’s programs to help the environment in our 2012 CSR Report.

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Can Technology Bring Authenticity to Learning?

This post originally appeared on Huffington Post ImpactX.

Last week I wrote about collaboration for the Skoll World Forum for Social Entrepreneurship -- specifically about how, despite the prevalence of technology, human interactions and relationships are at the heart of successful collaboration.

In that post, I said technology enables collaboration and innovation to happen on a global scale. And, that a technology infrastructure that supports collaboration can accelerate time to impact for any nonprofit, social entrepreneur, or business.

While at Skoll, I participated in a session that brought both of these elements — people and technology — together and underscored the potential we have to make a bigger and more meaningful impact when they are combined.

The session, “Blended Learning: The Proof and the Promise,” gave us a glimpse of what the classroom of the future might look like: students working at a self-paced rate and getting feedback as they progress, education being personalized, the use of gaming and simulation technologies. Imagine kids who are interested and engaged, excited to be in school, their creativity being nurtured, not squelched.

In the session, the panel debated whether the use of technology can radically improve educational quality and access globally. I believe it can, because Cisco has used this blended learning model successfully for years to deliver its Networking Academy curriculum to 4.25 million people in 165 countries.

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