I believe that the New Year will signal three major shifts in education: The Internet of Everything, Shared Services, and Cloud Computing.
We are rapidly moving into a phase that we call “The Internet of Everything.” Today, there are more things connected to the internet than there are people in the world. In the near future, everything that we see will wake up as more and more people, processes, data, and things join what we call the internet and change the way we work, live, learn, and play. For education, this means that the experiences that we deliver to students will be more connected, integrated, flexible, and meaningful. Students will increasingly learn on their own terms, quickly and easily accessing content, joining courses, and connecting with experts across the globe. Connection will happen seamlessly; students will design their own learning experiences. They will be empowered by public education networks and a multi-device mobile world.
New shared services models will help this evolution to occur more quickly. Increasingly, schools, colleges, and universities are working together to leverage state networks and large, research and education networks, to simplify access and management, increase access, and decrease cost. The Utah Education Network does exactly this. This consortium of public and higher education partners provide networking services, application hosting, and application support to more than 800,000 faculty and staff in Utah.
Cloud computing technologies will support the evolution. Cloud has become an increasingly attractive way to for schools, colleges, and universities to deliver student services more securely, reliably, and economically. Cisco is responding to this trend with Cloud Computing for education, which combines Cisco Unified Data Center, Cisco Cloud Intelligent Network, and innovative cloud services into an integrated architecture that helps educators deliver highly secure, cloud-based services. As a part of our Cisco Networking Academy Program, we use cloud computing to deliver universal curriculum to thousands of students worldwide and now connect 20,000 ITC educators dedicated to providing students with skills required for careers in IT.
Keep your eye on these trends because we believe they will continue to drive the massive transformation we see taking place in the education market today. Technology, if applied in a meaningful way, will help to accelerate the transition and deliver richer, more connected learning experiences to students.