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Connecting Every School in America To High – Speed broadband

September 5, 2013 at 7:55 am PST

In every school district in America today, educators are faced with a simple, yet critically important, question.  How do we obtain, implement, and integrate transformative technology into all of our schools and classrooms?

Some districts have embraced technology and put mobile and collaborative devices in the hands of students.   In The Katy School District in Texas, for instance, performance on math tests increased from 70th to 90th percentile following adoption of mobile technologies and devices. Similarly, in the Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina, the district increased levels of competency in all subject areas from 60 percent to over 85 percent, and graduation rates increased by 22 percent.

But in too many schools and school districts today, the promise of connected classrooms is just that – a promise, and not reality.

That’s why it’s so critical that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) modernize and streamline the E-Rate program.  E-Rate is the cornerstone of America’s effort to provide digital education to students.  Since the program’s inception 15 years ago, E-Rate has connected more than 100,000 schools and libraries to the internet. It has a proven track record of success.

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New Technology = Less Textbooks

Back to school madness is in full swing in our house. That means early alarms going off, rushing around in the morning and cranky kids. However, there is something new this year at least in our household. There aren’t books all over the dining room table like last year. That’s because our son’s High School is now putting everything on iPads. That’s right all books, all notes and all assignments are all on one device.

Long gone are the days of heavy backpacks or lockers packed full of books. No more highlighters to mark books or making book covers to make sure the books last longer. The school has a one-iPad-per-student model and believes it will expand student access to engaging tools and resources.

Engaging is the word I would like to focus on here. One of my son’s teachers goes as far as posting assignments and directions on her own YouTube channel. What better way to connect with kids than to do it on a medium they love to use. So I watched one of the sessions and it was great. Long, yes, but still good and gave students step-by-step instructions.

Simultaneously as this is happening at home, at work our team has just launched a new monthly magazine. Our topic this month is education. The magazine has tons of content about how technology is changing the way we learn. One of the stories even focuses on the one laptop per child program and our contributing writer talks to Nicholas Negroponte who founded the program.

That said I now know some people don’t agree with the one-iPad-per-student model, but this is a digital world we are living in now. What better way to have our kids adapt than by having them do all of their work on one device and also engage with their instructors online during the process. I have to admit, sometimes it does freak me out that my son barely knows how to write in cursive, but he can probably type faster and find something online way quicker than I can. The best part is I know he is getting a good education and learning about the importance of this increasingly digital world at the same time.

 

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The Best Thinking in Higher Education IT

The largest Higher Education IT event of the year, EDUCAUSE 2013 takes place  in Anaheim, California  October 15-18. We will be there along with about 5,000 key decision makers from the United States, Canada, and around the world.

If you are planning to attend,  visit the Cisco team at booth #601, where we will showcase our Connected Learning solutions for higher education. Stop by and learn how to use your campus network infrastructure to save money, improve efficiency, enhance safety and security, and prepare the next-generation workforce.

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Two Million Career Certifications, 20 Years Strong

Cisco began issuing certifications in 1993 to distinguish the best of breed Internetwork experts worldwide. As technology has made extraordinary advancements over the years, the Cisco certification program has continually kept learners up-to-date while addressing the growing skills gap in networking.

Today, Learning@Cisco is proud to celebrate two significant milestones: the 20th anniversary of the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert certification (CCIE) as well as the issuance of our two-millionth career certification.

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Will The Internet of Everything Change the Way Students Learn?

August 16, 2013 at 9:30 am PST

Think back to your favorite class in school. How would that class be different if it took place today? My favorite was a 7th grade art class. While it’s hard to imagine Mrs. Vincent in a modern classroom with a tablet or smartphone, I know she would be on the cutting edge of art education.

The dynamics of what a traditional classroom looks like have evolved from the old chalkboard and teacher-centered classrooms into connected technology hubs, with online lesson plans, virtual fieldtrips, flipped classrooms and MOOCs. As technology advances, it is changing the way students learn and access education.

In his recent blog post, Dave Evans examines what the future of education looks like through the lens of of the Internet of Everything (IoE). Students will experience a rich virtual classroom—attending lectures, asking questions, participating in real-time discussions with instructors anywhere in the world. Read More »

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