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Education and the Internet of Everything

Imagine a future where education has become embedded into daily life and is no longer only associated with schools, colleges and universities; a time where people can access learning when and where they need to increase their knowledge or skills. Imagine a future where a learner can be sent information which has been contextualized to their particular immediate need. Imagine learners who can not only access pre-recorded presentations on topics of interest by experts in the field, but also invite that expert to explain a concept instantly through a live interaction.  This is the sort of future that is possible as more and more things (and people) become connected.  This information sharing capability combined with big data analysis offers the promise of an exciting and motivating learning experience for people of all ages. The new world of education will make massive use of connectivity to enable all learners to access relevant resources at the moment when there is a need for new knowledge and understanding.

Cisco is a strong believer in the power of the Internet and its ability to speed up communications and to accelerate growth; today, the Internet connects people to many things, but it can also connect them to processes and data, creating new capabilities and unprecedented socio-economic opportunities for everyone on the planet.

The Internet of Everything (IoE) will amplify this hyper-connectedness in ways never imagined before. It will connect people delivering the right information to the right person in the most effective and efficient manner. The IoE will start (and has already started) increasing access to education by connecting the unconnected, allowing learners to become co-creators of knowledge and using technology to better understand physical, social and environmental phenomena taking place inside and outside the classroom.

Recognizing this potential, Cisco Consulting Services (CCS) and the Cisco EMEAR Education team are collaborating to produce a white paper about the impact of IoE on education, its potential challenges, opportunities, implications and success factors. The paper will explore the potential of IoE for education across four fundamental pillars: PEOPLE, PROCESS, DATA and THINGS, and the value it can bring across all sectors of education.

These four pillars will undoubtedly be interconnected in learning activities, and as such, the paper starts by exploring the impact each can have on education and what will need to happen to support, build on and scale some of the practices currently being planned or adopted. The paper collects some examples of interesting cases and initiatives taking place around the world and the efforts by some institutions to change standard practice and find educational applications of IoE. Furthermore, the paper explores the need to rethink our current approaches to pedagogy, methodology, curriculum, assessment, and skills development so education systems can better prepare the next generation of scientists, engineers, and specialists that will not only profit from the opportunities of IoE, but also will contribute to its future development.

The economic implications of the IoE are just starting to be quantified. Cisco Consulting Services’ Economics Practice has determined that there is a $14.4 trillion of Value at Stake in the IoE economy over the next decade; for education, the IoE has worldwide a 10-year net present value of $175 Billion. But going beyond economics, the opportunities the IoE can bring to education are priceless.

The paper, which will be released at the end of October, is just one of a set of deliverables to start a global conversation about IoE and its potential implications for education. In addition to the paper, there will also be a video, and next year, the potential development of a pilot on IoE scenarios for education.

We invite you to stay tuned for the release of the paper and to engage through this channel on the global conversation about the Internet of Everything and its impact on education.

Michelle Selinger, Ana Sepulveda, Jim Buchan

Connecting… The Isolated

I’ll never forget my first day as a brand new high school teacher.   As a young college graduate (with absolutely no experience teaching and a one-hour course on classroom management), I stood stiffly in front of the room on that hot end-of-summer day, afraid to crack a smile.  Thankfully, a more seasoned teacher had taken me to lunch the day before school started, so I at least had a pretty good idea of how to set up my grade book, allocate points to assignments, and fashion a seating chart.

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We’re Flipping Learning in Texas: Tech Trends in Action

What if we could change learning in the classroom to better suit students’ needs and accommodate individual learning styles? That’s exactly what Denton Independent School District in Texas is doing through flipped learning and collaborative video technology.

In his recent blog, Barry Fox describes what the future of education looks like at Denton ISD, and the potential for other school districts throughout the country to adopt a similar model. Through flipped learning, students experience a rich virtual classroom experience, with video-based material made available to students from any location through multiple devices, bringing learning beyond the classroom. This provides the flexibility desired by students, enabling them to easily connect with teachers, re-watch content and learn at their own pace.

Help us share the Denton ISD story of championing student-teacher relationships at next year’s SXSW. Vote for our panel at

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Connecting Every School in America To High – Speed broadband

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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