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In Education, The Internet of Everything is Really a Thing

When talking about whether or not something is important in modern-day life, my Millennial sons often ask, “Is that really a thing?”  For example, renting a dog on Craigslist, is that a thing?

I’m here to tell you that the Internet of Everything (IoE) is really a thing in Education, and the use cases for IoE are bound only by our imaginations.  Imagine facial-recognition software for online courses that will be able to monitor and determine student engagement and provide that feedback to teachers.

Andrew Barbour in his eCampus News article, “How to prepare for everything,” discusses in great detail how the Internet of Things and the Internet of Everything is helping colleges and universities to decrease costs, increase efficiency, and improve student outcomes.

Barbour explores the importance of creating the right foundation to support the Internet of Everything, which is the integration of people, process, data, and things to make things intelligent.  And, he shows that IoE is already here.  Read the full story here.

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Transforming Education with the Internet of Everything at San Jose State

Forward-thinking faculty members and staff at San Jose State University are using Internet of Everything technologies in innovative ways to transform education:

Project Assistant Quyen Grant is using Cisco collaboration technologies to expand learning across international borders, working with students and universities in Vietnam through the Social Work Education Enhancement Program (SWEEP); Advertising Professor John Delacruz is using Cisco TelePresence for his students to deliver final presentations to potential advertising clients who may be in remote locations. Julia Curry-Rodriguez, associate professor of Mexican American Studies, uses Cisco Lecture Capture to help non-native English speaking students improve their language skills.

These are just a few of the examples we learned about on December 10, 2014 at San Jose State University as they hosted global media, analysts, social media influencers, and Cisco for a series of roundtables that addressed how the Internet of Everything is impacting industries including education and the public and private sectors. Read More »

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Building a Stronger World Through the Power of Giving

Here in Silicon Valley and many towns across the globe, it’s that time of year. The time of year when we’re looking forward to spending time with family and friends. It’s also the time of year when we turn our attention to giving back to those who are less fortunate.

This season, I want to direct the focus to just a few of the Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partners and non-profits who work tirelessly to give back all year long. These connections are what make the CSR work we do possible. Our partners give us the ability to scale our efforts and create exponential social, environmental, and business impact.

One of our CSR focus areas is education. As the world becomes more connected, new career growth and opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are more plentiful than ever. Yet the majority of U.S. students lack foundational skills in STEM. MIND Research Institute set out to ensure that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems. By developing the game-based Spatial Temporal (ST) Math instructional software program, MIND Research Institute is revolutionizing math education through visual learning. Amazingly, schools that fully implement ST Math see double, and even triple, the growth in math proficiency than comparable schools. Cisco has partnered with MIND Research Institute for over a decade now, helping the organization scale delivery and access to ST Math by transitioning the software to a web-based platform. I’m extremely proud that this work and investment has increased access from 55,000 students in 2007 to more than 800,000 students and 31,000 teachers in 40 states, and is helping develop the workforce of the future. Read More »

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E-rate Modernization: It Just Goes to Show…

…what we can do as a nation to solve what appear to be some of the most insurmountable problems in the world, such as access to the Internet for students in schools across the county.  Astoundingly, 68% of all school districts (73% of rural districts) say that not a single school in their district can meet high-speed connectivity targets today.  And yet, the FCC’s E-rate Modernization Program is making great strides to successful addressing this problem today.

For an additional $1.90 per phone line subscriber per year, up 16 cents from 99 cents per phone line per month, we will be able to deliver Wi-Fi to an additional 10 million students.  This is less than the cost of a medium soda, and certainly less than the cost of a latte, and this is per year.  As a nation, less than $2 per year can provide what many of us take for granted, access to the Internet.

Yesterday’s announcement of a draft plan by FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler  to increase the E-rate fund by $1.5B annually is welcome news for schools struggling to provide access to students.  If approved, this means that the overall E-rate cap will increase from $2.4B to $3.9B, and it will include a series of targeted policy changes to enhance options available for schools and libraries to purchase affordable high-speed broadband.

Our chairman and CEO of Cisco, John Chambers, said in a statement yesterday, “This proposal, if adopted, will breathe new life into the program and will help our children and grandchildren prepare for an ‘Internet of Everything’ future where technology is integrated into all aspects of work, life, and education.”

In total, the program improvements will target an additional $5B for Wi-Fi over the next five years, which is sufficient to expand Wi-Fi networks in all schools and libraries. The effort will potentially provide a 75% increase in Wi-Fi funding for rural schools over the next five years and a 60 percent increase for urban schools, delivering Wi-Fi to an additional 10 million students in 2015 alone.

It just goes to show that, together, we can make a difference.  We can provide access, and we can prepare our students for the future.

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Continuing To Build Success with the Internet2 Community

When I was in college, I didn’t have e-mail.  Cell phones were rare and there was certainly no such thing as a smart phone, tablet, a laptop, or Google.   Sometimes I look back and wonder how I ever survived without those technologies that have now become a necessity in my everyday life.

As we go through our lives using these once cutting edge technologies, we don’t really ever stop to think that many of these amazing technologies got their start in the Academic Research community.    This type of research is happening daily on campuses around the world. I had the privilege to join close to 800 technology research masterminds in Indianapolis for the Internet2 Technology Exchange October 26th through October 30th. The objective of the Technology Exchange was to bring together a wide range of technical visionaries to address the challenges facing the research & education community as it supports data intensive research.  Members of the Internet2 community participated in a range of keynote, breakout and networking sessions over the 4 days. Indiana University was the hosting institution with their CIO, Brad Wheeler, participating in a number of panel discussions.

Our passion towards innovation and partnership with Internet2 put Cisco front and center at the Technology Exchange.  Cisco Software Engineer, Tae Hwang, spearheaded the Cisco booth handling a variety of questions and inquiries while delivering crisp demonstrations of the Cisco Modeling Lab as well as Flexible Traffic Steering through ODL.

In addition to our booth, Cisco participated in 3 speaking engagements during the event. Cisco Engineer, Eddie Ruan was an integral part of an industry panel discussing the trends and directions in the SDN market.  Steven Carter, Cisco Solutions Architect, gave a presentation on ODL Intercloud fabric. Christine Bakan , Cisco Director of Product Management, served on a panel discussing ODL and the impact it will have on research & education. Each of the Cisco sessions was standing-room-only and feedback was very positive from both Tech Exchange attendees as well as the Internet2 staff.

In a fascinating demonstration, Cisco teamed with Rice University to present a flexible traffic steering solution using an ODL controller during the Tech Exchange Community Showcase. William Diegaard from Rice University set up the university’s scenario and requirements as Cisco’s Eddie Ruan demonstrated an ODL solution that solved the specific Rice requirement.

Harper Reed, CTO of the Obama re-election team was the featured keynote speaker for the Technology Exchange. Reed was a popular speaker with his mix of technology insights and irreverent humor. He noted a few key messages that were critical to the success of the 2012 campaign that have broad applicability for Cisco and our customers. Reed noted:

1)        When execution is critical, make sure you build the right platform – scalable, agile, and adaptive.

2)        Big data is only important in its ability to drive big answers

3)        Micro-targeting is a big source of value in analytics of both structured and unstructured data.

Cisco is continuing to build its engagement with the Internet2 community. Plans are already underway to increase our visibility at the 2015 Global Summit which will be held April 26-30 in Washington, DC. Additionally, next year’s Technology Exchange will be held in Cleveland, Ohio with Case Western as the host institution.

We are proud to be an active partner with Internet2 in the university research community and look forward to the positive impact our partnership will make on these institutions. Together the possibilities are endless. We can’t even begin to fathom what the next generations will experience as they go to college and how their research will impact our world. Join me on this exciting journey as the next big thing unfolds into that staple technology we can’t live without.

To learn more about Internet2, check out their upcoming events, and join us at the global summit in April.

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