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Shared Challenges – Part Two of Six on Transforming Higher Education

February 25, 2013 at 9:14 am PST

AM71346This six-part series focuses on transformation of the traditional higher education system in the United States.  This part focuses on the fact that universities are more similar than they are different.  Universities in the U.S. share common challenges: inadequate access, dated teaching methodologies, and perceived irrelevance of our current programs.

First, we have a problem of access: We simply do not have enough capacity to meet demand. In the U.S., there were 3.2 million graduating seniors in the class of 2012, 73 percent of whom believed they needed still more education to obtain higher-paying jobs. Since 2007 the number of international students has also increased by more than 20 percent. And, competition is increasingly stiff for places in top academic universities: Harvard accepted only 5.9 percent of applicants, and Yale accepted 6.8 percent. With only 4,000 higher education institutions in the U.S., it’s easy to see that we lack the capacity to continue delivering against the increase in demand.  (U.S. Department of Education and the New York Times)

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Trends Shaping the Future of Education

February 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm PST

School, college and university systems are facing unprecedented challenges. Education leaders are capitalizing on new technology trends to face these challenges, drive innovation and transform education. These themes, and more, will be explored during the Cisco Virtual Forum for Education Leaders, 2013. We invite you to join us on March 19th (Americas and EMEA) and March 20th (Asia-Pacific), to hear from education futurists and innovative educators, and learn about leading-edge strategies and practical solutions that are improving the quality of education, everywhere.

The Virtual Forum will open with a keynote discussion on Amazing Trends that are Shaping the Future of Education, featuring Dr. Larry Johnson, CEO of the New Media Consortium and founder of the Horizon Project. He is an acknowledged expert on emerging technology and its impacts on education.  Larry will be joined by Dr. Ellen Junn, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at San Jose State University. San Jose State is at the forefront of developing new education delivery models. Larry and Ellen will explore new and emerging technologies that are shaping the future of teaching and learning. They will offer insightful assessments of the impact of these trends and offer practical guidance on how schools, colleges and universities can capitalize on these trends to improve education outcomes.

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Addressing Security Challenges and Campus Safety

Schools are facing increasing security challenges, ranging from campus violence to thefts, from vandalism to natural disasters. Abductions, Shootings, Bullying, Thefts, Vandalism, Visitor Management, Bomb threats, Fire, Earthquakes, Local Community Emergencies.

According to the respondents to the Campus Safety Magazines 2013 yearbook & survey, here are some  top challenges for schools in 2013:

  • 43%  more than 2 in 5 campuses lack a visitor management system
  • 39% have a video system not integrated with other systems
  • 33% have radio systems that can’t interoperate with first responder from other jurisdictions
  • 25% or 1 in 4  campuses do not feel prepared to respond to active shooter incidents

Higher Education and school districts often have sufficient network infrastructures to support everything they need in terms of unified collaborative safety and security applications on the network including video surveillance, electronic access controls and incident management.

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Wifi password please?

February 13, 2013 at 12:05 am PST

Back in the days, I was one of those students who wanted the most up to date scientific calculators and the latest design of the Trapper Keeper notebook.  These days, it’s the wifi access the students want, to stay connected anytime, anywhere on their smartphones or tablets.

According to the Cisco Connected World Technology Report more than 40% of Gen Y (18-30 year olds) “would feel anxious, like part of them were missing” if they couldn’t check their smartphones.  I was chatting with my colleague Rochelle Brocks-Smith from the Healthcare team the other day and she was joking that soon, her kids will develop carpal tunnel syndrome with all the texting they do! image_gallery
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Learnings and Reflections from the Education World Forum 2013

Michael Stevenson, VP Global Education addressing delegates at EWF 2013

Michael Stevenson, VP Global Education addressing delegates at EWF 2013

About a week ago, I posted a blog sharing my expectations on the Education World Forum 2013, as well as key details on Cisco’s participation as Platinum sponsor of this event. After what was a very interesting gathering, I think it is time to share with you some of the learnings and outcomes I took from the meeting.

This year, I was particularly struck by the vast predominance of attendees coming from Africa, the Near East, as well as other emerging regions of the globe. One of the reasons behind this pattern could be that many of these countries are starting to adopt a more visible position in the education debate (as it is the case for Brazil, now a major player in the global education dialogue and a major Cisco role via GELP) or that regional economic progress (with Africa housing 7 of the fastest growing economies in the world) is paving the way to more active engagement. Another reason could be that the Forum’s intention was rather to reflect more on how to improve access to achieve education for all and less so on leveraging lessons from more mature countries.

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