This holiday season, the Urban Entertainment Institute, Cisco and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) have joined forces to address the achievement gap in education, the dropout rate and the need to keep performing arts in schools by integrating academics, arts and technology to bridge the cultural gap in education throughout the world.
Unprecedented budget pressures are forcing K-12 schools across the nation to think differently about how to deliver learning to their students. As such, we’re seeing a growing acceptance of collaboration technologies in schools to increase quality learning and engage students, and to relieve some financial pressures.
One such school district implementing Cisco TelePresence video systems is the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Serving some 700,000 students, LAUSD has deployed TelePresence to avoid cutting its arts programs, instead scaling the program across the large geographical area of Los Angeles and beyond with video.
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.
This time last year, I was sitting at an old, high-top biology lab table with my son’s AP Biology teacher, asking him to explain this whole “Flipped Classroom” thing and why his classes’ AP bio scores were so high. Lo and behold, Flipped Learning became the mantra of the year.
Sal Khan and the Khan Academy became the best-known content-feeder into this phenomenon, and I started voraciously consuming his videos on pre-calculus, statistics, and world history. So did teachers and students as they turned to Khan as a source of pre-packaged lectures, new flipped learning models, and emerging information on different assessment measurements. Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann even wrote a book about it, The Short History of Flipped Learning, and they joined us as guest speakers at the 2012 ISTE show.
OK, we all see a lot of college-ranking lists -- everything from top technical schools to top party schools -- but most recently with the explosion of technology in higher education a new list has debuted, named the Most Connected Colleges. The listing, launched by U.S News & World Reports, is the first-ever ranking to honor schools that have successfully applied technology to improve the connections between students and educators.
We were excited to see Maine’s Bowdoin College rated right at the top of the list! Among many tech initiatives, Bowdoin College engaged Cisco to help extend a reliable and secure wireless network throughout its campus with indoor and outdoor access.
Having had a great time at EDUCAUSE 2012 in Denver this year, I wanted to follow-up on an interesting story from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Universities around the country are using technology to drive greater levels of knowledge sharing and improve the effectiveness of education, and our friends at CU Boulder are no excpetion.