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The Challenges Facing the Class of 2012 Mean a Lifetime of Learning

In the Fiscal Times News, the headline reads, Class of 2012, Don’t Even Think of Retiring at 60. The story congratulates this year’s college graduates and then gently lets them know that they will be working much longer than their parents. In fact, they might not ever stop.

That’s because our economy is changing.

Author Michael Hodin argues there’s no way for us to stay competitive if one third of our population is retired. This is a really interesting point. That affects tax revenue, social security and, more importantly, our greatest asset, our collective intelligence. His conclusion might surprise you:

So your challenge is this, Class of 2012: How can you help create a world where “seniors” contribute at the highest levels to social and economic life? How can you help recreate our 20th century institutions so that older generations remain vital, relevant, and productive? And how can you create new institutions for your children in the 21st century?

This is a great challenge.

At Cisco we have a bias for learning. Not only is it highly valued to keep our employees as current and developed as possible, but it’s also one of our core values around product development. We delight in looking for ways to bring information to remote learners -- regardless of age, location or ability.

WebEx helps people of all ages learn regardless of where they live or work.

Universities, like the California Baptist University in Southern California, use Cisco Webex systems to develop synchronous online learning. You no longer have to live near the source to participate in their program [watch video].

If you are done with school but want to continue to hone your skills -- or learn something new -- you can find a plethora of free online webinars and seminars delivered by our customers. We also offer online education via WebEx Channels where you can find content on management, leadership and much more.

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Debunking Popular Misconceptions about the Internet and Digital Learning

June 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm PST

I just read an interesting article claiming that technology companies would like parents and government officials to believe that the internet can save education.  It would be nice if the internet alone could save education, but even those of us in technology know that it’s not that simple.

The author goes on to cite the joint Harvard-MIT project to offer free courses on line and content from the Khan Academy and acknowledges new flipped learning models as a way for students to consume digital content prior to attending live courses.  The author states, “I couldn’t shake the idea of why online video lessons won’t by themselves make us all smarter: There’s nothing like being there.”

I immediately realized that many well-meaning education opinionates are missing what it takes to design digital learning environments that leverage the internet and that work.  Digital learning and the internet are not just about one-way video or delivering courses on-line.  Digital learning is about creating individualized, anytime-anywhere learning experiences that are right-sized for students.

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Reconnecting McDowell Boosts Education in West Virginia School District

June 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm PST

For some, the economic hard times began before the recession hit. McDowell County, an ex-coal mining county in West Virginia, has been in decline since the coal industry began pulling out in the 1960s.

What used to be a town of 120,000 is now barely 22,000 and the county has ranked last in education in the state for most of the past decade. But a new project launched in December is aiming to change all this.

Reconnecting McDowell is a comprehensive, long-term effort to make educational improvement in McDowell County. Under the leadership of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the West Virginia State Board of Education, more than 80 partners from businesses, non-profits, governments and labor have signed a covenant illustrating their commitment to solving McDowell’s hardships by providing services, money, products and/or expertise to schools and students and their families. Read More »

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Cisco Networking Academy Inspiring a Future Generation

There is a lot of talk about the Olympic legacy for London 2012, yet in some parts of the media in particular there seems to remain some cynicism. But over the past few weeks and months I have witnessed the genuine efforts being made by Cisco to building a brilliant future after the Games.

For example former Olympic silver medallist Roger Black and Cisco ambassador has spent the last week touring around several schools in the east end of London to highlight the Cisco Network Academy programme and inspire kids to look at Science Technology Engineering and Math subjects at school. Read More »

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Happy 75th Birthday to our Golden Gate Bridge!

May 27, 2012 at 12:05 am PST

According to John Morgridge, Cisco’s former CEO, the founders hit on the name and logo while driving to Sacramento to register the company — they saw the Golden Gate Bridge framed in the sunlight  and that’s how our Cisco logo was born.  They hoped the logo would shape the future, “convey something about creating an authentic life and making a living at something you believe in, in a place you love, with people you really like to be with”. 

Back in the late 1800s, the only way to cross the bay was by ferry.  It was in 1923 when California legislature passed the act approving the project to build the bridge.  On May 27, 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge finally opened, connecting San Francisco and Marin for the first time.  Back then, we built bridges to connect different parts of the bay.  Since then, we have built technologies to connect classrooms in schools K-12 and universities around the world.  Read More »

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