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Driving education outcomes – it’s not just curriculum and assessment!

The intersection of learning models and technology provide a unique opportunity to improve education outcomes, as evidenced at the recent Global Education Leaders’ Program in Helsinki- the sixth meeting for school system leaders from countries, states and cities around the world. All twelve are building student capabilities for a knowledge economy, and their roadmaps are well-advanced. But there’s a problem. For once it’s not the curriculum students should follow or how they should be assessed. It’s the interconnection between the learning model and the enabling technology.

Helsinki is a good place to think about such things. Through rigorous selection processes and respect for professional status, the Finns have built a formidable teaching force which consistently achieves the best exam results in the world. But they openly recognize that a traditional instructional model is now failing to convey the softer skills that students and employers are looking for.

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BYOD: Breaking the Traditional Mold in Education

My name is Tom Patton, and I am a student at the University of Oregon and a Cisco intern. Presently, I support Cisco’s Education Marketing Team. In this position, I have had the unique opportunity to observe a number of emerging trends in education, including Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).

This blog describes my thoughts on the technological transformation made by the Katy Independent School District. Recently, the district implemented a BYOD program, an initiative that encourages vs. limits, technology in the classroom. The results have been jaw-dropping.

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Tennessee School System Bridges Gaps Between Rural Classrooms

June 28, 2012 at 10:27 am PST

PCSS VITAL program reaches more studentsIt seems school grants have become commonplace as education budgets continue to be cut, and therefore, the fight to win a grant is increasingly becoming more difficult. I recently had an interesting conversation with Stephanie Jones, Manager of the Cisco Grant Services Team, and Hillary Janison, Regional Grant Manager for Cisco about Putnam County School System (PCSS) in Tennessee. PCSS worked with the Cisco team to implement a comprehensive grant initiative to bridge the distance gap between the state’s classrooms.

The wide physical distribution (17 campuses) of students among multiple classrooms throughout the state presented PCSS with a number of challenges, including inability to sustain IT and teaching resources, manage personnel, and provide appropriate opportunities for advanced learners. Additionally, faced with an ever-shrinking pool of personnel and classroom resources, PCSS officials knew they would need to maximize their efficiency. Read More »

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Cisco.i.am lines up for improved STEM skills

Watching the Graham Norton chat show on BBC on Saturday night I was delighted to hear that Black Eyed Peas star Will.i.am has donated half a million pounds to the Prince’s Trust to use music to inspire children to be excited about Science Technology Engineering and Maths at school.

Much like Will.i.am, Cisco is using the inspiration of our Olympic sponsorship as official Network Infrastructure supporter to use the London 2012 Olympics as a way to inspire kids and get them excited about STEM subjects.

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Video Helps Schools Reach and Teach Students More Effectively— Despite Tighter Budgets

By Joel Barbier, Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG)

Educators face a number of challenges, from increased pressure to improve student performance on standardized tests to shrinking state and local budgets. In addition, instructors are leaving their classrooms for better opportunities, and students’ learning skills are tuned more to social media and new technologies than to traditional educational models. These challenges require that institutions transform the way they retain talent—and the way they reach and teach students.

Although they have used recorded videos for many years to introduce new experiences to students, and some have started employing web-based video technologies to save travel costs, most educational institutions do not understand the critical role video can play in scaling resources to improve education quality despite budget constraints. Read More »

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