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Virtual Fieldtrips: Connecting students to culture, geography and the world

April 23, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

Ah, the fieldtrip! Brings back memories, doesn’t it? Well, actually, the memory I always recall is not entirely a happy one. Sure the zoo was fun, but what I remember most was the bus breaking down, the monkey hitting my friend in the eye with a butterscotch candy and a dark-haired boy promptly throwing up when we walked into the hippo area. It was still fun, though, to get out of school for the day and explore what we were learning hands on. An opportunity for real-life engagement in the learning process. Unfortunately, with budget struggles, time constraints and often just a school’s rural location, fieldtrips are few and far between for many schools.

More and more schools, however, as I’ve written before, are finding ways to take virtual fieldtrips (or VFTs) allowing students to participate in the same live, interactive experience without bus rides, transportation costs and loss of instructional time. Read More »

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No Holds Barred @ the EG Conference

April 19, 2012 at 8:50 am PST

If you missed the EG Conference on inspiration and innovation, check out Cisco VP Marie Hattar’s recap in her blog, “No-Holds-Barred Inspiration.”

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Ivy League Colleges Reinvent Lectures

April 16, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

Classes just got a little more interesting at Harvard Law School, Columbia University and Sciences Po, an elite university in Paris.

A 65-student class dedicated to making students think critically about reimagining society, “Progressive Alternatives:  Institutional Reconstruction Today,” is using telepresence to create a discussion that transcends three campuses located in different parts of the world.

According to an article in The Harvard Crimson, the class is taught by Harvard Law School professor Roberto M. Unger and includes commentary from Columbia University professor Jeffrey D. Sachs and Laurence Tubiana, a professor from Sciences Po.

With its telepresence system, the instructors and class are able to interact in realtime. The first hour of the class is a lecture and comment from each professor and the remaining one hour allows times for questions and a lively discussion. Read More »

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Are You Ready for Some Football? Students Access NFL Inner World through Telepresence

April 12, 2012 at 8:26 am PST

Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane. As a child, did you dream of making it as a professional athlete? Or, perhaps, as you grew a little older and your own athletic prowess gave way to other skills, you wished to someday work among the sports stars you so loved and admired?

Thanks to the extensive education outreach programs provided by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, today’s youngsters who aspire to careers in professional football can learn how to make these dreams into realities. Using telepresence, the Hall of Fame reaches students in all 50 states with virtual fieldtrips to National Football League (NFL) offices and museum collections and archives. The in-person, real-time telepresence connections let participating students speak directly with NFL doctors, accountants, public relations leaders, sales staff, and more, enabling them to learn how these employees earned their positions and what it takes to succeed. The telepresence links also let the Hall of Fame use special document cameras and computers to bring some of its 15,000 football artifacts “directly” into classrooms. Read More »

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Extending Mobile Learning Beyond BYOD

Mobile devices are an absolute necessity for the current generation of students.  The 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report found that two-thirds of students (66%)  cite a mobile device (laptop, smartphone, tablet) as “the most important technology in their lives.”  At the same time, educators at schools, colleges and universities are embracing mobile learning and “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives to provide engaging and collaborative 21st century instruction and learning. These emerging trends are creating new demands on school and university networks to accommodate this unprecedented influx of users, devices and applications.

To help education leaders respond to these challenges and opportunities, Cisco recently announced Beyond BYOD, a next-generation solution which allows schools, colleges and universities to implement multiple device strategies without compromises.

Read More »

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