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Solving Education Budget Crises with Telepresence

September 9, 2011 at 7:28 am PST

As we’ve talked about before, Hillcrest High School in Riverside, California has state-of-the art facilities. But, it has no students. Financed with $105 million of bond money allocated in 2007, the school now lacks the $3 million it needs from the state to operate for one year. California state budget cuts of $18 billion, one-third of the state’s education funding, keep Hillcrest’s halls and classrooms empty.

In similar dire straits as California, Minnesota’s state government this summer borrowed $2.2 billion from its public schools to end a government shutdown. The state has not set a date by which to pay the schools back.

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Back to School with Cisco Unified Computing System and Nexus Switching

September 1, 2011 at 8:00 am PST

Guest post by Omar Sultan, Senior Manager for Cisco Data Center Architecture

Seattle University’s CTO Dan Duffy believes Cisco UCS and a VDI will improve students’ experiences in classes within every college on campus.

It’s that time of year again:  Back to School. With all kinds of technology providing new ways to learn, today’s students are taking advantage of mobile devices and tablets to log on to classes remotely from home, using online learning tools, and turning in assignments virtually.  For example, The Network, Cisco’s technology news site, recently posted an article about innovative ways in which students are learning:  How Cloud Computing is Revolutionizing Education. This article describes how cloud computing provides an innovative alternative to bricks-and-mortar schooling and enables personal and interactive learning.

We’re seeing more educational customers evolving their data centers to take advantage of the latest trends in cloud computing and virtual desktop solutions, to support new student learning approaches.  In addition, of course, saving IT costs is a key priority for these educational institutions.

Let the class begin!

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The Economy – A Stimulus For Change In Education

 “The economic challenges that began in 2007 continue to have a lasting effect on our society, and the education sector has been one of the hardest hit. In total, 85 percent of the country’s 14,000 school districts have been forced to slash their operating expenses.” (Innovation in Tough Times) This contraction has left many educators in a difficult position. Yes- there have been many negative outcomes that have resulted because of the downturn, but there is a silver lining.

Education has changed little to none in the past 150 years.  I am a member of the millennial generation, and I have been a participant of the public education system for almost 14 years. Overall, I have had a decent experience. However, the experience that I had was nearly identical to the one that my parents had over two decades ago. For me, almost every school day was indistinguishable. Monday through Friday I’d reluctantly wake up at the unearthly hour of 7 AM, rush to school, sit through six hours of lecture, go to practice, come home and unload my 30 pound backpack stuffed with outdated textbooks, then read and prepare for yet another day of school that awaited me the next morning. Frankly, this monogamous chain of events caused me to disengage with the learning process.

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Telepresence A Valuable Tool for Project-Based Learning

August 29, 2011 at 10:46 am PST
edutopia article on project based learning

www.edutopia.org

In school, you’re learning all about fish. Would you rather look at, hold, and examine an actual fish to determine its species or would you prefer to read a textbook about a bunch of different fish?

Sliminess factor aside, I’d vote for seeing the actual fish.

The students in science teacher Michelle Underwood’s class feel the same way:  They love the hands-on projects — fish study included — that Underwood has worked into her classroom, they said in a video. A self-described convert from “death-by-Powerpoint” lecture style teaching, Underwood now embraces collaborative project-based learning to increase the depth of her students’ understanding and ensure their sustained interest. She brings everything from animals, to computers, to video equipment into her classroom to facilitate engaging lessons.

According to the educators at Edutopia, George Lucas’s educational foundation, Underwood has the right idea. Project-based learning, as opposed to textbook-based work, helps students retain more material and better develop the ability to self-direct, said an article by the Edutopia staff. Hands-on activities provide students opportunities to experiment with technology and witness real-world connections to the information they encounter in the classroom, the article said. Read More »

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A Student’s Perspective: The Borderless Classroom, Part 2 of 2

I am a member of the millennial generation, and I have been exposed to the education system for nearly 14 years. Recent analysis of Cisco’s International Education Survey prompted me to reflect on my experience as a student. This passage is the second in a two-blog series that portrays my perspective on how and why technology will benefit every facet of teaching and learning.

This blog represents my interpretations on technology’s aid in the evolution of how teachers teach.

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