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Cisco Supports Goals of Presidential Initiative to Connect More Schools and Libraries to the Internet

February 4, 2014 at 10:46 am PST

Cisco – with more than 15 years of experience in implementing technology solutions in K-12 schools — strongly supports the goals of President Obama’s initiative to connect more schools and libraries to the Internet, and at faster speeds.

We understand that technology is changing the world.  Our children aren’t just competing against the kids down the street for a spot in college or a job, but with children around the world.  So our children need to have cutting-edge technology in their hands and access to the vast amounts of information at their fingertips.

That’s where the federal “E-rate” program comes in.  E-rate provides discounts for Internet access and internal networking for schools and libraries across America.  Since its inception 15 years ago, E-rate has helped connect over 100,000 schools to the Internet in all 50 states.  Its impact on the education of our nation’s school children has been nothing short of incredible. Read More »

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How will the Internet of Everything Change Education and Skills for Jobs of the Future?

Technology has had a dramatic impact on education over the past few years, with tablets, digital chalkboards and new collaboration technologies changing the way students learn and professionals advance their careers.

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is becoming a major accelerator for innovation across all industries. The idea of an increasingly digital world where mobility of applications and people are commonplace, where all types of things are connected and provide more intelligence and value is becoming the new reality.

A number of factors including IoE and other evolving technologies and trends will transform the way we look at skills and education in the future.

I’ll be joining Cisco Futurist Dave Evans for a live interactive conversation about the future of skills and education next Tuesday at 11:00 AM PT. Please join us and ask questions; let’s explore what the future will hold and how we can get there.

Join us on Tuesday, February 4 at 11:00 AM PT here: http://newsroom.cisco.com/feature/1332106

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The Value of a Trained & Certified Employee

We recently commissioned a research initiative to explore the value of certifications in the workplace and to better understand the ways that Cisco training aids employers and employees. The study, which was conducted by an independent research firm, was designed to measure employer perceptions of highly valued individuals in their organizations.

The study focused on both employee performance as well as company performance metrics. Employees who were Cisco certified were found to have increased speed and effectiveness in completing network-related IT projects, resolving technical problems and an ability to come up to speed rapidly during onboarding. When employers were asked to quantify the impact a Cisco certified professional had on the company, results showed a decrease in network support costs and downtime as well as the ability to increase project load and customer satisfaction.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Seventy-eight percent of network managers in the survey rated their Cisco certified staff as coming up to speed more than 20 percent faster.
  • More than half of the networking managers in the survey rated external customer satisfaction as being 30 percent or better as a result of Cisco certified staff.
  • Network managers in the survey believed that Cisco certified employees reduce network downtime by as much as 37 percent on average.

The research demonstrates that employers place significant value on Cisco certifications and training, with almost three-quarters agreeing that their Cisco certified employees are more knowledgeable and more valuable than their noncertified employees. The study validates what we knew all along: certifications deliver value with a wide variety of benefits for both employers and employees.

Find the full white paper here: http://www.cisco.com/go/hire

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Special Needs School Uses Technology to Prepare Students for the Future

January 28, 2014 at 7:50 am PST

Berkshire Union Free School District (UFSD) isn’t your typical educational facility. It is located in Canaan, NY where poverty rates are over 90% and 85% of its students have special needs. Berkshire USFD provides an education to young men, ages 12-18, who have been classified as emotionally or learning disabled and have been unsuccessful at their local district due to poverty or a failed educational experience.

Although Berkshire UFSD is a specialized school, it is held to the same retention and graduation standards as other public schools. They realized that, in order to create an impactful program, they were going to need some assistance.

The Challenge

  • Offer education alternatives for at-risk students
  • Train special education students with technology
  • Improve graduation rates
  • Increase entry-level job acceptance for special education students

With these challenges in mind paired with about a year of research, Berkshire UFSD invested in the Cisco® Networking Academy. The Network Academy is Cisco’s largest corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. It, partnered with organizations to provide a digital learning environment for students.

The Solution

  • Prepare teacher with training to introduce new IT courses
  • Certify students with IT training programs
  • Implement job training rather than simple traditional education

Following the installation of Networking Academy, 100% of Berkshire UFSD’s students participating in the program passed the IT Essentials course, and had an 85% pass rate for online exams.

With support from the student’s families and the community, the school plans to expand the program to give additional students the opportunity to become college or career-ready in the field of technology.

“We learn every day from our challenges and our successes. The Cisco Networking Academy has given us one more tool to assist our students in becoming contributing members of society.” --  Bruce Potter, Berkshire UFSD superintendent

Read the entire case study on Berkshire UFSD, and let us know how your school is using technology to meet student needs.

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Tackling the Cybersecurity Skills Gap

The demand for skilled IT security professionals is growing everyday in both the private and public sector, and much of today’s security training is dangerously out of step with current threats.

A recent Ponemon Cyber Attack study found that cyber crime was up 78% in 2013 vs. 2012, with resolution and recovery time more than doubling over the past year, costing organizations tens of millions of dollars annually.

Read More »

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