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Robot Soccer? Staying Connected at Bowdoin College

October 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm PST

As our team has prepared for Educause 2013 this week, we have been talking a lot about technology in higher education and how it’s impacting colleges, universities, students and staff. Of course, robot soccer was not the first thing that came to mind, but it’s a great example of how different technologies are changing education forever.

Bowdoin College, which you may remember from last year’s #1 Most Connected College, is one of my favorite case studies because it points out that people have to TRUST technology for it to really be effective. Trust is a big word, really – I know I’m not the only person who is a little gun shy when I think about updating my phone to a new software version. So, when a professor has a class full of students and says “let’s all stream this video right now”, it’s important that it actually works – or professors risk losing student attention, losing time and facing maximum frustration levels.

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Security: Vital for Technology-enabled Education

October 11, 2013 at 8:47 am PST

More and more we are seeing the education landscape change to include more technology for collaboration and mobile learning. Colleges and universities are enabling secure networks for staff and students to access resources on-campus and off. With October being National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) and Educause next week, we are hearing a lot of talk about the importance of campus network security and threats. Read More »

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Educause: Bringing Together Technology and Education to Invest in Our Future

It’s amazing to think about the way a traditional classroom operated only a few years ago.  As Renee Patton recently pointed out in her blog post, there were rules, there were barriers, and they were all kept within the confines of an educational institution.  As technology has advanced, those rules have been challenged, barriers overcome, and an entirely new era of learning has emerged.

The collaborative nature of education, educators and learners has allowed new technologies to thrive and innovation to accelerate.  We’re flipping classrooms, implementing mobile learning programs and developing entirely new ways for students to connect and engage.  And we’re looking with excitement toward a future that will continually change the way we teach and learn. Read More »

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Education and the Internet of Everything

Imagine a future where education has become embedded into daily life and is no longer only associated with schools, colleges and universities; a time where people can access learning when and where they need to increase their knowledge or skills. Imagine a future where a learner can be sent information which has been contextualized to their particular immediate need. Imagine learners who can not only access pre-recorded presentations on topics of interest by experts in the field, but also invite that expert to explain a concept instantly through a live interaction.  This is the sort of future that is possible as more and more things (and people) become connected.  This information sharing capability combined with big data analysis offers the promise of an exciting and motivating learning experience for people of all ages. The new world of education will make massive use of connectivity to enable all learners to access relevant resources at the moment when there is a need for new knowledge and understanding.

Cisco is a strong believer in the power of the Internet and its ability to speed up communications and to accelerate growth; today, the Internet connects people to many things, but it can also connect them to processes and data, creating new capabilities and unprecedented socio-economic opportunities for everyone on the planet.

The Internet of Everything (IoE) will amplify this hyper-connectedness in ways never imagined before. It will connect people delivering the right information to the right person in the most effective and efficient manner. The IoE will start (and has already started) increasing access to education by connecting the unconnected, allowing learners to become co-creators of knowledge and using technology to better understand physical, social and environmental phenomena taking place inside and outside the classroom.

Recognizing this potential, Cisco Consulting Services (CCS) and the Cisco EMEAR Education team are collaborating to produce a white paper about the impact of IoE on education, its potential challenges, opportunities, implications and success factors. The paper will explore the potential of IoE for education across four fundamental pillars: PEOPLE, PROCESS, DATA and THINGS, and the value it can bring across all sectors of education.

These four pillars will undoubtedly be interconnected in learning activities, and as such, the paper starts by exploring the impact each can have on education and what will need to happen to support, build on and scale some of the practices currently being planned or adopted. The paper collects some examples of interesting cases and initiatives taking place around the world and the efforts by some institutions to change standard practice and find educational applications of IoE. Furthermore, the paper explores the need to rethink our current approaches to pedagogy, methodology, curriculum, assessment, and skills development so education systems can better prepare the next generation of scientists, engineers, and specialists that will not only profit from the opportunities of IoE, but also will contribute to its future development.

The economic implications of the IoE are just starting to be quantified. Cisco Consulting Services’ Economics Practice has determined that there is a $14.4 trillion of Value at Stake in the IoE economy over the next decade; for education, the IoE has worldwide a 10-year net present value of $175 Billion. But going beyond economics, the opportunities the IoE can bring to education are priceless.

The paper, which will be released at the end of October, is just one of a set of deliverables to start a global conversation about IoE and its potential implications for education. In addition to the paper, there will also be a video, and next year, the potential development of a pilot on IoE scenarios for education.

We invite you to stay tuned for the release of the paper and to engage through this channel on the global conversation about the Internet of Everything and its impact on education.

Michelle Selinger, Ana Sepulveda, Jim Buchan

Connecting… The Isolated

October 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm PST

I’ll never forget my first day as a brand new high school teacher.   As a young college graduate (with absolutely no experience teaching and a one-hour course on classroom management), I stood stiffly in front of the room on that hot end-of-summer day, afraid to crack a smile.  Thankfully, a more seasoned teacher had taken me to lunch the day before school started, so I at least had a pretty good idea of how to set up my grade book, allocate points to assignments, and fashion a seating chart.

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