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Cisco Networking Academy Trains Future IT Workers in Sichuan, China By Jenny Carless

Cisco Networking Academy teaches students information and communication technology (ICT) skills through high-quality e-learning curricula, hands-on labs and online assessments. For the 800,000+ students who go through the program annually, it opens doors to new opportunities.

One place where doors are opening is in China’s Sichuan Province, the scene of an 8.0 magnitude earthquake in May 2008 that left much of the region’s infrastructure – educational and otherwise – devastated.

To help lay the groundwork for ongoing economic development, Cisco’s Connecting Sichuan, a partnership to improve the lives of people in earthquake-affected areas through technology, is working with Networking Academy to establish ICT training programs at colleges and universities throughout the province.

Together, the two have established 50 new Cisco Networking Academy sites, trained 103 new instructors and enrolled 3,700 students.

This ICT education in colleges and universities will play an important role in helping students develop stronger networking technology skills as well as in training teachers to understand ICT trends better,” says Liu Cong, director of the Educational Management Information Center, Department of Education, Sichuan Provincial Government.

Teach the Teacher” Programs

As part of Connecting Sichuan, many schools have installed new educational tools such as interactive whiteboards, computers, wireless networks and more. Networking  Academy teachers are helping with this, says Louis Choi, Connecting Sichuan education leader, by teaching educators to use and maintain the new technology in their schools.

The focus is on computers, networks and how best to use the new technologies,” he explains.

This has been particularly helpful with the school teachers’ use of the interactive whiteboards. In the first six months after the whiteboards arrived, teachers used only about 20-30 percent of their functionality, Choi says. The helped them truly take advantage of the technology.

 The Teach the Teacher programs target participating schools’ lead instructors who can pass their new-found knowledge on to their colleagues.

 For the people of Sichuan who are working so hard to put their lives back together, opportunities such as these can make a world of difference.

This blog post was written by Jenny Carless

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