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Katy ISD: “Re-Inventing” Education

Forty-three years ago my parents sat on their couches in front of a black and white snowy television. They watched intently as Neil Armstrong planted the American flag on the surface of the moon. Fifteen years later, they bore witness to the invention of the first Macintosh personal computer. Five years after that, they stood by as the Internet was made available to the public. Last night, I watched as my mom used her iPhone to connect to an Apple TV unit via Wi-Fi. In doing this, she was able to flip through online Netflix movies on our Television. In the past 50 years, technology has evolved exponentially; the world and its inhabitants have evolved with it.

I am a student at the University of Oregon and a Cisco intern. Currently, I support Cisco’s Education Marketing Team. This blog portrays my thoughts on the technological transformation to a BYOD teaching model made by the Katy Independent School District.  I will also discuss my perspective on why technology in teaching and learning is a natural and important step in the “re-invention” of the traditional education model.

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BYOD on a University Campus: A Student’s Perspective

There is a new generation of college students out there, I would know as I recently was one of them.  Information being at your fingertips is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity.  Professors’ expectations of their students have increased dramatically due to the wealth of information on mobile devices.  Every class I attended leveraged some form of wireless access to the web.  Instant message in response to real-time questions and online submissions are just two of many examples of how network access has been integrated into the education system.  Professors would consistently use online tools such as online drop boxes for projects and web conferencing tools.  According to MarketWire 92% of college students feel a laptop is a necessity, this indicates that the requirement of mobile access at a university is a given and the college experience is defined by the ease of that access. 

Professors are on tight schedules and are generally available only at certain times of the day.  Imagine- wanting to contact a professor during open hours only to fall short because your laptop had difficulty getting any kind of connection.  I remember the frustrations of wanting to revisit PowerPoint presentations on a class website in the library, only to realize that I was sitting by the one window notorious for being a wireless dead zone.  Dorms were infamous for spotty coverage.  Having the dorm room located closest to the access point for best access was purely by luck of the draw.  I was not so lucky.  In my dorm, you would not get any wireless access unless you were sitting right next to the hallway.  That’s why I am especially envious of the students of Colorado University, whose alma mater upgraded to enterprise-class coverage. 

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Cisco Unified Communications 9.0 – Work the Way You Want/Need to Work

As I shared in my previous blog regarding the announcement of Cisco Unified Communications (UC) 9.0, flexibility is a key focus of that new release. Based on what we’re hearing from our customers, we are providing solutions that accommodate different business needs and user requirements. It’s all about empowering you to work the way you want to work, the way you need to work.

What are the new drivers? To start, with Cisco UC 9.0 we introduce a flexible licensing model and tools where you can purchase and manage licenses. We address the common user types of desk-less, desk-bound, hybrid, and mobile. My colleague, John Marshall, recently blogged about Cisco’s user-centric licensing strategy – please take a look for more details.

Around the growing trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), this release not only supports Read More »

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Drawing Inspiration from Ancient Times

Recently, I came across this amazing relic of ancient times that’s on display at the Getty Museum in LA – a Greek marble relief that dates back to 100 BC. It’s like the IT department has presented her with a laptop still running Windows 2000 and she’s thinking to herself, “What have I gotten myself into?” Could it be one of the first sources of inspiration for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), found in a carving thousands of years old? Judging from this, it looks like people have wanted to bring their own devices to work for a lot longer than we might have previously thought!

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Forget tech! It’s about your business.

The role of the CIO is changing so fast these days that you can hardly catch your breath. No longer can the chief information officer focus on maintaining the traditional IT infrastructure. Now it’s about the proliferation of devices and how they can help to build your business.  Read More »

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