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#ISTE2014 – Beyond Connectedness to the Internet of Everything

July 1, 2014 at 11:29 am PST

ISTE2014 logoISTE 2014 marks the launch of summertime for many educators as they come together to connect and share ideas about technology and innovation.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of “connectedness” continues with this year’s show in Atlanta.  The ability for schools to connect to the Internet and help make access to technology ubiquitous is changing learning in ways we probably never imagined: students can now take virtual field trips; they can access almost any information any time with the touch of a button, and traditional textbooks are going digital.  Rapid advances in technology are accelerating change.

In 2015, 25 billion devices will be connected to the Internet.  More things are connected to the Internet than there are people in the world.   By 2020, that number will double to 50 billion devices, and each person will have an average 6.58 devices.  We know that Internet of Things (IoT) connections will grow from two billion to six billion in the next five years, producing an enormous amount of information. Read More »

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Systematic Transformation: The Intersection with Technology in a Journey Toward the Future (Scaling Best Practices) – Part Five of Six

June 4, 2013 at 2:16 pm PST

This six-part series focuses on transformation of the traditional higher education system in the United States.  Read parts 1 through 4 on the Cisco Education blog.systematic-transformation 

At Cisco we are seeing outstanding examples of change, some of which have been highlighted throughout this blog series. Others, unfortunately, are one-time interventions, and tend to be unsustainable. We’ve seen a number of video implementations, for example, that have gone nowhere because they were not part of a larger strategy or plan, and training and culture were never addressed.  Across the country, outdated, disconnected video equipment lays scattered in classrooms, lecture halls, and IT departments. How can we ensure that these improvements can intrinsically change our higher education system in the United States, and across the globe?  We strongly believe that technology can help in this area as well. 

Scale can take place within a university and across university systems, especially when video technologies such as Cisco TelePresence are employed. This videoconferencing solution is easier to use, higher quality, and provides an immersive experience that rivals the one found in the classroom.

Paradise Valley Unified School District in Phoenix, Arizona is partnering with National Lambda Rail, a National Research and Education Network, to connect with universities and other higher education institutions to deliver joint classes.  With just one teacher and Cisco TelePresence, PVUSD is now providing instruction to students at multiple schools simultaneously.

Duke University is using Cisco TelePresence to create a virtual lecture hall, and expand the reach of its MBA program beyond the shores of the U.S., thereby increasing access and generating new revenue streams.  Now, their business school students can access professors, guest lecturers and business leaders from around the world. In this way, Duke is extending the in-person classroom environment across multiple campuses and into the business world.

Finally, Cisco recently announced WebEx Social, a new, enterprise collaboration platform that combines the power of social networking, content creation, and real-time communications and collaboration. We believe that WebEx Social has the power to drive the sustainable change required by higher education systems across the globe. 

Along with Cisco TelePresence, Duke University uses WebEx Social to provide faculty, staff, and students with a single, unified platform to access learning management systems, student information systems, and other applications for academics, extracurricular activities, and career information.  WebEx Social is also coupled with tools for voice and video collaboration within the same platform.  As a result, the traditional experience is evolving into dynamic, group-based learning that is often taking place outside of the traditional classroom setting.

Our vision is that WebEx Social will be used by higher education systems worldwide to connect and collaborate, and share best practices, course content, resources and more, helping drive the scale required to transform the entire system.  We believe that this tool is an agent for change, and will revolutionize the way in which higher education institutions deliver the business of education.

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A Half Million Likes on Facebook: Cisco Networking Academy Uses Social Media to Engage and Educate

Hilal_ChoumanThis post was written by Hilal Chouman, social media strategist for Cisco Networking Academy

Since late 2009, Cisco Networking Academy (NetAcad), one of Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, has been present on various social media networks. The earliest presence was on the rising social network of that time: Facebook.

In late 2010, NetAcad’s Facebook page hit its first 100,000 likes. After this milestone, the Facebook page continued its growth, following the growth of the number of students in the NetAcad program.

Today, NetAcad’s Facebook page hit a half million likes (fans).

Cisco Networking Academy 500K Fans

It is amazing how a social presence can accelerate in content and size, as soon as it grasps the right connection with the audience.

Read More »

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Discovering talents across the world through the Cisco Networking Academy

July 10, 2012 at 12:13 pm PST

I had the privilege to shadow Kathy Mulvany from Cisco Corporate Affairs through the Connected Women Executive Shadow Program and wanted to share what a fantastic experience that was.  I shadowed her marketing strategy sessions as well as her next fiscal year planning meetings.  During our time together, I was most intrigued by the stories she shared with me from her recent trip to Africa, where she met a number of individuals who have been impacted by our social investment programs, including students from the Cisco Networking Academy Read More »

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Four Ways Social Software Collaboration Technology Can Change Higher Education

New media and collaboration technologies have the potential to transform higher education in terms of the classroom, the learning process, the relationship between students and instructors, and how institutions conduct academic research. While much of the industry discussion revolves around use of consumer tools and social network sites like Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, Cisco’s educational customers also see tremendous opportunity to increase student engagement and drive their own institutional strategies with “enterprise class” social software as well.

Since Cisco first announced Quad, we have had conversations with dozens of colleges and universities regarding the role enterprise social software and Cisco Quad can play in transforming education. Cisco Quad is an enterprise collaboration platform that brings people together to share ideas and content, collaborate on projects, and interact using chat, voice or video, regardless of where people are located.

Below, we’ve outlined four ways in which educational institutions are telling us enterprise social software is helping, or can transform the way learning, research, and academic advisement is crafted, delivered and consumed:

1. The 24/7 interactive classroom: Instructors often struggle to deliver a collaborative environment for their students that is secure and supports multiple access methods such as mobile.  Technology like Quad can enable students to interact in a secure, policy-based manner that extends the classroom conversation beyond physical walls. Courses partially or wholly targeted at off-campus students can similarly benefit from enhancing the class-like experience for remote students. For example, at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the cross country MBA students based in the US, England, India and other countries are using Quad to create virtual working groups, find people with common interests, share files or videos with other students working on similar projects and instantly start video conferences or chat sessions. Quad provides students with the ability to interact, ask questions and share ideas with professors/faculty/tutorial assistants anytime, as opposed to only during fixed faculty office hours. It can also drive improved accountability on team projects, as content and comments are tracked in activity feeds and in project communities by both participating students and faculty leads.

2. Serendipitous Research: Quad contains several features, such as an activity feed that compiles microblog posts from students and staff and allows a snapshot view of a person’s current activities. These dynamic updating functionalities can facilitate broader cross-departmental collaboration, for students and researchers alike. Security features ensure that research that needs to be confidential is shared in a secure and safe manner.  As researchers update their statuses with exciting discoveries or frustrating problems, or create posts, upload videos or otherwise document their work, this content becomes accessible to hundreds of fellow university researchers through activity feeds and searches, making it possible for providential inter-disciplinary connections to be made and new insights to be generated. Read More »

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