This article has been written by Jan Zanetis, Education Advocate for Cisco in Australia. The original article was published in the December/January edition of Educational Leadership (EL). Visit EL to read the full version.
The Virtues of Video
Video-on-demand tutorials. International student collaborations. Virtual field trips to Australia. Schools can use interactive video to enrich students’ learning.
What if your struggling students could view demonstrations of difficult math concepts as often as necessary? Picture your students asking questions of an expert diver as she explores Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Or imagine a motivated student in a remote location attending an advanced placement physics class without leaving home.
Providing such enriching learning activities, even with limited funds, is no fantasy; it’s possible through live, interactive video.
There’s a lot of talk right now about cloud computing, proliferation of devices and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). And when you look at the big picture, it’s clear that there are two things we need to acknowledge:
Employees want the freedom to work anywhere, anytime, with any device; and
IT needs to rethink the infrastructure to allow for the seamless and secure work experience that actually lets us work and collaborate across distances, and in ways that seem like we’re ‘right there.’
GigaOm recently reported on a talk by Gary Swart of oDesk that focused on remote work. Referring to ‘Work 3.0,’ Swart described it as “access to the best people no matter where they are in the world,” and the “ability to work with those people as if they’re in the room with you.”
Over the last decade I’ve studied the practical applications of ethnographic research. I’ve performed detailed use-case analysis of requirements, and I frequently volunteer as a participant in the development of prototypes for applications that are hosted in the cloud.
Why did I choose to invest my own time in alpha tests and beta trials? To gain the first-hand knowledge of what it really means to create a user experience that is remarkable.
While I’m not a user experience designer, I’ve developed a keen sense of the personal productivity gains that can be achieved by software UI ease-of-use improvements.
Today, Cisco introduced CloudVerse, an end-to-end solution to build, manage and connect clouds. Cisco revealed how it sees the cloud: one in which it enables the world to operate more simply not just from one collective cloud but rather a world of many clouds where the organizations can choose how their cloud solutions are developed whether it’s a highly secure private cloud, a more open public cloud or a hybrid. Within these various cloud environments, IT is delivered as a service and end users can collaborate dynamically and consume content on-demand.
With Cisco’s network based cloud solutions serving as the foundation, Cisco also introduced new enhancements and functionalities to its ever growing Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS). The Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution gives partners, including service providers and integrators, the ability to deploy multiple collaboration applications on one server in a virtualized environment and then host those applications for multiple client organizations. The solution is designed to be run from partner data centers. Just last week, Fujitsu’s Andy Stevenson, executive director of their hosting and network services group discussed how they’ve combined their experience and expansive networkto develop anew hosted offer, the Fujitsu Cloud Connect service.. Fujitsu’s new service helps employees collaborate more efficiently on any device using a uniform suite of Cisco collaboration technology available on demand.