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Cisco Supports Goals of Presidential Initiative to Connect More Schools and Libraries to the Internet

February 4, 2014 at 10:46 am PST

Cisco – with more than 15 years of experience in implementing technology solutions in K-12 schools — strongly supports the goals of President Obama’s initiative to connect more schools and libraries to the Internet, and at faster speeds.

We understand that technology is changing the world.  Our children aren’t just competing against the kids down the street for a spot in college or a job, but with children around the world.  So our children need to have cutting-edge technology in their hands and access to the vast amounts of information at their fingertips.

That’s where the federal “E-rate” program comes in.  E-rate provides discounts for Internet access and internal networking for schools and libraries across America.  Since its inception 15 years ago, E-rate has helped connect over 100,000 schools to the Internet in all 50 states.  Its impact on the education of our nation’s school children has been nothing short of incredible. Read More »

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From Durham to Kilimanjaro: Connected Learning with IoE

According to Duke University’s Vice Provost, L. Gregory Jones, “Students need to have a global imagination if they’re going to be leaders in any vocation in the 21st century.” Which is precisely why Duke has been at the forefront of implementing connected learning for its students and faculty around the world, with the help of IoE.

The Internet of Everything is providing the networked connections between people, process, data and things that make global learning possible. And at Cisco, we’re committed to making connected learning seamless with a number of technologies, the most prominent of which is Cisco’s TelePresence. TelePresence extends the power of in-person collaboration, allowing users to experience next-generation video conferencing and information sharing. A great example of TelePresence at work is the partnership established between the Duke University School of Medicine in Raleigh-Durham, NC and the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College in Tanzania, Africa.

In the U.S., the doctor to patient ratio is 1 doctor to every 450 people; but in Tanzania, the ratio is 1 doctor to every 33,000 people. In order to help Tanzania improve its medical knowledge and care for patients, the Duke School of Medicine and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College teamed up in 1997 to collaborate in research and training.

By 2002, the partnership was extended when Duke placed its first full-time faculty member in Tanzania, and KCM College graduated its first class of 15 doctors. When the National Institute of Health awarded Duke and KCM College a $10 million grant in 2010 to further healthcare training, part of the money was put towards implementing Cisco’s TelePresence technology. The powerful connections provided by the Internet of Everything and TelePresence allowed for more in-depth, real-time connected learning between US and Tanzanian doctors. In 2011, the number of Duke educators and researchers on site in Tanzania expanded. They used the IoE -- TelePresence connection to stay in touch with the Durham campus, utilizing video-conferencing to easily share studies and findings with colleagues back home.

See how Cisco TelePresence is making global connections between the Duke Global Health Institute and students and faculty at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro by clicking through this interactive graphic:

Overall, the results have been impressive. Between 2000 and 2011, the United Nations Human Development Index estimated the average Tanzanian’s life expectancy rose 26%, expected years of schooling rose 69% and overall progress rose 28% -- quite a feat for such a short time period. The future of Tanzania looks much brighter, thanks in part to Duke’s continued collaboration with KCM College and the connections the Internet of Everything makes possible.

Cisco TelePresence is just one of the many technologies Cisco offers enabling connected learning – even between people halfway across the world. A comprehensive solution portfolio of intelligent, network-centric solutions, including video, collaboration, and virtualization, will improve student outcomes, increase efficiency, enhance safety and expand research capabilities. With the Internet of Everything, teachers can be scaled to reach many more students, courses can be richer and more interactive with rich-media technology and they can be accessed on any device, anytime, anywhere. It’s an exciting time for the education industry – the opportunity to better prepare students for the IoE-enabled global world of tomorrow is here for those ready to move forward.

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Education and the Internet of Everything: Live Update from the IoT World Forum

We’re here at the Internet of Things World Forum with over 800 delegates in a very wet Barcelona. This morning, Chris Yapp eloquently introduced the uses and potential uses for IoT in education and Jane Alexander blew us away with the innovations at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Gallery One in the first of three education-focused workshops. I was left with a wealth of ideas about how IoT can really engage learners in innovative, authentic and relevant ways.

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Day 2 of Educause 2013: Videoconferencing, Engagement and the Student Experience

October 18, 2013 at 9:06 am PST

Day 2 of Educause 2013 has been both information-filled and somewhat fascinating. During the general session this morning, author and renowned game designer, Jane McGonigal, shared some intriguing facts about the power of gaming in higher education. A few facts she shared that I found especially interesting included -- 71% of employees are not engaged (at a cost of 300 billion dollars per year), and that the longer you stay in school, the less engaged you become.

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