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Innovations in Higher Education: New Thursday Blog Series

April 10, 2014 at 12:04 pm PST

Most of us have seen the incredible progress and subsequent challenges in the arena of higher education, and there’s no doubt it’s been a big topic of discussion amongst the Cisco Education Team. So, we are excited to announce an upcoming blog series that will highlight some of the key trends, challenges and innovations we are seeing in higher education.

For the next few months, we will host a Thursday blog series focused on the changes in higher education. Starting next Thursday, our own Renee Patton will kick it off by highlighting many of the current trends and challenges. After that, stay tuned each Thursday as we feature blogs covering everything from research universities and online learning models to data sovereignty and analytics. Read More »

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Educause: Bringing Together Technology and Education to Invest in Our Future

It’s amazing to think about the way a traditional classroom operated only a few years ago.  As Renee Patton recently pointed out in her blog post, there were rules, there were barriers, and they were all kept within the confines of an educational institution.  As technology has advanced, those rules have been challenged, barriers overcome, and an entirely new era of learning has emerged.

The collaborative nature of education, educators and learners has allowed new technologies to thrive and innovation to accelerate.  We’re flipping classrooms, implementing mobile learning programs and developing entirely new ways for students to connect and engage.  And we’re looking with excitement toward a future that will continually change the way we teach and learn. Read More »

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Connecting… The Isolated

October 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm PST

I’ll never forget my first day as a brand new high school teacher.   As a young college graduate (with absolutely no experience teaching and a one-hour course on classroom management), I stood stiffly in front of the room on that hot end-of-summer day, afraid to crack a smile.  Thankfully, a more seasoned teacher had taken me to lunch the day before school started, so I at least had a pretty good idea of how to set up my grade book, allocate points to assignments, and fashion a seating chart.

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The Best Thinking in Higher Education IT

The largest Higher Education IT event of the year, EDUCAUSE 2013 takes place  in Anaheim, California  October 15-18. We will be there along with about 5,000 key decision makers from the United States, Canada, and around the world.

If you are planning to attend,  visit the Cisco team at booth #601, where we will showcase our Connected Learning solutions for higher education. Stop by and learn how to use your campus network infrastructure to save money, improve efficiency, enhance safety and security, and prepare the next-generation workforce.

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Learning Hubs: Where Learning Takes Place in a Digital World

It has long been known that a combination of both formal and informal learning is an effective way of turning theory (explicit knowledge) into practice (tacit knowledge). This includes working and learning alongside more experienced people, both online and face-to-face.

The nature of learning is changing, and new learning technologies are proliferating. Additionally, there is compelling evidence that suggests many learners can benefit from alternative models and novel spaces for developing their skills and gaining further knowledge. Couple this with the increase in distance and virtual learning offerings—which offer little opportunity for face-to-face contact for both formal learning and networking—and a significant need for additional learner support begins to emerge.

This need is also being driven by our busy lifestyles: learners may not always have time to study at their chosen institution or study center; entrepreneurs and startups may need access to temporary experts and more formal learning opportunities; and learners and workers may need more than just online support from time to time. Sometimes learners want a place to study away from the distractions of home or work, or they may need an informal learning place to engage with peers and mentors.

Learning hubs” may be the solution. Learning hubs are technology-enabled, flexible, formal and informal learning spaces designed to support learners of all ages. As opposed to study centers or traditional classrooms, learning hubs:

  • Are purpose-built to accommodate more than just tutorial instructions and seminars 
  • Serve as a space for temporary or prearranged meetings and discussions with peers
  • Enable students to meet with experts and mentors virtually or to join a class remotely (from one or more hubs) via high-definition video-conferencing or telepresence facilities

Learning hubs can be located in Smart Work Centers, university and school campuses with spare real estate, community centers, and other places. Or, they can be “pop-up” hubs—physical spaces connected through high-end video-conferencing technology to enable city-to-city and multicity events—that meet specific, short-term needs. Dialogue Café is one example of a pop-up hub. Other types of hubs are shown in Figure 1.  

 Figure 1.  Potential Learning Hub Locations.

Learning Hubs

Source: Cisco IBSG, 2013

A more detailed perspective from Cisco IBSG on learning hubs—including existing hubs and those in development—is available for download at “Learning Hubs: Where Learning Takes Place in a Digital World.”

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