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Cisco Virtual Router Debuts at AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas

Let’s talk about one of the biggest IT trends out there: THE CLOUD. And, let’s talk about why it should matter to you as you’re poking around and researching Cisco products. As you probably know, “the cloud” is more than just one of the hottest buzzwords out there – it’s where the market is shifting towards, and quickly. But you might be wondering…why is Cisco, the market leader in networking hardware, talking about cloud?

One word: CSR1000V.

If you need a primer on the CSR, check out this quick video below. The Cliff Notes version is that Cisco basically took its IOS XE operating system from the ASR1000 and created a virtual router, and voila – behold the CSR1000V, providing virtualized routing and security capabilities in the cloud.

As you might’ve heard through the grapevine, the CSR can now be deployed in Amazon Web Services (AWS). Now that we’re one of the cool kids in the AWS ecosystem, it was a great time to launch the CSR1000V (AMI version) at the 2nd annual AWS re:Invent conference held on November 12-15. re:Invent is AWS’s global community (customer and partner) conference targeted at the developer crowd. This year’s attendance was 9,000 strong, evenly split amongst startups, midsize companies, and large enterprises. Read More »

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Cisco Publishes 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

I am pleased to announce that Cisco has released its ninth annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report. I have come to realize that creating a CSR Report is not about reaching a project deadline – rather it is just one part of an ongoing stakeholder dialogue. We write our annual CSR Report to demonstrate commitment, and to hold ourselves accountable to those commitments — even during phases that have been challenging due to macro-economic or organizational change.

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The 2013 Cisco CSR Report outlines our strategy to use our expertise, technology, and partnerships for social, environmental, and business impact. We report using a framework of five core pillars.

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STEM Education Must be a Hands-on Approach

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields are critical to innovation and the continued development of the U.S. economy. However, trends are showing that while there are and will continue to be plenty of jobs in these fields, many students are unprepared or lack the desire necessary for employers of the future to fill these jobs effectively.

In order to get more students interested in STEM, it is imperative that they learn through hands-on training, mentoring and demonstrations early in their education. In her latest blog, Amanda Williams, Community Relations Manager at Cisco, describes the importance of getting students physically involved in STEM to spark an interest for the future. Through the launch of the Cisco US2020 STEM mentoring initiative, Cisco employees are able work with students from various schools around the U.S. The students participate in activities such as robot building, engineering demos of circuit building, 3D printing, and pedal-a-watt to make a phone ring. Through this program, we are able to get students excited about the opportunities to learn more about STEM fields.us2020

While we still have a long road ahead of us when it comes to preparing and inspiring a future generation of STEM innovators, it’s encouraging to see students enjoying the learning process this new initiative provides. Read More »

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Breaking Down Barriers to Children’s Healthcare in Brazil

November 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm PST

sergipe_mapThis week, Cisco launched its newest CSR program – Connected Healthy Children – Brazil.

Much of the Brazilian population lives far away from major cities, so distance can pose a real barrier for children who need specialized medical care. For example, 41 percent of all infants under age 1 and 90 percent of newborns with congenital heart disease are in remote areas.

Connected Healthy Children – Brazil is intended to help reduce the disparity of access to specialized care between urban and rural areas. In the northeastern state of Sergipe, Cisco is partnering with the state’s only University Hospital in Aracaju to support remote consultations for patients and families, and also improve education, training, and decision-making for care teams.

Advanced telepresence and collaboration systems and cloud technology will connect Family Health Clinics in Tobias Barreto and Lagarto with pediatric specialists at the Federal Medical University campus in Lagarto and the University Hospital in Aracaju. A team enabled with mobile technology will provide specialist access to even more remote areas.

The launch event on November 4, 2013 at the Federal University of Sergipe was attended by approximately 150 people in person and remotely via Cisco TelePresence video conferencing solution – one of the technologies being deployed for Connected Healthy Children -- Brazil.

We will report more on the impact we are having on children’s healthcare in Brazil in the coming months. Please follow Cisco CSR on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ to stay informed!

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Removing Language Barriers from Math Education Improves Student Achievement

What if your biggest challenge in learning math was that you could not understand the words that the teacher used to convey math concepts? That the language in the math book was not your first language? Or that your learning disability involved difficulties with words and reading?

Dr. Matthew Peterson, co-founder and COO of MIND Research Institute, knows what that’s like. He is dyslexic. But after completing an undergraduate triple major and a Ph.D. in visual neuroscience, he decided to try to figure out a way to teach math that minimizes the use of words, but maximizes student understanding and achievement.

 

Dr. Peterson’s stunning innovation is called ST Math, a web-based, self-paced software program that uses language-free animation to help students grasp key math concepts. This resource is offered to students in addition to regular classroom instruction, twice a week.

It turns out that all students, regardless of language or culture of origin, gender, and in some cases even learning disability, do far better at math when they have additional help from solving the ST Math exercises.

As we outlined in an earlier blog post, Cisco’s initial expansion support for ST Math in Silicon Valley and in Arizona has shown strong student performance gains of double to triple growth in math proficiency. Our newly supported 22-school Virginia ST Math pilot sought to replicate these successful outcomes.

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