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ISTE 2013: The Idea Incubator

We attended ISTE 2013 this year and came away filled with ideas and excited about a bright future of technology in education. One of the most inspirational takeaways was from the keynote speech by Steven Johnson, “Where Good Ideas Come From”.

Kevin talked about the evolution of ideas. Contrary to popular belief, the best ideas aren’t a light bulb going off, they take time to mature and develop. He defined this as the “slow hunch”, the source of true creativity. Furthermore, ideas are usually not single and solitary, but are built on a network of other ideas. Within this incubator of ideas, connections and collaboration become more and more important, both for development and implementation.

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Innovation is Standard at Idaho Education Network

For the last four or five years, I’ve watched as the Idaho Education Network (IEN) has implemented and reaped the benefits from their distance education program and use of video conferencing, or telepresence. To this day, they continue to improve on success, and during a session at ISTE 2013 last week, Brady Kraft and his team once again illustrated how they consistently stay on top of their game.

Brady Kraft, IEN, presents at ISTE 2013

Brady Kraft, IEN’s Technical Director, presents at ISTE 2013

IEN is a statewide network that connects every school in the state, including higher education institutions, Internet2, private and public training providers, and first responder training organizations.

One of their mandated goals is to provide equal access to a quality education for all citizens and they’re utilizing technology to achieve that goal. As the 7th  most rural state in the nation, half of the counties in Idaho have less than 10 people per square mile, and 75% of Idaho’s schools have < 600 students. These schools havenot been able to offer a full curriculumdue to many factors, including availability of qualified teachers and budgetary restraints. Read More »

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Breaking Down Barriers to Learning with Video – Featured Sessions at ISTE 2013

Colleges and universities continually innovate to address the changing demands on them – increased demand by millenials for virtual offerings, pressure to keep costs down, and the changing needs of the community for a skilled workforce. These demands combined with ongoing resource constraints – limited budgets, classroom space and faculty resources – consistently drive the need for new delivery methods. We have seen many universities expand offerings and reach with distance learning, online learning and most recently MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). The most successful programs have proven to be hybrid offerings, where students receive face-to-face instruction or guidance in addition to their independent study.

How One University is Changing the Rules Read More »

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BYOD Solutions at Johnson City Schools: Improving Communications and Enhancing Information Access

The Johnson City School District transformed its students’ learning experiences, teachers’ teaching experiences, and parents’ academic insights with BYOD applications, allowing them the freedom to learn and connect anywhere, anytime and on any device.

With wired Internet access readily available in each of the 11 schools, the district took its first steps into wireless Internet access in its elementary schools. The city teamed up with Cisco to implement its BYOD Solutions for K12 Education to advance the schools’ wireless networks. The flexible network access allowed teachers to use laptops in their classrooms, stream online video, and adopt testing applications that used iPods, tablets, and other mobile devices. The schools’ networks also addressed the previous network limitations such as security measures preventing access for students and guests. Read More »

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CyberPatriot Program Showcases Future of Cybersecurity Workforce

DSC_0942_2March 14 – 15 marked the National Finals Competition of CyberPatriot, the largest high school cyber defense competition in the United States.

With students crowded around laptops, routers and clocks counting down, teams were given a business scenario. Told that they were newly hired IT professionals managing the network of a small company, they were given 12 virtual machines that they had to wipe of the most vulnerabilities in the shortest amount of time.

Taking place just outside of Washington, D.C., as the teams raced to defend their networks from attack, the event resembled a scene out of the show 24. And if it showed us anything, it’s that our future cybersecurity workforce is bright. Read More »

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