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Video in Education – What the Research Says and How Educators Can Prepare for the Future

May 2, 2012 at 11:24 am PST

Schools, colleges and universities around the world are using video technologies as a fundamental agent in the process of education transformation. A new white paper commissioned by Cisco and conducted by Wainhouse Research concludes:

In concert with global macro-economic changes and the growth of social interconnectedness worldwide, education is undergoing a major shift, as brick-and-mortar classrooms are opening up to rich media content, subject matter experts, and to one another. This shift has been influenced largely by technological and pedagogical trends, greater worldwide access to the Internet, an explosion of mobile phone users, and the appreciation for these technologies by young people, as well as by teachers. Video appears poised to be a major contributor to the shift in the educational landscape, acting as a powerful agent that adds value and enhances the quality of the learning experience.

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Will New Apple, Cisco Announcements Accelerate Digital Learning?

In the wake of the Apple iBooks announcement back in January, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan quickly called on USA schools to fully deploy digital textbooks by 2017. To any observer of the glacial speed of digital conversion in our schools today, this goal seems aggressive.

What could help speed up the pace of these conversions? Well for one, large technology companies.

Owning diverse school curriculum and procurement customer relationships by the thousands, broad product lines, large-scale resources, partnerships, and professional services support, large technology companies could spark more BYOD and 1:1 conversions with more complete, more innovative, and more easy-to-use products and services. And they could help fix the massive challenges schools have when they look to plan and tackle these digital conversions.

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Texas Schools Build New Learning Models for STEM Subjects

April 27, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

You probably saw the headlines about the devastating tornadoes that swept through the Dallas, Texas metropolitan area a few weeks ago. Our hearts go out to those who suffered damage.

As the Lancaster area of the storm-hit region undergoes its recovery, I recently read that at least its public school students have much to look forward to in the months ahead. Lancaster schools recently announced a plan to create a “STEM District”—a union of schools committed to systematically changing teaching practices to promote state-of-the-art education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. It’s an exciting opportunity for the historically economically disadvantaged district to become a national model for teaching these critical topics. Read More »

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Not the end. Not even the beginning of the end.

April 24, 2012 at 7:21 am PST

Having worked on Cisco’s London 2012 programme for more than two years, it seems strange that the Games themselves will last just four and a half  weeks in total – which seems far too short for all the effort going in from everybody !

Thankfully, we see the Legacy component of  this partnership lasting for many years to come, and our “Building A Brilliant Future” programme has been designed to build a lasting legacy based on learning, skills, innovation and entrepreneurship that will hopefully create jobs and drive business growth particularly in SME’s.

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Virtual Fieldtrips: Connecting students to culture, geography and the world

April 23, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

Ah, the fieldtrip! Brings back memories, doesn’t it? Well, actually, the memory I always recall is not entirely a happy one. Sure the zoo was fun, but what I remember most was the bus breaking down, the monkey hitting my friend in the eye with a butterscotch candy and a dark-haired boy promptly throwing up when we walked into the hippo area. It was still fun, though, to get out of school for the day and explore what we were learning hands on. An opportunity for real-life engagement in the learning process. Unfortunately, with budget struggles, time constraints and often just a school’s rural location, fieldtrips are few and far between for many schools.

More and more schools, however, as I’ve written before, are finding ways to take virtual fieldtrips (or VFTs) allowing students to participate in the same live, interactive experience without bus rides, transportation costs and loss of instructional time. Read More »

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