Los Gatos High School, located in Los Gatos, California, recently switched to block scheduling, effectively decreasing the number of school days by 15 a year. For science teacher, Steve Hammack, what began as a way to provide students with the lecture content they would necessarily need to pass his courses in the face of a decreased number of school days, has ended up as a new model for students to learn massive amounts of information for his AP Biology and Physics classes. For a technology fan who spends her days at Cisco Systems focused on educators who are using technology to improve learning outcomes, I was intrigued.
I quickly became aware of Mr. Hammack’s approach when I walked into my teenage son’s bedraggled bedroom and heard a familiar voice emanating from the direction of his PC. It sounded like someone I’d met at back-to-school night. My son, Joe, a senior at Los Gatos, was reclined in his chair, feet up on his bed, notebook on his lap, busily listening to the voice and taking copious notes. As I entered his room, Joe clicked a pause button and asked, “What’s up?” “What’s up with you? What are you doing?” He pointed to his screen and said, “Listening to my biology lecture for Mr. Hammack’s class. We do this every night, then we have a quiz or test every day when we come into class.” Interested, I said, “Tell me more. Do you like it?”
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Tags: edtech, education, transforming education, video
We’ve seen telepresence take off in higher education programs, as we shared in a post on how the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business uses the technology to connect its students with executives across the world.
As more and more universities, including Duke in North Carolina, Madison College in Wisconsin, and Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania join the ranks of schools with fully equipped telepresence classrooms, it’s exciting to think of how these institutions are forging global scholarly dialogues and worldwide collaboration.
Witnessing the power of video to connect the academic world made me especially appreciative of a recent informative story in University Business. Writer Kristen Domonell details the importance of installing telepresence equipment in fully operational telepresence rooms in order for higher ed students to realize the benefits of the video technology. Read More »
Tags: edchat, edtech, IVC, university, video conferencing, videoconferencing
The second day of the 2012 Education World Forum (EWF) was a busy one, with a full schedule of talks and events.
In the morning opening keynote addresses were delivered by representatives of UNESCO, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Brookings Institute, and Intel. This was followed by two plenary sessions; the first addressed research from large-scale pilot projects and initiatives and the second focused on how countries such as Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Nigeria are improving their national education systems.
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Tags: 21st century skills, edtech, education, transforming education
Though it’s wonderful to read about recent positive trends, there’s no question that the jobless rate has caused concern for some time now. Did you know, however, that in some sectors there are consistently more job openings than there are qualified candidates?
According to a U.S. News blog post by Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, a New Jersey-based charter school founder, fields including computer science, environmental science, medicine, and engineering all need trained professionals. The problem, Bonilla-Santiago says, is that America’s schools don’t provide adequate training in the STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—so there aren’t enough prepared people for the available jobs.
Part of the issue, Bonilla-Santiago suggests, is that teachers do not have adequate training in the sciences to effectively teach these subjects. Congress considered solutions that would bring more qualified instructors into the classroom, including encouraging STEM professionals to transition from their industry jobs to teaching positions. But wouldn’t this shift just exacerbate the current vacancy rates in the STEM fields? Read More »
Tags: edchat, edtech, education, education reform, stem, video conferencing, videoconferencing
New media and collaboration technologies have the potential to transform higher education in terms of the classroom, the learning process, the relationship between students and instructors, and how institutions conduct academic research. While much of the industry discussion revolves around use of consumer tools and social network sites like Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, Cisco’s educational customers also see tremendous opportunity to increase student engagement and drive their own institutional strategies with “enterprise class” social software as well.
Since Cisco first announced Quad, we have had conversations with dozens of colleges and universities regarding the role enterprise social software and Cisco Quad can play in transforming education. Cisco Quad is an enterprise collaboration platform that brings people together to share ideas and content, collaborate on projects, and interact using chat, voice or video, regardless of where people are located.
Below, we’ve outlined four ways in which educational institutions are telling us enterprise social software is helping, or can transform the way learning, research, and academic advisement is crafted, delivered and consumed:
1. The 24/7 interactive classroom: Instructors often struggle to deliver a collaborative environment for their students that is secure and supports multiple access methods such as mobile. Technology like Quad can enable students to interact in a secure, policy-based manner that extends the classroom conversation beyond physical walls. Courses partially or wholly targeted at off-campus students can similarly benefit from enhancing the class-like experience for remote students. For example, at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the cross country MBA students based in the US, England, India and other countries are using Quad to create virtual working groups, find people with common interests, share files or videos with other students working on similar projects and instantly start video conferences or chat sessions. Quad provides students with the ability to interact, ask questions and share ideas with professors/faculty/tutorial assistants anytime, as opposed to only during fixed faculty office hours. It can also drive improved accountability on team projects, as content and comments are tracked in activity feeds and in project communities by both participating students and faculty leads.
2. Serendipitous Research: Quad contains several features, such as an activity feed that compiles microblog posts from students and staff and allows a snapshot view of a person’s current activities. These dynamic updating functionalities can facilitate broader cross-departmental collaboration, for students and researchers alike. Security features ensure that research that needs to be confidential is shared in a secure and safe manner. As researchers update their statuses with exciting discoveries or frustrating problems, or create posts, upload videos or otherwise document their work, this content becomes accessible to hundreds of fellow university researchers through activity feeds and searches, making it possible for providential inter-disciplinary connections to be made and new insights to be generated. Read More »
Tags: 2012, chat, Cisco collaboration, Cisco Education, Cisco Quad, Cisco Unified Communications., collaboration, college, consumer, Duke University, edtech, education, edutech, enterprise collaboration, facebook, Fuqua School of Business, happy holidays, happy new year, higher education, highered, IM, linkedin, MBA, microblog, quad, social, social media, social networking, twitter, video, Voice, voice over IP