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#HigherEdThursdays: New Models for Online Learning

Mark Twain once remarked, when asked about issues related to plagiarism, “Substantially all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources;” and so it goes with online learning.  Is there such a thing as a new model for online learning?  After all, online learning has been done, in a number of mediums, ever since video was first able to be recorded and shared.

I believe, like with anything new, the new models for online learning are essentially all “second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from…outside sources…” But what may be the most striking fact about online learning is just how popular the term, and the practice, has become: when I searched on Google for “online learning,’ I received 2,570,000 responses. Wow!

Perhaps what is most intriguing about online learning models is the growing sophistication of their design, use of learning analytics in “closed loop fashion” (where a student’s online learning behavior is reviewed and, based on what worked and what didn’t, the class or lesson is iteratively improved to be more effective for the next learner) and the use of technology to scale with quality to meet the needs of many learners – be they in one class, one school, one state or beyond. Read More »

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#HigherEdThursdays: Current Trends and Challenges in Higher Education

April 17, 2014 at 7:46 am PST

We are all seeing colleges and universities across the nation experiencing a massive disruption in how they deliver quality learning experiences to their students.  Those that continue down the path of status quo will miss this shift and become obsolete at best and out of business at best.  In his New York Times article, “Innovation Imperative: Change Everything,” Clayton Christensen says, “Like steam, online education is a disruptive innovation — one that introduces more convenient and affordable products or services that over time transform sectors.”

Changing delivery and business models have become part of the competitive landscape, but they also offer new sources of revenue and expense control for colleges and universities. Education delivery is changing in multiple ways, with increased cross registration in online courses, a growing focus on competency based models, new hybrid and online models, flipped learning, and moves to unbundling educational services, potentially increasing mobility across institutions. The rapid rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) has also accelerated the pace of change in online delivery models over the last two years. Over the next several years, navigating this landscape will have economic impacts, both positive and negative. It will also force institutions to become more nimble in their strategic positioning. (Moody’s: 2014 Outlook US Higher Education). Read More »

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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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CyberPatriot Competition Kicks-Off with a Bright Start

The sixth season of the National CyberPatriot Competition kicked off back in November, and the National Finals are coming up: March 26th -- 29th. Conceived by the Air Force Association, CyberPatriot is a premier Internet defense competition designed to excite, educate, and motivate the next generation of network defenders, which are critical to our nation’s security. It is the largest high school cyber defense competition in the United States, with two divisions:

  • Open Division -- Open to an accredited public or private institutions, registered home school associations, and community organizations like the Boy Scouts and Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
  • All Service Division -- Open to students in Junior ROTC programs, Civil Air Patrol squadrons, and Naval Sea Cadet units. Read More »

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Bringing Back Music Education to Our Schools

February 27, 2014 at 8:38 am PST

While many are arguing the existence of a comeback in liberal arts education, too many public schools are seeing a decline in arts education due to budget and resource cuts. The benefits of music and arts education are well documented, but we continue to see schools losing music programs.

Unfortunately, cutting music programs in public schools tends to impact low-income students disproportionately, as private access is available to those who can afford and support it. However, people and technology are making a difference and finding a way to bring music education to schools in new ways. Read More »

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