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Millions of Girls Face Barriers to Getting an Education. How Can We Help?

Right now, 66 millions of girls around the world dream of going to school.

Educating girls can break cycles of poverty in just one generation, yet millions of girls aren’t in school. Educated girls stand up for their rights, marry and have children later, educate their own children, and their families and communities thrive.

Yet millions of girls around the world face barriers to education that boys do not. Removing barriers such as early marriage, gender-based violence, domestic slavery and sex trafficking means not only a better life for girls, but a safer, healthier and more prosperous world for all.

Lack of access to education for girls is a real issue, but I must admit I often don’t think of it. Yes, in my daily work with the Cisco Networking Academy I am constantly reminded of the lack of females studying IT, and am involved in projects to help increase these numbers worldwide. But I often forget about the issue one step back. What about the girls who don’t have the luxury of choosing what to study? Those girls who just want to go to school, but can’t?

A few months ago I was reading our Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility newsletter when I saw a post about this very issue. Cisco offices around the globe were showing a documentary called Girl Rising. I was curious and asked for a copy. A few weeks later with a group of co-workers in our Barcelona office we were moved by the story of 9 girls from around the world portrayed in the video.

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Statement of John Chambers on Funding for the E-Rate Program

November 17, 2014 at 9:57 am PST

Statement from Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers:

U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler today unveiled a landmark proposal that has the power to transform our nation’s classrooms and put the power of the Internet at the fingertips of all teachers and students.

Connecting students and teachers in the classroom is one of the most important things that our nation can do to dramatically improve our educational system. Connected classrooms will provide students with real-time access to the world’s libraries, incredible science experiments, and a wealth of video, apps and other rich media content.  It also will connect students in rural areas, as well as enable students to take innovative and specialized courses at other schools and other districts.

The effects of this decision will be felt for decades. Not only will it encourage more students to enter the fields that make up STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math — but it will also help make our students and our nation more competitive on the global stage. The nations that are on the leading edge of the digital revolution will be the ones that lead in terms of innovation, job creation and economic growth.

The E-Rate program forms the bedrock of the federal government’s effort to connect our nation’s schools and libraries to the Internet. This proposal, if adopted, will breathe new life into the program and will help our children and grandchildren prepare for an ‘Internet of Everything’ future where technology is integrated into all aspects of work, life, and education.

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Continuing To Build Success with the Internet2 Community

When I was in college, I didn’t have e-mail.  Cell phones were rare and there was certainly no such thing as a smart phone, tablet, a laptop, or Google.   Sometimes I look back and wonder how I ever survived without those technologies that have now become a necessity in my everyday life.

As we go through our lives using these once cutting edge technologies, we don’t really ever stop to think that many of these amazing technologies got their start in the Academic Research community.    This type of research is happening daily on campuses around the world. I had the privilege to join close to 800 technology research masterminds in Indianapolis for the Internet2 Technology Exchange October 26th through October 30th. The objective of the Technology Exchange was to bring together a wide range of technical visionaries to address the challenges facing the research & education community as it supports data intensive research.  Members of the Internet2 community participated in a range of keynote, breakout and networking sessions over the 4 days. Indiana University was the hosting institution with their CIO, Brad Wheeler, participating in a number of panel discussions.

Our passion towards innovation and partnership with Internet2 put Cisco front and center at the Technology Exchange.  Cisco Software Engineer, Tae Hwang, spearheaded the Cisco booth handling a variety of questions and inquiries while delivering crisp demonstrations of the Cisco Modeling Lab as well as Flexible Traffic Steering through ODL.

In addition to our booth, Cisco participated in 3 speaking engagements during the event. Cisco Engineer, Eddie Ruan was an integral part of an industry panel discussing the trends and directions in the SDN market.  Steven Carter, Cisco Solutions Architect, gave a presentation on ODL Intercloud fabric. Christine Bakan , Cisco Director of Product Management, served on a panel discussing ODL and the impact it will have on research & education. Each of the Cisco sessions was standing-room-only and feedback was very positive from both Tech Exchange attendees as well as the Internet2 staff.

In a fascinating demonstration, Cisco teamed with Rice University to present a flexible traffic steering solution using an ODL controller during the Tech Exchange Community Showcase. William Diegaard from Rice University set up the university’s scenario and requirements as Cisco’s Eddie Ruan demonstrated an ODL solution that solved the specific Rice requirement.

Harper Reed, CTO of the Obama re-election team was the featured keynote speaker for the Technology Exchange. Reed was a popular speaker with his mix of technology insights and irreverent humor. He noted a few key messages that were critical to the success of the 2012 campaign that have broad applicability for Cisco and our customers. Reed noted:

1)        When execution is critical, make sure you build the right platform – scalable, agile, and adaptive.

2)        Big data is only important in its ability to drive big answers

3)        Micro-targeting is a big source of value in analytics of both structured and unstructured data.

Cisco is continuing to build its engagement with the Internet2 community. Plans are already underway to increase our visibility at the 2015 Global Summit which will be held April 26-30 in Washington, DC. Additionally, next year’s Technology Exchange will be held in Cleveland, Ohio with Case Western as the host institution.

We are proud to be an active partner with Internet2 in the university research community and look forward to the positive impact our partnership will make on these institutions. Together the possibilities are endless. We can’t even begin to fathom what the next generations will experience as they go to college and how their research will impact our world. Join me on this exciting journey as the next big thing unfolds into that staple technology we can’t live without.

To learn more about Internet2, check out their upcoming events, and join us at the global summit in April.

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Wireless technology enables IB school in Hong Kong to offer individualized learning.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Hong Kong Academy (HKA) is an International Baccalaureate school with students ranging from pre-school to grade 12. They are a relatively small school in terms of total employees and students. Their goal is to offer a personal and individualized form of learning.

HKA identified that the best way to achieve their goals was to encourage the use of technology to create a community amongst teachers and students. They recently constructed a new building and had the opportunity to build a network to meet their current and future requirements.

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Globe University rolls out innovation over Cisco WLAN

September 30, 2014 at 12:21 pm PST

For the past 125 years, Globe University has focused on hands-on training to ensure the career success of students offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, as well as diploma and certificate programs.  A recent article from the magazine Campus Technology showcases how they are pioneers in adopting new technology in the classroom. They have a systematic program dubbed as edUX (Educational User Experience) to integrate tablets into every program they offer. In addition, they work with an e-book platform called VitalSource and use Blackboard technology in the classrooms. Students are also encouraged to use technology. For example, math and science instructors use videos from the Khan Academy, the business school recommends Twitter accounts and the librarian encourages using EasyBib for book citations.

Campus Technology

In the past few years Apple introduced mDNS services such as AppleTV, file servers and printers that use a Zero Config-based technology for service advertisement and discovery called Bonjour. While this technology works well in the home, which is a flat L2 network, when it is deployed in a K-12 or enterprise, it does not lend well over a L3 network. In 2013, Cisco introduced Bonjour Services Directory on the AireOS 7.4 and Service Discovery Gateway (SDG) on the Catalyst 3K, 4K, 6K and 5760 Series controllers with release IOS-XE 3.3. The future releases further optimized the functionality in 7.5 release, 8.0 release and IOS-XE 3.6 release. In this blog, I will share deployment details of unified access at Globe University and how they use Application Visibility and Control (Cisco AVC) to track applications in their network and the Bonjour Services Directory to manage AppleTVs in the classroom.

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