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Beyond Online Classes: How the Internet of Everything Is Transforming Education

Over the next few weeks, students will be heading back to school for the fall semester. In fact, my oldest child will be starting college for the first time, and I have another one not far behind. So naturally, I’ve been thinking about the future of education, and the opportunities and challenges 21st century technology might bring.

Technology has had an amazing impact on education in the last few years. But what we’ve seen so far is nothing compared to the sea change that will be created by the Internet of Everything (IoE) in the coming decade. The networked connections among people, processes, data and things will change not just how and where education is delivered, but will also redefine what students need to learn, and why.

When we talk about technology-enabled learning, most people probably think of online classes, which have had mixed results so far. On one hand, online courses can make higher education much more affordable and accessible. On the other hand, not all students can stay engaged and successful without regular feedback and interaction with their instructor and other students. Even the best online classes cannot hope to duplicate the rich spontaneous interactions that can take place among students and instructors in the classroom. Read More »

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If Broadband has a Sputnik Moment, What Will it Look Like?

Howard Baldwin - PhotographBy Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Those of us who cover broadband frequently bemoan its two steps forward, one step back progress, and the idealists among us yearn for a “Sputnik” moment that will galvanize regulators and carriers alike to leap forward into the future. Will broadband have such a moment, and if so, what will it look like?

Sputnik, of course, was the satellite the Soviet Union launched into orbit in early October of 1957. According to NASA, it was about the size of a beach ball and travelled at five miles per second 359 miles above the surface of the earth. It was a technological marvel that proved to be quite embarrassing to the United States, which at the time thought it was the leader of technological marvels.

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[Cisco Cartoon Catalyst Series] Prime Your Network for the Rise of the Devices

It’s a nightmare out there. School districts’ wireless networks now have to support teachers, students, and staff – all touting desktops, tablets, smartphones, and/or laptops.  For some in IT, knowing who is accessing what using what on the network (a confusing statement itself) could very well be cosmic chaos; for others, it is simply a black hole of the unknown.

K12Blog_Prime4   

For those IT professionals in the know…life becomes much simpler with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, part of the Cisco BYOD Solutions for K12 Education. Cisco Prime simplifies network management and improves operational efficiency with converged wired and wireless management.  Here are a few ways that Prime Infrastructure makes life easier for IT: Read More »

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Creating Meaningful Events with Social Media

Let's Chat! #Ciscosmt Series Panelists

Let’s Chat! #Ciscosmt Series: Social Media for Events USTREAM Broadcast Panelists

The ins and outs of how to use social media effectively for on- and offline events can be overwhelming. What technologies do we use…how do we integrate social media, mobile, physical and virtual environments…and how do we make it a meaningful experience for participants? It’s a lot to think about before moving forward.

The good news is that a panel of distinguished experts (from left to right: Petra Neiger, Senior Manager, Digital and Social Media Marketing, Cisco (@Petra1400), Matt Rozen, Group manager Corporate Social Media, Adobe (@mattyroze), Kathleen Mudge, Social Media Program Manager, Cisco (@KathleenMudge), and Brian Ellefritz, Vice President, Global Social Media, SAP (@BrianEllefritz)) spent some time with us today and helped to clarify all of these moving parts. Check out the Let’s Chat! #Ciscosmt Series: Social Media for Events USTREAM broadcast replay for all of the valuable best practices and tips. And in the meantime, here are a few key tweet takeaways I gathered from the panelists and participants during the session:

Interesting Statistics:

Social Media for Events Statistics

Key social media for events statistics, from 2012 Amiando Social Media & Events Report, and shared during July 31st Let’s Chat! #Ciscosmt Series USTREAM broadcast.

Upcoming #Ciscosmt Twitter Chat:

Join us for the next installment of the #Ciscosmt Series on Tuesday, August 20th from 9-10 a.m. PT. During this Twitter chat, we’ll focus the conversation around engaging employees in social media participation. Here are some of the key topics we are working on for this chat. Are there others you want to cover as well?

  • Steps to develop a culture of sharing for employees
  • Content types that resonate for teams to engage in social sharing
  • Biggest challenges that employees face in social participation for the brand
  • Recognizing and rewarding teams for participation
  • Gamification aspects of sharing strategy

Stay tuned for more details by following the Cisco Social blog and the #Ciscosmt hashtag!

Cisco Social Media Training Program Opportunity:

If you have any questions or are interested in other types of social media training, check out our complimentary Cisco Social Media Training Program and follow the #ciscosmt hashtag.  To request  customized one-on-one team training sessions, email ciscosmtraining@external.cisco.com.

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Using Social Media to Create ‘The Event’

As final preparations are underway for the July 31st (9am PT) Let’s Chat! #Ciscosmt Training Series USTREAM broadcast, let’s get the conversation going early! Are there certain social media examples used for on- and offline events that stick out in your mind? What made them great or perhaps ideas to avoid? And what was used to enhance the participants’ experience?

Within my last post on this topic, I mentioned social media is a perfect channel to help on- and offline audiences engage in events and activities. Audiences are able to share their own insights rather than just hearing a speaker present, exchange ideas and connect with others, and add to the overall collaborative experience.

Cisco Live 2013 (Orlando)

Cisco Live 2013 (Orlando)

Here are some tips to keep in mind when leveraging social media for on- and offline events:

  • Audiences: use social media to reach new audience segments for an event. After defining the audience in the overall planning stages and listening to their care-abouts, find ways to involve them in different aspects. E.g., polls to pinpoint most popular topic ideas, word-of-mouth opportunities to spread the word, VIP activities for top influencers, and live tweeting to keep engagement going.
  • Duration: leverage social media on an ongoing basis and draw attention to events and activities along the way, as part of the overall ongoing strategy. Depending on the type of event, promotions may begin a few months prior to just 3 weeks. E.g., a large hosted type of event or ongoing online series may require ongoing promotions year-round. Activities such as participating in another organization’s event or a webcast type of activity, may only require promotions 3-6 weeks in advance. Event-specific social media efforts should taper off within 1-2 weeks afterwards, folding back into the regular ongoing efforts.
  • SEO: include popular tags, Cisco and/or third-party hashtags, and keywords can greatly increase visibility for an event or activity. Take time to research these tags prior to beginning event-related social media efforts, maximizing efforts and reaching the appropriate audiences.
  • Monitoring and Measuring: create a program-specific listening and respond plan as part of the overall listening strategy. Since on- and offline events are happening in real-time, planning teams need to monitor constantly and handle responses in a timely manner. And when it comes to measurement, its best to focus on quantitative (number of responses, reach, etc.) and qualitative metrics (sentiment, influencers, etc.). These efforts can help teams benchmark and better understand areas of success and ways they can continue to improve strategies moving forward. (Check out this Cisco Live 2013 Orlando Listening Hub recap blog post, by Cisco’s Davythe Dicochea, for additional insights.)
  • Integration: tap into existing brand and third party accounts whenever possible rather than creating new ones. It will help continue more meaningful engagements with audience members, tap into existing and established channels, and continue to build reputation and trust among interested parties. Look for the most appropriate accounts and create/use content that relates to the audience’s care-abouts within each channel.
  • Activities: create a mix of posts, tweets, images, videos, traditional marketing, and activities to provide a full customer journey. As these assets and communications are developed or leveraged, find ways to keep the audience members engaged, focusing on their care-abouts. And just as importantly, make it fun as they get ready to participate in an event, engage with them during the event, and help the audience be the heroes of their organizations afterwards by providing helpful follow-up resources.
  • Experimentation: pilot new ideas to better understand how innovations or strategies can be implemented for future tactics and increased audience participation. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. This is part of the process and can often lead to even more innovative approaches.
  • Messaging: use social media to create 2-way dialogues for on- and offline events rather than just broadcasting upcoming activities. Communications should include a balance of consistency and variety to keep conversations fresh and relevant. And be sure to customize the messages by social media channel, taking into consideration format and communication best practices. Lastly, make it easy of audience members to share and follow information by incorporating social media channel links in all communication vehicles.

Are there other social media best practices for on- and offline events you’ve seen work well? Share them with us within this blog post and during our upcoming Let’s Chat! #Ciscosmt Training Series USTREAM broadcast. And we look forward to your participation at this upcoming live online session! Here are the details to participate:

  • When: Wednesday, July 31st
  • Time: 9-9:45 a.m. PT
  • Topic: Using Social Media for On- and Offline Events
  • Hashtag: #Ciscosmt (use this hashtag to ask panelists questions and to participate in the conversation)
  • Panel:
  • Jeanette Gibson, Senior Director, Digital and Social Media Marketing, Cisco (moderator)
  • Kathleen Mudge, Social Media Program Manager, Cisco (panelist)
  • Matt Rozen, Group Manager Corporate Social Media, Adobe (panelist)
  • Brian Ellefritz, Vice President, Global Social Media, SAP (panelist)

If you have any questions or are interested in other types of social media training, check out our new complimentary Cisco Social Media Training Program and follow the #ciscosmt hashtag.  To request  customized one-on-one team training sessions, email ciscosmtraining@external.cisco.com.

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