Public higher education institutions in America are being squeezed with vice-like force unlike anything they’ve experienced before. Legislatures are reducing their funding, for profit and not-for-profit competitors are proliferating and many civic and business leaders are questioning the very value of a college diploma. University presidents and the regents or boards they serve are stuck in an “iron triangle”: on one angle is access, their raison d’être and why their respective legislature chartered them in the first place – educate the people in our state. On the other angle is cost, which using conventional thinking rises when one provides access to the masses. The third angle is quality, which also is thought to be compromised when access – and costs – rises. What’s a university leader to do?
Invest his/her way out of the “iron triangle” and change the economics. This is precisely what President Mohammad “Mo” Qayoumi of San Jose State University (SJSU) is doing.
It’s no secret that when schools embrace technology, students and teachers win. The introduction of digital trends, like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and flipped classrooms, has engaged students and improved education. We’ve frequently referenced the success found at Katy Independent School District (KISD) with their BYOD strategy. After seeing how ingrained technology was in students’ day-to-day lives, Katy ISD launched a program that leveraged mobile devices as an educational tool. The resulting improvements in student engagement and test scores were so astounding that their strategy continues to be mirrored by schools nationwide!
However, in a BYOD world it’s even more important for schools to ensure that its infrastructure is not compromised by the mobile devices students bring into the network. IT departments are eager to implement security policies, like filtering search results and regulating network access, on all personal devices. On top of that, schools need to continually comply with federal regulations that protect student privacy like the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).
Thankfully for IT professionals, Cisco understands the need for a network architecture that can grow to encompass a range of security challenges. From blocking malware and illegal sharing of copyrighted material to supporting BYOD programs and federal privacy standards, Cisco’s holistic approach solves the security needs of modern schools .
It is clear that technology is revolutionizing education and it shows no signs of slowing down. For IT professionals tasked with supporting the demands of modern learning now is the time to invest.
A large part of my job is explaining things to people. You can have the greatest technology in the world, but if you can’t explain to people why it is important, and how it will make a difference in their life or their business, then you have only done half the job.
That is why I am interested in different learning styles. One of the more widely-known models to describe different learning styles is Neil Fleming’s VAK/VARK model. Fleming postulates that there are three different types of learners: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. To vastly over-simplify Fleming’s work, some people learn best by seeing, others by listening and still others by touching and doing. While this might seem self-evident, understanding a student’s learning style can be a vital tool for teachers. Moreover, knowing your own learning style can significantly increase the amount you can learn and retain.
In the video below, Jonathan and Aaron discuss how the Flipped Classroom model transforms the entire classroom dynamic through conversation rather than dissemination of knowledge. Jonathan suggests one of the greatest benefits of flipping is that overall interaction increases: Teacher to student and student to student. With more than 67 percent of educators reporting that this model has improved student test scores by 67 percent it’s no wonder that this is being rapidly adopted.
Looking for more Flipped Classroom colleagues to connect with or model? Check out the People of Flipped Learning for a list of educators practicing, and blogging about their flipped experience.
In this resource-constrained environment, taking advantage of grant resources for education technology innovation is critically important. Cisco is teaming with the Grants Office, LLC, to deliver a series of free webcasts to provide information, insights and tips on grant funding for U.S. education. Webcast topics will cover an important range of grant opportunities. Click on the links below for additional information on the grant programs covered in each session.