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K-12 School Enables Online Learning with Cisco BYOD Solutions

Innovate education and provide differentiated curriculums utilizing BYOD with Cisco BYOD Solutions for K12 Education.  

With 19 schools, 11,700 students, and an unreliable wireless infrastructure, Chapel Hill- Carrboro City Schools, , faced challenges in attempting to embrace BYOD. Without a pervasive wireless infrastructure, the school could not rise to meet the BYOD trend, much less create an enriched learning environment leveraging technology.

The Chapel Hill school district took its first steps into an enterprise wireless solution leveraging Cisco BYOD Solutions for K12 Education.   With a pervasive, scalable and reliable wireless network, the school can now employ laptop carts for students to access information on the fly.  Teachers can now leverage online resources directly from the classroom, and faculty can access district networks with their own devices.

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Collaboration Evolution: Why Your School Should Migrate to Next-Generation Communications Systems

In today’s digital world, communication platforms matter. In a recent Cisco Government blog post we looked at how antiquated communication systems hold back government agencies. The same holds true for educational institutions.

Legacy TDM and Centrex systems are costly to manage and limit collaboration, precluding schools and universities from truly embracing the advantages that next generation communications has to offer. As the advantages of voice over IP (VoIP) systems become well-known and widespread, more colleges and schools are making the transition and network administrators, students, teachers and parents are reaping the benefits. Read More »

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EG: Inspiring Speakers Who Will Make You Rethink Learning

EG7The deadline for the upcoming EG Conference, Learning is Everything—and Everything is Learning, is around the corner on April 11. Check out the amazing and inspiring speakers – scientists, explorers, inventors and artists – who will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about learning. Click here to learn more.

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Getting the Insiders’ View of Social Media

Did you happen to catch the Let’s Chat! #ciscosmt Social Media Training Series executive panel USTREAM broadcast on Wednesday April 3rd? It was the first installment of an ongoing series we will provide through regular Twitter chats and occasional video chats.


Jeanette Gibson (@JeanetteG), Mark Chandler (@ChandlerCisco), Sheila Jordan (@CiscoSheila), and Lance Perry (@lanceperrycisco)

Side Note: In between Wednesday’s executive panel broadcast and our next Twitter chat, taking place in June, we have a robust Social Media for Savvy Marketers Conference coming up on April 18th and 19th. It’s free and available both in-person and online. Join us, registration is still open! And follow #ciscosmt and #socialsavvy for more details.

From behind the scenes, we had a feeling this chat session would be eye-opening and would really open the door to having more transparent social media conversations in the future. It was enlightening to see the level of candid insights, personal experiences, and fresh perspectives shared by @JeanetteG @ChandlerCisco @CiscoSheila and @lanceperrycisco.

For those that viewed the broadcast and/or participated in the social conversation, what did you think of it? And were there any “ah ha” moments you walked away with afterwards?

After voraciously taking notes and tweeting during the broadcast, here are some of my key takeaways. (These are in addition to the great Top 10 Tips for Executive Social Media @CiscoSheila shared with us.)

  • Social media gives executives a new way of conducting business, building reputations, and developing stronger relationships by accessing real-time feedback, receiving validation, and uncovering new ideas.
  • It’s important to keep in mind the value of internal and external social media channels and opportunities; creating internal opportunities to build communities and collaborate in new ways may take time to adopt, but will enable companies to move forward more efficiently and effectively. Mark Chandler Quote
  • Learning about social media and the ways to leverage it, help executives to not only keep up with trends, but to stay relevant with different generations.
  • Setting goals upfront and really understanding the purpose around using social media, specifically for an executive and for the company, will go a long way at being successful in leveraging it.
  • Social media can be a powerful channel for direct access, both by executives/companies and also by customers and other audience members.
  • It’s important for executives to show their personalities, projecting something about themselves and being authentic.
  • Embracing internal social media tools is a journey across the organization; understand that it’s dependent on changing behaviors–some will gravitate quickly, while others may take longer to adopt.

Here are some quotes I especially liked from the panelists:

  • From @lanceperrycisco: “The world is flat thanks to social media (not really of course), but it is an equalizer where we see contributions from everyone.”
  • From @CiscoSheila: “Mobile first! The combination of mobile and social is what helps us stay connected and provides executives with quick and immediate responses.”
  • From @ChandlerCisco: “Basic [social media policy] rules: courtesy, honesty, and respect.”
  • From @lanceperrycisco: “leaders don’t give the message, they are the message. Use the capabilities and the team will too. Those that don’t use them, do not have a strong social media presence.”
  • From @CiscoSheila: “Thought leadership comes from all levels of the company. With the rate of change in business, everyone is still figuring it out; use your whole network and help accelerate thinking.”
  • From @ChandlerCisco: “[Internal] social media becomes ‘the’ mode of communication, the only way to communicate. Get people involved, even using incentives at the beginning if needed.”

For those that could not make it, it’s definitely a must-see. Between all of the points of view, experiences, and roles, it really gave a good insiders’ view of what executives think about social media. We would love to hear your feedback regarding the session and potential topics you would like to hear more about and participate in as we move forward. I look forward to reading your comments!

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

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Top 10 Tips for Executive Social Media

Navigating social media can be an intimidating challenge for many people, but particularly for company executives who may not be naturally inclined to communicate using social channels or have the time to learn how to use them.

Let's Chat! Social Media Training Series

Sheila Jordan, Cisco Senior Vice President, IT Communications and Collaboration

My own experience with social media has evolved – initially by watching my teenage children use it to communicate, share photos, and catch up on the big news event of the day – and by watching others. For me, I find it easier to separately my personal and work life by using Facebook solely for family and friends, and Twitter and blogging for business topics.

Twitter is a fantastic way to reach a very broad audience.  There are now four generations of people in the workforce and Twitter is a channel they all use!

And I really enjoy blogging because it allows me to express my opinions and points of view on IT topics that are top of mind with CIOs and IT leaders. I do many, many customer executive briefings and get input directly from customers and learn what’s most of interest and important to them. I use that information as an opportunity to express my and Cisco’s point of view on a variety of IT topics – collaboration, mobility, cloud and social.

So for those of you who need some encouragement, here are my top 10 tips for executive social media:

  1. Be relevant – be timely.  It’s most important to get your point across while the topic is hot – if you tinker endlessly with your message, you’ll have missed the moment.
  2. Be provocative – use analytics and data points to back up your theories. Don’t be afraid to express your point of view.
  3. Use social media as a channel to message your organization and teams’ work and as a form of recognition. Colleagues will enjoy following you so use this channel as a way to express your appreciation!
  4. Show thought leadership (provide value)
  5. Use as an ongoing opportunity to connect with others – your peers, influencers and colleagues inside and outside your company

    ScreenHunter_03 Apr. 04 11.00

    Let’s Chat! #CiscoSMT Social Media Training Series:
    Executive View on Social Media Experiences

  6. Listen to feedback and responses – have you resonated with your audience? This is a way to instantly get feedback. And don’t worry about responding to each and every comment; not everyone expects you to reply and when you do they are pleasantly surprised!
  7. Don’t spam.  Enough said.
  8. Personalize your social media – offer insights to how you think. Be authentic and human. If you’re asked to re-tweet a company message, be sure it reflects your own thinking.
  9. Don’t be afraid to be an expert!
  10. Have fun. Go for it – it’s a new medium and we are all still learning; don’t be shy!

How are your executives using social media? And do you have other tips you would recommend in addition to the 10 listed above? For more executive insights regarding social media, check out the Let’s Chat! #ciscosmt Social Media Training Series executive panel we participated in on April 3rd.

Happy Collaborating…the social way!

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