Michael Stevenson, VP Global Education addressing delegates at EWF 2013
About a week ago, I posted a blog sharing my expectations on the Education World Forum 2013, as well as key details on Cisco’s participation as Platinum sponsor of this event. After what was a very interesting gathering, I think it is time to share with you some of the learnings and outcomes I took from the meeting.
This year, I was particularly struck by the vast predominance of attendees coming from Africa, the Near East, as well as other emerging regions of the globe. One of the reasons behind this pattern could be that many of these countries are starting to adopt a more visible position in the education debate (as it is the case for Brazil, now a major player in the global education dialogue and a major Cisco role via GELP) or that regional economic progress (with Africa housing 7 of the fastest growing economies in the world) is paving the way to more active engagement. Another reason could be that the Forum’s intention was rather to reflect more on how to improve access to achieve education for all and less so on leveraging lessons from more mature countries.
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Tags: edreform, education, EWF
By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist
As a parent of two elementary-age daughters, I’ve been very happy with my kids’ public school experience. Nevertheless, I’m sure if their teachers could launch a new school with a completely blank slate, there are plenty of things they would do differently.
Well, one group of charter schools called Carpe Diem is actually doing this, rebuilding the classroom from the ground up. Check out this video highlighting a Carpe Diem school in Yuma, Arizona to get a sense of just how different – and interesting – this technology-driven education. Read More »
Tags: e2020, education, igital media, innovation, learning, technology, VNI-SA
Can 1 +1 really = 3 (or more)? Consider the opportunity presented by the thoughtful convergence of BYOD and virtual desktop technologies.
BYOD is one of the most important trends in education technology today. However, many BYOD initiatives are limited to providing personal devices with basic network connectivity via the campus Wi-Fi network. Traditional virtual desktops (VDI) are not new in education. Historically, VDI has allowed the delivery of non-persistent desktops, primarily to thin clients.
Through the Cisco Unified Workspace for Education, schools, colleges and universities can now provide next generation education workspaces that are virtual, social, mobile and collaborative. The Cisco Unified Workspace for Education integrates the Cisco BYOD and Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) Smart Solutions to provide students, faculty, and staff with the flexibility of using any device to access any information, any application, and any expertise—from anywhere.
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Tags: byod, education, higher education, unified workspace, vdi, vxi
Oh the joys of pinning new ideas, trends, videos, and so much more on Pinterest! I’ll admit it…I have a little obsession, racking up thousands of pins between professional and personal Pinterest accounts.
Use Pinterest best practices to create more meaningful conversations and increase followers.
Just like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media channels, Pinterest has its own culture and communication style. After countless hours of reading, pinning, and repinning throughout the past year, I’ve recorded some Pinterest best practices and etiquette tips to share with you.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Streamline content (Some Pinterest accounts have a board for every topic, but only have a few pins. Make it interesting for followers by providing broader range board topics that they can follow rather than segmenting topics too specifically. And try not to create empty boards until you have items to post to them.)
- Leverage social channels (When appropriate, share your pins with Twitter and/or Facebook communities as well. It’s a great way to expand your reach and the conversation.)
- Use keywords (One of the main features of Pinterest is the ability to search keywords by pins, pinners, or boards. Make sure to take advantage of this feature by using keywords in the descriptions as we do for other social media channels.)
- Understand policies (Pinterest stirred up quite a bit of controversy regarding siting sources, etc. Take the time to understand Pinterest’s policies as well as your company’s guidelines (if using it on behalf of the brand) to protect yourself.)
- Joining group boards (It’s flattering to receive invitations to join group boards. However, before clicking the tempting “accept” button, evaluate how many pins you would like to receive from those boards. Getting inundated with pins, from a certain topic each day, may have an adverse effect on your participation!)
- Share information (Vary the type and format of content you pin to boards. While we all like infographics, they can get a little old on Pinterest if that’s the only thing that’s pinned. Mix it up with videos, case studies, reports, SlideShare presentations (if for business), articles, blog posts, and other types of content. I like to use the 70% new content/30% repins rule of thumb.)
And here are some etiquette tips to keep followers interested and to attract new ones:
- Site sources (Always include the source, especially for items that have copyrights, etc. If the source is on Pinterest, use the @ format to link to the person/organization.)
- Include a description (Insert a description, with keywords, to help followers understand the item more clearly, leading to more repins.)
- Acknowledge comments (I find that 2-way exchanges are still a newer trend on Pinterest versus other social media channels. Since participants are still getting into this feature, it’s important to respond to posted comments. It will go a long way with followers and we can learn from each other!)
- Pace pins (Space out the number and frequency of pins so that followers do not feel bombarded all at one time. By pacing the pin posts over time, it will also give you the opportunity to share new content without having to do a lot of research work ahead of time. And lastly, try not to duplicate pins. It gets confusing for followers.)
- Maximize boards (Pinterest is dynamic and social. Leverage it for sharing a variety of information and use Instagram or Flickr for photo postings instead.)
- Reciprocate information-sharing (Monitor followers and how the content you share is repinned. If you find there are certain followers that consistently repin your content, try repinning their content in reciprocation.)
- Follow others (The same principles from other social media channels apply to Pinterest. We do not need to follow everyone that follows us. Check on the type of content the new follower pins and evaluate if the content matches your needs and what your other followers are interested in too.)
Lastly, if you are prepping items for Pinterest, here are a few details to consider:
- Images: Use images in blog posts or other communications to make it easier on Pinterest users to post.
- Pin Features: Include pinning capabilities as part of your “share” social media icons on websites, emails, and more.
- Captions: Incorporate a short, but descriptive caption for each photo used to brand information more clearly.
Did the details above “pinpoint” the best practices you were thinking of as well? (Sorry, just had to play on that word!) Do you have other tips you are using as well? I’m interested in reading your insights and learning about the different ways you are using Pinterest too!
And in the meantime, if you are interested in other types of social media training, check out our new complimentary Cisco Social Media Training Program. Take short on-demand courses or sign up for customized one-on-one team training sessions by emailing email@example.com.
Tags: #smtraining, bookmarking, Cisco, education, information-sharing, learning, Pinterest, social, social learning, social media, social media strategies, social networking, training
BETT is the largest education event in the world, attracting some 40,000 government ministers and officials, education leaders, teachers and IT managers from around the world. This year Cisco sponsored two sessions -- one on flipped classrooms and the other on education transformation, and on which I was a panel member and chaired by my colleague Hania Baramki. Dr Najla from the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), Chris Hummerstone, a UK head teacher at the Arnewood School, and Anne Gilleran, pedagogical lead for European SchoolNet’s eTwinning programme each spoke to transformation from a country perspective, an individual school perspective, and from the viewpoint of a pan-European context. I drew the common themes together after the three presentations and emphasised what was important. All spoke about the importance of starting with a vision, but a vision alone is not enough; it is crucial to envision what this vision would look like in practice, so that you know when that vision is on the way to being realised.
It is also clear the value of prior knowledge about what has worked, where significant challenges exist , and how to develop an effective decision making process, are crucial in the process. This prior knowledge come from academic research and anecdotal evidence, which need to be made readily available in formats that are well documented and accessible to everyone from education leaders, school principals, teacher and parents, and involve learners. Informal discussions are also of significant value either in person or through online communities.
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Tags: edtech, education