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Bringing Gaming to the Classroom

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By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

As I’ve been reading about technology in education, one of the most interesting trends that keeps popping up is gaming. As a casual gamer myself, I’ve heard the arguments about how gaming improves hand-eye coordination and problem solving and all the rest. (In fact I tried many of them with my mom when I was 12 years old)

But the arguments for gaming in education today are far more advanced and compelling than I’ve realized. A lot of very smart people are working on this subject, and a lot of innovative educators are putting it into practice.

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Addressing Security Challenges and Campus Safety

Schools are facing increasing security challenges, ranging from campus violence to thefts, from vandalism to natural disasters. Abductions, Shootings, Bullying, Thefts, Vandalism, Visitor Management, Bomb threats, Fire, Earthquakes, Local Community Emergencies.

According to the respondents to the Campus Safety Magazines 2013 yearbook & survey, here are some  top challenges for schools in 2013:

  • 43%  more than 2 in 5 campuses lack a visitor management system
  • 39% have a video system not integrated with other systems
  • 33% have radio systems that can’t interoperate with first responder from other jurisdictions
  • 25% or 1 in 4  campuses do not feel prepared to respond to active shooter incidents

Higher Education and school districts often have sufficient network infrastructures to support everything they need in terms of unified collaborative safety and security applications on the network including video surveillance, electronic access controls and incident management.

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The Internet of Everything: Transforming College Education To Align with Business Needs #IoE

As a father of future college students, I’m excited that Cisco’s announcement yesterday about the Internet of Everything (IoE) Economy may finally transform college education to provide graduates with the real-world skills needed by businesses today — and tomorrow.

Before I jump too far ahead, let me explain what Cisco announced. Cisco estimates that there are currently about 20 billion things connected to the Internet, yet more than 99 percent of physical “things” remain unconnected. Obviously, there is a huge opportunity to connect the unconnected. IoE aims to do just that by adding people, process, and data to the things that are connected to the Internet, such as devices, sensors, and machines.

To help businesses understand how to benefit from IoE, Cisco IBSG’s Economics Practice calculated the amount of Value at Stake in the IoE Economy. Value at Stake is defined as the value that will either be newly created or will migrate between lagging companies and industries to the leaders over the next 10 years based on their ability to harness IoE. We did this by taking a bottom-up approach of selecting and analyzing 21 industry-specific and cross-industry use cases, including the one I’m discussing here: connected private college education.

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From this analysis, the team determined that there is $14.4 trillion of Value at Stake in the Internet of Everything Economy over the next decade. The five main drivers of this Value at Stake are:
1. Lower costs from improved asset utilization ($2.5 trillion)
2. Greater efficiencies from improved employee productivity ($2.5 trillion)
3. Less waste from supply-chain and logistics efficiencies ($2.7 trillion)
4. Greater lifetime customer value from improved customer experiences ($3.7 trillion)
5. Increased return on investment (ROI) and new revenue from faster innovation ($3.0 trillion)

So, how much of this value comes from improved education? Read More »

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Wifi password please?

Back in the days, I was one of those students who wanted the most up to date scientific calculators and the latest design of the Trapper Keeper notebook.  These days, it’s the wifi access the students want, to stay connected anytime, anywhere on their smartphones or tablets.

According to the Cisco Connected World Technology Report more than 40% of Gen Y (18-30 year olds) “would feel anxious, like part of them were missing” if they couldn’t check their smartphones.  I was chatting with my colleague Rochelle Brocks-Smith from the Healthcare team the other day and she was joking that soon, her kids will develop carpal tunnel syndrome with all the texting they do! image_gallery
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Learnings and Reflections from the Education World Forum 2013

Michael Stevenson, VP Global Education addressing delegates at EWF 2013

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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