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Cisco’s 2012 Education Retrospective

AM71308At the beginning of 2012, we saw three major trends emerging in the education space, but we had no idea that they would all be converging: Flipped Learning, BYOD, and Shared Collaborative Platforms.

This time last year, I was sitting at an old, high-top biology lab table with my son’s AP Biology teacher, asking him to explain this whole “Flipped Classroom” thing and why his classes’ AP bio scores were so high.  Lo and behold, Flipped Learning became the mantra of the year.

Sal Khan and the Khan Academy became the best-known content-feeder into this phenomenon, and I started voraciously consuming his videos on pre-calculus, statistics, and world history.   So did teachers and students as they turned to Khan as a source of pre-packaged lectures, new flipped learning models, and emerging information on different assessment measurements.  Aaron Sams and Jonathan Bergmann even wrote a book about it, The Short History of Flipped Learning, and they joined us as guest speakers at the 2012 ISTE show.

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Cisco Delivers the Power of Wi-Fi to a Colorado University

Having had a great time at  EDUCAUSE 2012 in Denver this year, I wanted to follow-up on an interesting story from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Universities around the country are using technology to drive greater levels of knowledge sharing and improve the effectiveness of education, and our friends at CU Boulder are no excpetion.

A strong example of how Cisco technology is making  a difference in the world of education is the University of Colorado (CU) at Boulder. In a session at EDUCAUSE, Max Lopez, senior wireless engineer at CU Boulder, explained the challenges the campus was facing, why they chose Cisco wireless networking technologies to address those challenges, and the results they’ve seen.

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Best Practices Webinar: Planning Your Wireless Network for Mobile Learning

Mobile learning is an important trend in education today. The Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD) is at the forefront of this trend with their successful “Digital Conversion” and 1:1 laptop initiative. MGSD embarked on this journey in 2007. Today, MGSD ranks second in the state in overall student achievement even though it is one of the lowest funded districts in North Carolina.

While much of the discussion around mobile learning centers on new devices, MGSD CTO, Dr. Scott Smith, is quick to highlight the importance of a robust network and wireless infrastructure that supports what teachers and students want to do in the classroom.  In this video, Dr. Smith also discusses the importance of making strategic investments to “future proof” the network for evolving models of teaching and learning.

You can hear first-hand from Dr. Smith on December 11th at 9 am PT/12 pm ET, during this live webinar, Best Practices for a Successful K-12 Wireless Network. Key topics will include:

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Talent Development in an Urban Digital Ecosystem

I recall that it was a typical cold and dreary winter day in London — it was probably raining — when I decided that I was ready for a change of scene. The year was 1978, and the local British media was lamenting the apparent “brain drain” phenomenon that was then sweeping the nation.

Yes, I had decided to leave and go live in America, but I’ve always looked back with fondness at the place that I called home. Granted, I had become one of those British expat engineers that discovered there were alternative places to thrive — where my ideas and ongoing research could be fully explored.

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8 Qualities for a Good Social Media Training Program

We’re curious…

What do you look for when choosing  social media training programs you will participate in? It can be daunting, given the variety of information, organizations, and strategies out in the socialphere. On top of that, learning methods and preferences are different for everyone, making it even more important that we each find the type of learning environment that works best for us.

We are continuously learning and absorbing new social media insights, news, strategies, techniques, since the landscape changes so frequently. And we gather this information in a variety of ways, from researching on our own to attending formal courses to one-on-one consulting. While we can educate ourselves quite a bit from gathering information on our own, participating in more formal learning settings can push us forward in our social media skill sets much faster. And at the same time, we have to be careful in choosing the right social media training program that meets our individual needs.

So it leads me back to my original question…what do you look for when choosing social media training programs to participate in? We’re interested in your insights around social media learning. Here is a link to a quick anonymous social media training program survey as part of an informal research project to better understand followers’ social media training preferences.

And below is a quick checklist I use to discern which training programs and formats to participate in:

  • Reputable organization and teacher
  • Education format that matches my preferred learning style (self-serve, group, or one-on-one settings)
  • Focused content around learning, not a sales pitch
  • Educational tone rather than just presenting the information as though it was a meeting
  • Mixture of content to help me learn the principles and then see it in action
  • Variety of tangible and credible examples
  • Short durations to keep my interest and not overwhelm me
  • Key takeaways and ideas I can use right away

What does your checklist look like when choosing social media training? I’m interested in your experience!

I look forward to your comments through this blog post and more of your insights through this short anonymous social media training program survey? This survey will remain open until Friday, December 7, 2012 by 5 p.m. PT. Thank you for your help and participation!

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