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Living in the Future is Awesome

By Lionel Walters,  Guest Columnist

Some of the most compelling memories I have from my school years involve trips away to see amazing things, or special visits to the school by amazing people. I still have vivid memories of the sights, sounds and even smells of some of the fascinating places we went to, and I can still feel the butterflies in my stomach as I met my favourite author and had him personally autograph some of my most treasured books.

To me, what made these experiences successful was that they lifted my sights and gave me something to aspire to. Unfortunately for many students living in rural areas, these boundary-breaking experiences are few and far between, either because of funding constraints or simply the lack of appropriate people or places to see.

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The Flipped Classroom – Education Transformation With Video

July 25, 2012 at 8:22 am PST

Video is not new in education. However, we continue to see innovative educators evolve their practice with new applications of video enabled teaching and learning. The Flipped Classroom is one of the hottest trends in education today and an example of how video technologies can serve as a catalyst for education transformation.

We spoke with Flipped Classroom creators, Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams at ISTE 2012. Listen as they discuss the benefits of the Flipped Classroom and offer tips to help you begin to flip your class.

Jon and Aaron’s sessions in the Cisco Connected Classroom at ISTE 2012, were jam-packed. If you were not able to take in these sessions at ISTE, you’re in luck! We recorded the sessions and are pleased to make them available.

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What Helps Students Love Math?

multiply impact on students math skills

Photo courtesy of MIND Research Institute

Encouraging highly successful nonprofits to collaborate with each other on shared goals can often be a challenge. Part of their success hinges on laser-like execution of their own program and on getting results. But occasionally, two programs are so complementary that the combination greatly magnifies what they could ever achieve on their own. Cisco has been a longtime partner and supporter of both City Year, an education-focused nonprofit working in underserved schools, and MIND Research Institute, provider of innovative math learning software. Both held admirably strong track records with their approaches. City Year places young volunteers in schools to assist with multi-subject tutoring, before, during, and after school, in a Whole School, Whole Child approach. City Year staff measure their results by tracking what they call the ABCs: attendance, behavior, and classroom performance in literacy and math.

CityYearMIND

Photo courtesy of City Year

MIND Research provides ST Math, a set of cloud-based learning games for K-12. These games are non-language based, which has helped students succeed in learning math regardless of their language of origin, gender, and even, in some cases, learning disabilities. Two years ago, it occurred to Cisco’s Community Relations lead, Ricardo Benavides, that combining the programs in the same underserved Alum Rock district schools in the San Jose, California area might lead to even better outcomes. Read More »

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Cisco Social Media #smtraining Twitter Chat

Cisco #smtraining Twitter Chat

Cisco #smtraining Twitter Chat

As social media continues to grow and gain even more momentum, organizations need to find ways to empower their best brand ambassadors with the right tools and to create more impact.  From creating guidelines, to setting as examples, to training others, there are many ways organizations can enable their employees.

In a recent blog post “Creating a Social Media Training Program that Works”, we outlined a social media training program we’ve implemented at Cisco. Now that it’s in place, we want to hear from you, share more insights, and exchange new ideas.

Join @petra1400, @elhoust, and @christyjpark for a  special @CiscoSocial Twitter chat on Thursday, August 2 from 9-10a.m. PDT, following the #smtraining hashtag directly on Twitter or another Twitter application. We will dive into the following areas and encourage everyone to participate in the lively discussion!

  • Setting the social media training strategy
    • What goes into it?
    • How does it work?
    • Who’s involved?
  • Creating the appropriate content
    • What’s the framework?
    • What’s in it for the participant?
    • How does the content come together?
  • Sustaining the program
    • How is it maintained?
    • What are key tips to keep in mind?
    • What does it take to implement the program?

Let’s get the conversation started before the @CiscoSocial #smtraining Twitter chat. Share your ideas (through the comment section below or on Twitter using #smtraining) regarding ways your organization is including social media training or pose questions you would like to ask the panelists. We look forward to your participation and lively discussion!

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Dr. Mark Edwards Talk On Student Achievement Gains at Mooresville GSD

For a shining example of public education in the United States, watch the talk that Dr. Mark Edwards, Superintendent of Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina, gave at the recent ISTE Conference in San Diego. Yes, Mooresville is a Cisco customer, and yes, how they have used technology to improve student outcomes is big part of their success story (Dr. Edwards has the metrics to prove it). But the real key to their effectiveness as a high-performing public school is the holistic approach they take to educating “every child, every day”, their “can do” attitude, and “culture of caring” that Mark and his team have created at Mooresville.

Watch the video of Dr. Edward’s ISTE presentation — it runs just under an hour and is well worth your time.

Most exciting to me is that  so much of Mooresville’s approach is replicable.  Dr. Edwards is writing a book and I hope every educator, and prospective educator in the country buys a copy.

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