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Bringing the Olympics to life

When one is fortunate enough to work on as exciting and mammoth a project as the London 2012 Games, it is easy to forget that while it might take over your life, for others it’s a distant and somewhat unattainable dream.

Certainly LOCOG are working hard to try and expand the reach of the Games beyond London and make sure other parts of the country benefit from the once-in-a-lifetime experience and opportunity the Games coming to the UK brings. The torch relay alone will ensure that 95% of the UK population will be within a one-hour journey of the Olympic Flame, and that will certainly help.

But just this week the impact we, as Olympic and Paralympic Partners can have on people’s experiences and perception of the Games, was brought very much to life via feedback we had from our partner Pearson -- who are working with Cisco on the Out of the Blocks StemNet programme. This programme was launched in January, using London 2012 as a catalyst to encourage children aged 11-14 to get excited about learning maths and science. So far over 4,000 UK secondary schools have received a set of free Key Stage 4 activity books.

Our colleague visiting a remote school in Lincolnshire was delighted to see the teachers using the Out of the Blocks books and how the children were excited not only about science and maths, but also for the Games themselves. As one teacher said:  “We’re in an out-of-the-way area.  The children have never seen a major event, and there aren’t any children in my class going to the Olympics – this Series brings it to life for them.”

Another said: “Endlessly kids say, ‘when am I ever going to use this Maths in my life?’  Well, this book shows you where and how…  The diving lesson sticks in my mind.  The kids are intrigued by the formulas – it makes them think how they’re useful in real life.”

Nice – now we have a chance of a lasting legacy!

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Cisco – Gold Sponsor of the European University Associations (EUA) Annual Summit

March 19, 2012 at 11:44 am PST

As long-standing supporters of university-industry research collaboration, Cisco is proud to sponsor the EUA Summit being held at The University of Warwick on March 22-23.

This major event for European Higher Education leaders will address key issues on how forces including globalization, an accelerated technological revolution, demographic shifts and the impact of disruptive innovations such as high-quality online learning opportunities are dramatically redefining the world of higher education, the place of learning in our world and the role universities must play in order to be sustainable in this new millennium.

To learn more http://www.eua.be/warwick.aspx
Be sure to check back following the conference to hear key reflections from Cisco attendees.

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Cookbook For BYOD & Virtualization in Schools: “Teaching 24 X 7…”

Special guest interview with Charlie Kanavel, CEO of The Kanavel Group; former Director, Technology, Campbell Union High School District – Campbell, CA

Mr. Kanavel is CEO of The Kanavel Group, a consulting and services firm focused on technology in government and education. The Kanavel Group specializes in taking clients from “WOW” to “HOW”, merging cutting edge technology with its clients long term strategic objectives.

As the Director of Technology at Campbell Union High School District, he was responsible for notable projects in California and the nation:  through the development of on-line hybrid courses using Cisco WebEx, he was the first to deploy them in the California K-12 education space. Working with Sony Corporation, he was the first to pilot Sony eReaders to replace textbooks in K-12 education nationwide.  Mr. Kanavel was also awarded Honorable Mention at Citrix Synergy 2010 for deploying virtualization in education. Formerly Mr. Kanavel distinguished himself in IT and compliance leadership in financial markets worldwide.

Charlie, welcome, and thanks for joining us. In K-12 today, the #1 issue is BYOD. Unlike a full 1:1 rollout where every child gets the same device, under BYOD how do superintendents & IT leaders address the equity divide among students so we ensure all have equal access to the same content?

Thank you for having me join today, Frank. I think for the past 10 years we in education have done a lot to bring technology in education forward into the on-line world. However, we have also made educational resources inside and outside the classroom very broadband and computer-centric. So to have full access to the resources made available by most schools today, you need a computer at home. This digital divide is very real in today’s schools and BYOD as a strategy gives districts a real way to solve this problem.

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Minnesota Leads the Way in Rural Schools Innovation

If you caught Secretary Arne Duncan on the Jon Stewart show back on February 16th, the Secretary reiterated an education theme that has been common over the years for the Obama administration. When pressed by Stewart on how the U.S. Department of Education can help drive innovation in our schools, Duncan answered, the real creative breakthroughs “…need to spring from the local district, superintendents & principals themselves … and not the Washington bureaucracy.”

Enter Itasca Schools — in the very rural outstretches of northeast Minnesota. It’s another example, along with Mooresville Schools in North Carolina, of how local schools and school districts are doing exactly that.

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City of Chicago: Transforming the 21st Century Workforce through Education

February 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm PST

Guest post by Todd Huston, Strategic Business Development Manager, Cisco Systems. Todd helps Higher Education and K-12 customers transform their operations and the student experience with technology.

Preparing the next-generation of students for the workforce is a critical responsibility.  Without skills in science, engineering, math and technology, innovation cannot advance at the rate needed to sustain the economic growth we are all working to foster.

—     Wim Elfrink, Cisco

As a part of my job at Cisco, I have the opportunity to meet with IT professionals and school administrators to discuss how students are being equipped with the necessary skills to compete in the 21st century. Earlier today I visited the Chicago Vocational Career Academy where Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced an initiative to help better prepare high school and community college graduates for the 21st century workforce.

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