Mobile devices are an absolute necessity for the current generation of students. The 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report found that two-thirds of students (66%) cite a mobile device (laptop, smartphone, tablet) as “the most important technology in their lives.” At the same time, educators at schools, colleges and universities are embracing mobile learning and “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives to provide engaging and collaborative 21st century instruction and learning. These emerging trends are creating new demands on school and university networks to accommodate this unprecedented influx of users, devices and applications.
To help education leaders respond to these challenges and opportunities, Cisco recently announced Beyond BYOD, a next-generation solution which allows schools, colleges and universities to implement multiple device strategies without compromises.
Explosive data growth and new transformational technologies such as cloud computing, converged infrastructure, unified networking and big data are changing the way organizations are running their businesses today. These new technologies affect IT systems and infrastructures, as well as the practitioners that design, install, operate and manage them. New skills and knowledge are needed for organizations to maximize the benefits of these new technologies.
To prepare the next generation of workers, Cisco is joining forces with EMC to offer comprehensive technical education solutions in the areas of cloud architecture, virtualization, storage, data center networking and data science. Watch below as Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, vice president and general manager, Learning@Cisco and Tom Clancy, vice president, EMC Education Services discuss the joint education offerings available.
The joint education solutions offer advanced training and certifications to help customers acquire the skills required to successfully architect, build and transform their IT infrastructure, adopt cloud computing and realize the promise of data science and Big Data analytics.
On Monday morning, I was at Claremont High School, in Harrow, London, watching as one of the architects responsible for building the Olympic stadium kept a class of 13 year olds enthralled about the design and engineering challenges involved.
Jo Smith from the firm Buro Happold was taking a lesson from Cisco’s Out of the Blocks StemNet programme bringing real world examples of how lessons about chemical structure; mathematics and physics were all very much challenges the stadium designers and builders has to overcome when designing the stadium and other venues for this summer’s Olympics.
Back in January, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski challenged schools and companies to get digital textbooks in students’ hands by the year 2017. Prompted by countries like South Korea and Uruguay -- which have made similar moves – the Obama administration is seeking to create momentum on this key topic.
Adam Frankel Opens the League Meeting at Houston ISD
Yet when we look around us, most educators and superintendents in the U.S. are left scratching our collective heads as we witness our glacial progress toward fully deployed digital nationwide learning. Lack of data on “what works”, lack of best practices in district-level leadership, and a splintered procurement process are often cited as three major roadblocks to progress. As mentioned in earlier blogs here, Digital Promise’s newly formed “League of Innovative Schools” is hoping to change all that.
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.”