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Telepresence Key to Boosting the Nation’s Science and Math IQ

January 11, 2012 at 7:46 am PST

Though it’s wonderful to read about recent positive trends, there’s no question that the jobless rate has caused concern for some time now. Did you know, however, that in some sectors there are consistently more job openings than there are qualified candidates?

According to a U.S. News blog post by Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, a New Jersey-based charter school founder, fields including computer science, environmental science, medicine, and engineering all need trained professionals. The problem, Bonilla-Santiago says, is that America’s schools don’t provide adequate training in the STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—so there aren’t enough prepared people for the available jobs.

Part of the issue, Bonilla-Santiago suggests, is that teachers do not have adequate training in the sciences to effectively teach these subjects. Congress considered solutions that would bring more qualified instructors into the classroom, including encouraging STEM professionals to transition from their industry jobs to teaching positions. But wouldn’t this shift just exacerbate the current vacancy rates in the STEM fields? Read More »

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I can see clearly now!

Hopefully everyone is back from the Christmas/New Years Holidays by now and already hit the deck running. I know we in the Manufacturing team are already off, well, most of us. I started the New Year by having cataract surgery. So I am going to combine some Healthcare with some Manufacturing in this blog. Consider yourself forewarned!

First, what to expect from us this coming year: much more on the value of mobility and the ability to collaborate across the global workforce, wherever they are (yes, that is Borderless Networks); then a lot on the vast amount of data presenting itself to the factory and from the factory to the enterprise (you will hear the term “data deluge”); also the impact of “the cloud” on the factory; also the growing prevalence of tablets and other smart devices in manufacturing operations. And we will undoubtedly have new areas of concentration throughout the year as new technologies take hold in manufacturing.

So, that is the preview of the year. But now I want to talk about my personal experience with Healthcare and how it relates to Manufacturing. Read More »

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Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills at the Education World Forum in London

January 10, 2012 at 10:56 am PST

This week the ATC21S consortium is in London for the 2012 Education World Forum (EWF). The EWF, held once per year, is a prestigious global summit for education ministers. This event brings government representatives, industry leaders, and major organizations from more than 60 countries together and provides a forum for rich discussion on current issues, cutting-edge advancements, and the most important needs in education at the local, national, international, and global scale.

Day one of the EWF kicked off with welcome messages from international luminaries, followed by two plenary sessions with involvement from key ATC21S members.

Read More »

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Four Ways Social Software Collaboration Technology Can Change Higher Education

New media and collaboration technologies have the potential to transform higher education in terms of the classroom, the learning process, the relationship between students and instructors, and how institutions conduct academic research. While much of the industry discussion revolves around use of consumer tools and social network sites like Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, Cisco’s educational customers also see tremendous opportunity to increase student engagement and drive their own institutional strategies with “enterprise class” social software as well.

Since Cisco first announced Quad, we have had conversations with dozens of colleges and universities regarding the role enterprise social software and Cisco Quad can play in transforming education. Cisco Quad is an enterprise collaboration platform that brings people together to share ideas and content, collaborate on projects, and interact using chat, voice or video, regardless of where people are located.

Below, we’ve outlined four ways in which educational institutions are telling us enterprise social software is helping, or can transform the way learning, research, and academic advisement is crafted, delivered and consumed:

1. The 24/7 interactive classroom: Instructors often struggle to deliver a collaborative environment for their students that is secure and supports multiple access methods such as mobile.  Technology like Quad can enable students to interact in a secure, policy-based manner that extends the classroom conversation beyond physical walls. Courses partially or wholly targeted at off-campus students can similarly benefit from enhancing the class-like experience for remote students. For example, at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the cross country MBA students based in the US, England, India and other countries are using Quad to create virtual working groups, find people with common interests, share files or videos with other students working on similar projects and instantly start video conferences or chat sessions. Quad provides students with the ability to interact, ask questions and share ideas with professors/faculty/tutorial assistants anytime, as opposed to only during fixed faculty office hours. It can also drive improved accountability on team projects, as content and comments are tracked in activity feeds and in project communities by both participating students and faculty leads.

2. Serendipitous Research: Quad contains several features, such as an activity feed that compiles microblog posts from students and staff and allows a snapshot view of a person’s current activities. These dynamic updating functionalities can facilitate broader cross-departmental collaboration, for students and researchers alike. Security features ensure that research that needs to be confidential is shared in a secure and safe manner.  As researchers update their statuses with exciting discoveries or frustrating problems, or create posts, upload videos or otherwise document their work, this content becomes accessible to hundreds of fellow university researchers through activity feeds and searches, making it possible for providential inter-disciplinary connections to be made and new insights to be generated. Read More »

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Highlights from the National Town Hall for the Next Generation Workspace: Public Sector Edition

In case you missed it, you can still watch the National Town Hall for the Next Generation Workplace online

This 90-minute TeleWebcast features public sector customer best practices from federal, state and local government, and education organizations hosted via Cisco TelePresence in Atlanta, Herndon, Los Angeles, Richardson, San Jose, and Seattle.

Moderator: Steve LeSueur  
Contributing Editor, 1105 Government Information Group

Shane Milam
Director, Systems and Networks, Mercer University

 Paulette Robinson
Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning, iCollege, National Defense University

Josh Sawislak 
Senior Fellow, Telework ExchangeSenior Fellow, Telework Exchange

Jac Fagundo
Chief Technology Officer for Internal Services Department, LA County

Brooks Moore 
Manager of Technology Services, Dallas County Public Schools – Aledo

Matt Byers
Senior Systems Administrator, Seattle University

Chris Westphal
Senior Manager for Desktop Solutions Marketing, VMware

Tony Paikeday
Senior Marketing Manager for Desktop Virtualization, Cisco

Read More »

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