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Another Look at the Mooresville Story – Connecting the Millennials

On July 19th, the Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina will be hosting a 3-day symposium called “Summer Connections 2011”.  The training program will detail how Mooresville took a technology initiative four years ago and transformed itself into one of the largest success stories in USA K12 public education today. The symposium will bring together superintendents, administrators, technicians, teachers – and millennial students -- all interested in learning the Mooresville recipe, and how to bring that back to their home districts.

What is the story? It’s simple, really. Two points – 1. Test score changes over the four-year period have been profound -- proving the technology initiative was wildly successful, and 2. It’s a district-wide success  story – all 8 schools have seen a significant rise in test scores. Not just a high school here or intermediate school there.  Since 2007, Mooresville district-wide dropout rates are down 20%; at the Mooresville High School graduation rates are up from 64% to 86%; District North Carolina composite scores are up from 73% to 86% in 2010, with the District arcing toward 90% in 2011. It’s now the 4th highest achieving school district in North Carolina, even though it ranks 99th out of the 115 state districts in school funding.

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Virtual Forum for Education Leaders – Creating Community

In Welcome to the Education Blog, Gary Serda said that:

Cisco’s approach to education is comprehensive and multi-faceted. We have groups across all of Cisco that are actively engaging with Education leaders to improve education everywhere. At the core of these engagements, is our fundamental belief that the network can serve as a platform for education innovation that can dramatically improve educational outcomes for students.

One of the ways we showcase innovative and practical solutions for today’s education challenges is the Cisco Virtual Forum for Education Leaders.  This online Forum is filled with informative presentations and resources that demonstrate the success that dedicated educators are having meeting today’s education challenges.

With “virtual booths” for specific solutions and areas of IT concern, Cisco representatives available for live chats, both recorded and live presentations, and expert-led discussions--the forum provided and provides a good source of technology and solution information for Education customers. That’s right, provides. The Forum is more than a transient event: visitors are welcomed back as often as they like to get updated information about Cisco’s solutions and efforts in the Education space. A great example is this interview added last week:

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Mitigating poor health literacy with telepresence

June 7, 2011 at 6:19 am PST

I’ve talked on the telepresence blog about how telepresence can help bring healthcare to those who would otherwise go without. But the technology can also play an important role with those people who do receive treatment: it can help teach them to manage their care at home and prevent return trips to the hospital.

According to a recent Washington Post article, the U.S. Department of Education conducted a study that revealed that 36 percent of adults have only rudimentary literacy skills for understanding health material. An estimated 14 percent of these adults struggle with complete illiteracy. Another 52 percent of the total adult population has intermediate skills, meaning they can interpret and follow basic drug administration directions, while only 12 percent of the population has attained proficiency in reading, understanding, and following what the doctor or pharmacist says.

The nation’s limited health literacy costs us as much as $238 billion each year in hospital re-admissions and treating avoidable complications, the article said. To remedy these problems, hospitals and health plans have begun to implement technology to help identify and simplify confusing medical jargon that finds its way into written patient instructions.

But what about the 14 percent who can’t read at all? The Post noted that some healthcare providers have started giving patients instructional videos or picture-filled handouts. While these are great tools for patients to have, telepresence provides even more: the visual of the videos, the detail of the pictures, and the human connection.

With telepresence a patient can talk to a provider in real time, ask personal questions, demonstrate for the doctor how they plan to take their medicine … the list goes on. I have to think catching up with patients here and there via telepresence would cost less—in dollars and hours—than readmitting, retesting, retreating, and re-instructing someone in the emergency room. Not to mention the decrease in anxiety for doctors and patients that would come with knowing people are properly managing their care.

Increased knowledge for patients, less frustration and repeat care for providers—sounds like a win-win to me.

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Humanizing Education Through Video

May 24, 2011 at 11:44 am PST

What if Isaac Newton had owned a video camera? Suspend your disbelief a little more … what if he used that camera to record himself teaching calculus lessons and then posted those lessons on YouTube?

Well, if Newton had done these things, then Salman Khan “wouldn’t have to,” as Khan said in a March TED Talk. Since Newton pre-dated the digital era, Khan took it upon himself to fill the gap with his brainchild, Khan Academy, the world’s first video-based virtual school.

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See the Difference! Video Explodes on WebEx Training Center

One of the challenges of online training is making sure your audience is involved. “Reading the room” is possible with webcams, but until now, that video has been less than optimal.

But we have good news: we have retooled our product to bring high-quality video to Training Center; offering a more natural class environment with dynamic face-to-face interaction. We have also streamlined the user interface to make using Training Center even easier.

Click here to see a quick tour!

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