Recently, my wife and I made a small contribution to an elementary school in Bosier City, Louisiana. We found the class through a site called DonorsChoose.org, which lets teachers request donations for specific projects or general needs in their classrooms.
One particular request seemed meant to be: The teacher wanted two Flip cameras to teach podcasting, editing and photo journalism to her class. Of course, this punched my buttons since I work for Cisco and have a Flip camera of my own, which I love; and my wife works in TV news — and was actually born in Bosier City, Louisiana!
So, we made a small personal donation of a few hundred dollars that enabled the school to purchase the cameras and some related tools, and thought little more of it. Then, we got a note back from the teacher with profuse thanks: The students had put the cameras to work immediately, and are creating podcasts regularly as part of their classroom work. And then the other day in the mail came dozens of hand-written Thank You notes from the students in the class. (You can see these in the attached video.) Read More »
Tags: donation, education, giving back, video
If you’re familiar with Cisco’s collaboration products, you’ve probably heard us discuss how they will change the nature of the workplace; from who we work with, to where and when we work, to how business processes are interleaved with the collaboration experience. But what about how they change the way we learn? Higher education represents an enormous opportunity for collaboration products to engage and educate the next generation of global leaders.
Last week, we demonstrated collaboration’s impact on education by announcing that Duke University is using Cisco Quad in their Fuqua School of Business, MBA -- Cross Continent program. The reason? To ensure that students throughout the world can fully participate in the program at any Duke campus -- not as passive listeners, but as active participants in the learning experience. Cisco Quad collaboration software enables global students to create virtual working groups, find fellow students with common interests, share content, files or videos and instantly start video or audio conferences and chat sessions.
Using Cisco Quad in education is quite appropriate because the product was named after a university campus quad. It’s a place for social networking, where students meet and hang out, share experiences and create, in some cases, lifelong connections. As you go from one class to another, you probably always traverse the quad -- it’s a place for constant action and change. This image of the quad seemed like a nice moniker for the product. With Duke, it’s particularly appropriate because we’ve expanded the physical campus to a virtual place that encompasses much more real estate, creating a hub for sharing information and changing the way education happens today. Read More »
Tags: collaboration, education, Enterprise, quad, social media, Social Software
We want to welcome you to our new education blog and hope that you will become an active participant and visitor to this community. We will be exploring topics that are critical to education and look forward to spirited conversations between you and those of us within Cisco who focus on the education market.
As the world shifts away from centralized, hierarchical control and puts more power in the hands of end users, we bring a practical vision and real solutions to help public sector innovators stay ahead of cultural change. We enable a connected way of living that can foster economic growth, expand access to public services, and keep people of all ages engaged.
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Tags: collaboration, education, learning, technology
As we face the combined challenges and opportunities presented by globalization, technology acceleration, and demographic shifts, competition is increasing, and innovation is becoming more and more critical for companies and countries to succeed and stay ahead of the curve.
This past week at Educause, we announced the availability of our new Research and Administrative Computing solution based on Cisco’s world-class Data Center and Collaboration technologies. This solution can help administrative leaders and research center directors save time and money and improve performance by working better together. By improving research collaboration within the university, and between universities, companies, and governments, we can improve the ability to innovate.
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Tags: administration, architecture, collaboration, communication, education, growth, higher, innovation, research
Our customers have deepened my perspective on Education. They help me to see the many different shades of change and what transformation is really all about. They have also given me a new understanding of the multi-faceted nature of technology and the role that it plays in changing education.
What is most evident to me lately is that technology can’t be relegated to a “role.” I used to think of technology as being one part of an overall transformation plan. Educational institutions need to have a solid network infrastructure, the right wireless and mobility technologies, a way to streamline communications and improve efficiency, a better way of doing online learning. It certainly does do all that. We have also thought of it as an accelerant: adding online learning courses will speed delivery of quality educational content, and web conferencing will make it faster and easier to deliver professional development to teachers, for example.
But, the dynamic nature of technology makes it a whole lot more than an accelerant, and it has more than just a “role” to play. Technology is the driving force behind the need for change. The onslaught of technology is giving us no choice but to change. It’s not just about disengaged or bored learners, it’s about learners who may stop going to the traditional classroom altogether because it has nothing left to offer them. The power of informal learning, and the technologies that drive it, threaten to make traditional education not only irrelevant, but obsolete.
Everyone knows that students are savvy consumers of technology, iThings, social media, mobile devices, and the like, but they’re also increasingly savvy navigators of content and information that is broadly available on the web. They have the access required to figure out what employers want, and they are going to learn how to give it to them, if they haven’t already.
You might say that students are too naïve to know what they don’t know, that they really don’t understand what it takes to be say, an engineer, without going to university. Or, you could say that there is almost unlimited information available on the web that can enable highly motivated individuals to become engineers: online courses, detailed, web-based technical information on a range of topics in many different engineering fields, and a variety of informal learning avenues. This all coupled with an increasingly competitive global community, will, I believe, drive people to avenues other than the traditional classroom.
Does this make education and educators obsolete? Absolutely not. Traditional education can be the glue that holds this all together, that frames employer requirements, makes faculty members facilitators and guides, and provides direction to students, placing them at the center of their learning, and helping them to define their life ambitions, working with them to design their curriculum, customized to meet their needs, and the needs of their future employers.
So let’s revisit the topic of technology. Yes, technology has a role to play, and it is an accelerant, but it is also the Trojan horse, sneaking not very quietly onto the school and college scene, and this horse is being driven squarely by the Trojans. Our students are telling us where they want and need to go. We can either get in the horse with them, or we can remain scattered outside the walls of Troy, looking in, and wondering what is going to happen next.
Tags: accelerant for change, Change, education, technology, transformation