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Checking in from EDUCAUSE 2015

Hello from EDUCAUSE 2015! I’m checking in from Indianapolis to share a little bit about what has been discussed so far. Yesterday, I heard an excellent general session from Daniel Pink, had the chance to attend multiple sessions on everything from the affordability of course materials to the personalization of the student experience, and spoke to multiple educators and IT professionals about trends they’re seeing in the education technology space.

One of the biggest things that everyone is talking about this year is online learning. EDUCAUSE named e-learning and online education one of its top 10 information technology (IT) issues, and multiple sessions discussed how to best approach the trend. One key takeaway is how e-learning will help engage a new type of student, but presenters stressed that online learning is much more than simply putting your regular course material online—it is a new way of reaching students. I also heard in one session that online education must be both scalable and well-sourced to be successful. It is this insight from technology companies and educational institutions that make EDUCAUSE such a great show!

Building off of the concept of online learning was the much-buzzed-about topic of mobile device management. Data shows that students are on their phones more than ever, and educators are trying to figure out how to best harness mobile devices for use in their classrooms and how to integrate them into the curriculum.

And the undercurrent to both of these ideas is something that we’re passionate about here at Cisco: security. When EDUCAUSE presented their top 10 IT issues for 2016, information security was number one on the list. And for good reason – while the benefits from connected classrooms and e-learning are huge, this interconnectedness also greatly increases the risk of security breaches. Hacks of information in the education world often start from phishing scams, and schools need holistic and agile solutions to help secure their networks and protect their data.

That’s just scratching the surface of what’s being talked about here at EDUCAUSE. Other sessions covered everything from women in higher education IT to envisioning the future of the CIO to how the CIO can collaborate with faculty and administrators to optimize education technology. The Cisco team and I are looking forward to another full day of learning here in Indiana, and will be sharing much more about our key takeaways in a wrap-up blog post after the event concludes. If you’re at EDUCAUSE this year, stop by booth #1302 to say hello to our Cisco team, and make sure to follow along on social media using #EDU2015 and #CiscoEDUCAUSE!

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Educause: How Cisco is Supporting the Digital Transformation in Higher Education

As EDUCAUSE officially gets underway, I wanted to share with you some of the Cisco Education solutions for the Digital Campus and Digital Learning that we’re demonstrating at our booth. The Internet of Things is making it easier than ever for students and faculty to collaborate, improving schools’ efficiency and expanding education opportunities. We’re so excited about our portfolio of smart, network-centric solutions that are helping to transform classrooms and campuses across the country.

For example, we’ve got a whole host of tools used to create a digital campus – both in the classroom and beyond. Classrooms can use Cisco WebEx for remote or distance learning. Tools like SpeakerTrack, which is a dual-camera system used with a video solutions like Cisco TelePresence that allows participants in a video meeting to see the active speaker on the other end of a call in full view, make remote learning even more immersive and help give students the best possible educational experience. And Cisco Spark allows teams to send messages, video chat and share files all in one place, which enables instructors to work closely together and makes it even easier for students to collaborate on group projects.

Outside the classroom, Cisco has smart solutions to help campuses run efficiently, like smart lighting that helps colleges and universities save on energy costs and smart parking that helps campus parking lots run more smoothly. We also have solutions that focus on the safety and security of your campus. We’re demonstrating FireSIGHT here at EDUCAUSE, which helps identify many aspects of network visibility. This information can be used to automatically prioritize events, modify policy and block threats which save money and improve security.

Additionally, new digital solutions from Cisco partners make it easier than ever for colleges and universities to reap the benefits of collaboration in the classroom. VBrick’s Capture, Transform and Share tools allow instructors and students to maximize the benefits of video collaboration tools, allowing for on-demand viewing and easy editing and sharing. And with CirQlive, you can now easily integrate your Cisco WebEx with your learning management system to improve learning outcomes.

Other tools from our partners help improve campus security. For example, iOmnicient’s Facial Recognition solution can help keep students safe on campus and in dorms. The University of San Francisco is utilizing it right now to control access to their residence halls to keep the students who reside in them safe. Plus, the Splunk Cisco Security Suite can help security teams take full advantage of the information collected across their Cisco security devices and enables a single, comprehensive view for complete situational awareness.

All of these solutions are part of the ongoing digitization of higher education, using the Internet of Things to give administrators and instructors easy, efficient and cost-effective solutions to help them meet their goals: improving student outcomes, increasing efficiency, enhancing safety and security, and expanding research capabilities. If you’re at EDUCAUSE, make sure you stop by our booth, #1121, to see these Cisco Education solutions in action!

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Delivering the Keynote at the World Swiss eLearning Conference: Empowering Knowledge That Creates Business Outcomes

On April 10th I had the privilege to deliver, via TelePresence, the keynote address for the Swiss eLearning Conference 2013 (SeLC) in Zurich. Aimed at the Swiss professional learning community, the event was themed “Educate Your Customer” with a focus on e-learning, online training and augmented reality.  I enjoy engaging with forward-thinking educators who share my passion for creating new paths to learning.Swiss-eLearning-Conference

In my keynote, I described Learning@Cisco’s innovative approach to creating the next generation of IT talent.  The fact is that the industry is experiencing an IT networking skills gap at the very same time the world is approaching the Internet of Everything and the prospect of 50 billion connected devices by the year 2020. 

To help bridge this divide, Cisco has pioneered the use of virtual classrooms, social networking, games, and other resources to democratize learning via our social learning network.  We bring together groups and individuals across the globe to learn from each other about IT networking in ways that augment traditional classrooms. Our goal is to remove barriers to learning and assist our partners and customers with developing the right networking talent to run their businesses.

To learn more, please watch the full presentation here, view the slide deck I shared during the conference, or visit the Cisco Learning Network.

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EG: Inspiring Speakers Who Will Make You Rethink Learning

EG7The deadline for the upcoming EG Conference, Learning is Everything—and Everything is Learning, is around the corner on April 11. Check out the amazing and inspiring speakers – scientists, explorers, inventors and artists – who will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about learning. Click here to learn more.

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This year at EG, Everything is Learning — and Learning is Everything.

EG7Once again this year, Cisco is a proud to sponsor the EG 7 Conference in Monterey, California, April 18-20, 2013. The theme this year is Everything is Learning — and Learning is Everything,  and many of the world’s leading inventors, explorers, educators, entertainers, artists and entrepreneurs are coming together to probe these frontiers.  The content is truly inspirational.

Everything is learning… and in higher education, the sea change has become a tsunami: Stanford-born Udacity and Coursera are racing with edX from Harvard and MIT to flood university curricula online.  Will this be the most significant transformation of universities to date?  After all, these thrusts aspire to reach billions of learners — anywhere, anytime.

At EG this year, the founding CEO’s of all these movements are speaking: Sebastian Thrun, Daphne Koller, and Anant Agarwal.  This is a revolution in the way higher education is purveyed.  How it affects learners around the world — the billions who may someday benefit — remains to be seen.

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