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Grant Resources for Education Technology Innovation

The Huffington Post recently reported on the status of education funding in the U.S. The news was not good. According to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, more than half of U.S. states will cut education budgets this year.

In this resource-constrained environment, taking advantage of grant resources for education technology innovation is critically important. Cisco is teaming with the Grants Office, LLC, to deliver a series of free webcasts to provide information, insights and tips on grant funding for U.S. education. Webcast topics will cover an important range of grant opportunities. Click on the links below for additional information on the grant programs covered in each session.

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Mobility: Why Access Matters…

For nearly everything that I do in college, I need access to the Internet: classes, studying, meetings, and, discussions. In class, I access lecture documents on Blackboard. In meetings, I review and send emails. Studying, I research topics online and download information from the library. Essentially, I’m connected to the network constantly, and to be successful, I have to have the ability to connect any time, from anywhere, on any one of my several devices.

As most CIO’s and IT professionals would agree, building a scalable and robust network is a thankless and daunting task. It’s even more difficult in colleges and universities, where enabling tens of thousands of students to quickly and safely access the network is a critical imperative.  And if the equipment is unreliable, access is compromised.  When this happens, the institution faces difficultly in implementing online teaching initiatives, costs can increase and ultimately, there may be a productivity decrease. Additionally, faculty and students can become disgruntled and unmotivated as a result of network complications.

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WebEx and Higher Education

This morning, like most of mornings, I woke up, checked my calendar, and joined a WebEx meeting. After introductions and pleasantries, I listened and conversed with three of my colleagues. Then, at the top of the hour, the conversation concluded, and the group dispersed hurriedly to attend their next meetings. Employees repeat this process almost all day every day.  This is how work is done at Cisco.  Now, after having been a part of the process for nearly two months, I’m dreading the return to the seemingly archaic way that I work and collaborate with others at school.

This year, I will be a junior at the University of Oregon, and I’m working towards a degree in International Studies with a focus in Business- Marketing. Currently, I’m working as an intern for Cisco’s education marketing team. Read More »

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Video Helps Schools Reach and Teach Students More Effectively— Despite Tighter Budgets

By Joel Barbier, Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG)

Educators face a number of challenges, from increased pressure to improve student performance on standardized tests to shrinking state and local budgets. In addition, instructors are leaving their classrooms for better opportunities, and students’ learning skills are tuned more to social media and new technologies than to traditional educational models. These challenges require that institutions transform the way they retain talent—and the way they reach and teach students.

Although they have used recorded videos for many years to introduce new experiences to students, and some have started employing web-based video technologies to save travel costs, most educational institutions do not understand the critical role video can play in scaling resources to improve education quality despite budget constraints. Read More »

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Technology Helps College Get Bigger in Texas

It’s one thing to use technology. It’s another to take that technology and do something extraordinary with it – especially when that involves something that benefits others. Each year, IDG’s Computerworld Honors Program recognizes organizations that use “visionary applications of information technology promoting positive social, economic and educational change.”

This year, one of those organizations happens to be Lone Star College System, a community college in Texas (naturally) that has integrated collaboration technology from Cisco to reach more students and improve the overall learning experience for an increasingly diverse student population.

They say everything’s bigger in Texas. Lone Star College serves more than 85,000 students at five campuses and ten learning centers in a service area of 1400 square miles. Oh, and the student population is growing by approximately 20% each year.

So what do you do if you’re the CIO at a school with the goal of becoming recognized as the best community college in the nation? You find the technology to meet your goals. Some of the highlights: Read More »

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