It’s hard to refute that modern-day learning has evolved from a traditional four wall setting. Just as consumers want to be able to access content from their preferred device and location, such as on a tablet while traveling via a train or mobile device while out to dinner with a prospective client, learning is now taking place in a manner – and location – most preferred by the teacher and student. These new teaching and learning methods are driven by transformative technologies and taking place outside of the lecture-style classroom setting we were accustomed to growing up.
This six-part series focuses on transformation of the traditional higher education system in the United States. Read parts 1 through 5 on the Cisco Education Blog.
Part 1: The Need for Change
Part 2: Shared Challenges
Part 3: Navigating Culture
Part 5: Scaling Best Practices
Educators share a common crisis in the delivery of higher learning. They suffer many of the same challenges, with regard to access to quality educational experiences, the need to replace outdated teaching methodologies, and the imperative to prepare students to become part of the workforce of the future.
We’re moving quickly into the next phase of the Internet, and that space is being created by the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI), sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
Open and broadly inclusive, the GENI research project is designing an updated replacement for the current Internet. A new frontier would include faster data speeds, new approaches to network security, and a wide range of new features and functionality. And because it’s open, this virtual laboratory offers opportunities for researchers to test new network strategies at scale, without disrupting Internet traffic. By taking “virtual slices” (entire virtual networks running on the same physical infrastructure), many different versions of a new Internet can operate in parallel.
So how are engineers playing in this digital sandbox?
At WWDC this week, Apple announced that their new Macbook and Macbook Air are 802.11ac enabled. As we predicted in our red-hot Client Adoption blog earlier this year, the list of 802.11ac clients, like the new Macbooks and Samsung Galaxy S4, will continue to grow and expand throughout 2013. These devices come with the promise of Gigabit wireless, at faster speeds and better performance. How will your enterprise networks meet those expectations? The Cisco Aironet 3600 with 802.11ac module is your ticket for enterprise-class 802.11ac wireless.
The 802.11ac module will make these new clients fly at new higher speeds--3 to 4 times faster than 802.11n. So if you are connecting your new Apple device to an Enterprise Network supporting Cisco’s 3600 AP with the 802.11ac module, you will be able to get some of the highest bandwidth rates ever seen out of your Wi-Fi network which will open the opportunity for better quality video streams, better online collaboration and the support of more high-bandwidth demanding applications. Check out the Aironet 3600 here: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps13128/index.html
Can’t get enough of 802.11ac? Neither can we. Read More »
Systematic Transformation: The Intersection with Technology in a Journey Toward the Future (Scaling Best Practices) – Part Five of Six
At Cisco we are seeing outstanding examples of change, some of which have been highlighted throughout this blog series. Others, unfortunately, are one-time interventions, and tend to be unsustainable. We’ve seen a number of video implementations, for example, that have gone nowhere because they were not part of a larger strategy or plan, and training and culture were never addressed. Across the country, outdated, disconnected video equipment lays scattered in classrooms, lecture halls, and IT departments. How can we ensure that these improvements can intrinsically change our higher education system in the United States, and across the globe? We strongly believe that technology can help in this area as well.
Scale can take place within a university and across university systems, especially when video technologies such as Cisco TelePresence are employed. This videoconferencing solution is easier to use, higher quality, and provides an immersive experience that rivals the one found in the classroom.
Paradise Valley Unified School District in Phoenix, Arizona is partnering with National Lambda Rail, a National Research and Education Network, to connect with universities and other higher education institutions to deliver joint classes. With just one teacher and Cisco TelePresence, PVUSD is now providing instruction to students at multiple schools simultaneously.
Duke University is using Cisco TelePresence to create a virtual lecture hall, and expand the reach of its MBA program beyond the shores of the U.S., thereby increasing access and generating new revenue streams. Now, their business school students can access professors, guest lecturers and business leaders from around the world. In this way, Duke is extending the in-person classroom environment across multiple campuses and into the business world.
Finally, Cisco recently announced WebEx Social, a new, enterprise collaboration platform that combines the power of social networking, content creation, and real-time communications and collaboration. We believe that WebEx Social has the power to drive the sustainable change required by higher education systems across the globe.
Along with Cisco TelePresence, Duke University uses WebEx Social to provide faculty, staff, and students with a single, unified platform to access learning management systems, student information systems, and other applications for academics, extracurricular activities, and career information. WebEx Social is also coupled with tools for voice and video collaboration within the same platform. As a result, the traditional experience is evolving into dynamic, group-based learning that is often taking place outside of the traditional classroom setting.
Our vision is that WebEx Social will be used by higher education systems worldwide to connect and collaborate, and share best practices, course content, resources and more, helping drive the scale required to transform the entire system. We believe that this tool is an agent for change, and will revolutionize the way in which higher education institutions deliver the business of education.