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Online Learning and MOOCs – passing fads or major game changers?

It is twenty years since Harvard moved into online learning, quickly followed by Rice, MIT – and the Open University. So it is worth asking what is new about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)? I think two things are new: First, the scale of the disruption: free learning, for hundreds of thousands of individuals, most of them outside the formal university system. Coursera claims to have 2.4 million students registered to their 200 online courses; these are pretty impressive numbers achieved in a relatively short period of time. Second, the nature of the learning experience: increasingly collaborative, and even peer-led.

But as a driver of real transformation, the impact of MOOCS has been limited, absent a viable business model. And specifically, absent a way in which providers can offer some level of teaching experience, that’s valuable and therefore chargeable to the learner. However, two initiatives we’re familiar with at Cisco suggest this sort of model is now starting to emerge.

The first initiative is the University Of The People. A global university, with 1500 students, remarkably from 135 countries. This is online peer-learning – chat-room technology – providing qualifications in business and technology at just $50 a course. A very affordable model offering mentoring of substantial value from volunteer faculty around the world.

The second initiative is the latest move by Udacity. Udacity as we know has 750000 students in all, 150000 registered to one course, Artificial Intelligence, alone. But as Sebastian Thrun recognizes, Udacity has been looking for a business model until the announcement last month of San Jose State Plus.

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Client Adoption for 802.11ac Wireless Technology

When it comes to the adoption of new technology such as 802.11ac, the industry becomes a farmer’s almanac of predictions when it comes to when and what devices and products will announce 802.11ac support.  Aside from Cisco, who boldly announced support for 802.11ac on the 3600 Access Point for the enterprise, there have been a number of consumer devices such as home routers, bridges, a selection of USB clients and a single gaming oriented laptop that are offering support for the new 802.11ac specification.

With HTC’s announcement of 802.11ac support for their HTC One smartphone, we would expect others to follow suit in the near future, setting the stage for the first series of devices to bring integrated 802.11ac to market sometime in CY13. As these device become available you can expect them to be connecting to your corporate networks as BYOD devices for corporate use. With the devices come the expectations where your end-users are going to be looking for that extra bump in network performance promised by the 802.11ac standard.

Next up, Tablet and notebook devices.

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Cisco at Going Global 2013: Internationalising Higher Education

In just a couple of hours Cisco will be taking part in one of the largest and most important gatherings for the internationalization of tertiary education. Going Global is an open forum hosted by the British Council that attracts over 1200 participants from 80 countries including education ministers, senior policy makers, presidents and vice-chancellors, researchers, international directors and leaders from the business community. This year, the gathering will take place from March 4 until March 6 in Dubai with discussions anchored under the theme: “Global education: knowledge-based economies for 21st century nations”. 220 speakers will share their insights and experiences on three specific tracks: Research and Innovation, Development of skilled knowledge workers, and the Internationalisation of tertiary education.

This year, Cisco has engaged as Gold Sponsor of the summit and as such it will have a very ample presence including a guided visit to the Cisco campus in Dubai, a panel in the main program of the Going Global Summit, and a 12 sqm exhibition stand. During the Cisco Site Visit on March 4, we will take 40 delegates through a deeper understanding of Cisco’s vision for 21st Century learning as well as the latest technologies and solutions that support high quality education, help improve student outcomes and expand research capabilities. Nigel Thrift, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick will be our guest speaker and we will use the occasion to officially launch our most recent case study on Higher Education transformation: “Powering the Globally Connected Campus ”.

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How to build the future you

February 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm PST

Most of us did not grow up sharing our private feelings with the world.  Today we are faced with the challenge of needing to build our brand.  This test can help you understand how socially connected you already are.

Be as web savvy as a librarian

When was the last time you visited a library?
Hint: Wikipedia counts.

Learn how future librarian, Elizabeth Lieutenant, is using Twitter to connect with like-minded students, professors and prospective employers.

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Cisco Joins Forces with Wharton School on Classroom of the Future

Wharton school picI am proud to be part of a company that is making innovations in education on a daily basis. You may have already heard how universities around the world are using Cisco to transform the classroom, and today’s news is further evidence of this.

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is working with Cisco to provide collaboration solutions that will bridge faculty and students in Philadelphia and San Francisco to deliver the classroom of the future. As one of the country’s most esteemed colleges, the Wharton School is using Cisco’s collaboration technologies, including Cisco TelePresence, to bridge the classrooms across the United States. In the future, they hope to extend these benefits to Wharton’s classrooms around the globe, including Asia, Europe and South America.

Most of Wharton’s star-studded professors are based in Pennsylvania and frequently travel to the San Francisco satellite campus that caters to Silicon Valley executives aiming for an MBA.  Read More »

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