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Why We Need Diverse Perspectives in IoT – Experience from the University of Wisconsin-Madison IoT Lab

We need to create more effective mechanisms for attracting and engaging a diverse group of students in technology.  In my work as an educator and collaborator with leading companies in a variety of industries, I have noticed a trend: that including women, minorities, and those pursuing non-STEM disciplines in Internet of Things (IoT) technology-related learning is a critical issue that needs to be addressed to yield the greatest benefit from IoT.  I am personally very passionate about this topic.

IoT-800x800-ImgWhen we launched the University of Wisconsin-Madison, our Internet of Things (IoT) Lab in February 2014, one of our primary objectives was to provide students unique interdisciplinary learning and innovation experiences with IoT technologies. The IoT Lab is not associated with any course – the students who are participating in the IoT Lab are doing so because they are intrigued by and excited about IoT technologies and potential applications. This hub also serves as a campus technology sand-box and innovation community where students from diverse disciplines come together and engage in fun, social, collaborative learning and hands-on experimentation.

The IoT Lab has adopted a novel approach for successfully engaging students.  It has fostered participation by dozens of undergraduate and graduate students (a large fraction being women) representing a range of disciplines including not only engineering and computer science, but also other “non-technical” disciplines such as business, human ecology (retailing and consumer sciences), nursing, economics, journalism and mass communications, mathematics, physics, statistics, and philosophy.

There are several key insights that we have gained through our experience in engaging students with IoT.  Here are two: Read More »

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In Education, The Internet of Everything is Really a Thing

When talking about whether or not something is important in modern-day life, my Millennial sons often ask, “Is that really a thing?”  For example, renting a dog on Craigslist, is that a thing?

I’m here to tell you that the Internet of Everything (IoE) is really a thing in Education, and the use cases for IoE are bound only by our imaginations.  Imagine facial-recognition software for online courses that will be able to monitor and determine student engagement and provide that feedback to teachers.

Andrew Barbour in his eCampus News article, “How to prepare for everything,” discusses in great detail how the Internet of Things and the Internet of Everything is helping colleges and universities to decrease costs, increase efficiency, and improve student outcomes.

Barbour explores the importance of creating the right foundation to support the Internet of Everything, which is the integration of people, process, data, and things to make things intelligent.  And, he shows that IoE is already here.  Read the full story here.

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Continuing To Build Success with the Internet2 Community

When I was in college, I didn’t have e-mail.  Cell phones were rare and there was certainly no such thing as a smart phone, tablet, a laptop, or Google.   Sometimes I look back and wonder how I ever survived without those technologies that have now become a necessity in my everyday life.

As we go through our lives using these once cutting edge technologies, we don’t really ever stop to think that many of these amazing technologies got their start in the Academic Research community.    This type of research is happening daily on campuses around the world. I had the privilege to join close to 800 technology research masterminds in Indianapolis for the Internet2 Technology Exchange October 26th through October 30th. The objective of the Technology Exchange was to bring together a wide range of technical visionaries to address the challenges facing the research & education community as it supports data intensive research.  Members of the Internet2 community participated in a range of keynote, breakout and networking sessions over the 4 days. Indiana University was the hosting institution with their CIO, Brad Wheeler, participating in a number of panel discussions.

Our passion towards innovation and partnership with Internet2 put Cisco front and center at the Technology Exchange.  Cisco Software Engineer, Tae Hwang, spearheaded the Cisco booth handling a variety of questions and inquiries while delivering crisp demonstrations of the Cisco Modeling Lab as well as Flexible Traffic Steering through ODL.

In addition to our booth, Cisco participated in 3 speaking engagements during the event. Cisco Engineer, Eddie Ruan was an integral part of an industry panel discussing the trends and directions in the SDN market.  Steven Carter, Cisco Solutions Architect, gave a presentation on ODL Intercloud fabric. Christine Bakan , Cisco Director of Product Management, served on a panel discussing ODL and the impact it will have on research & education. Each of the Cisco sessions was standing-room-only and feedback was very positive from both Tech Exchange attendees as well as the Internet2 staff.

In a fascinating demonstration, Cisco teamed with Rice University to present a flexible traffic steering solution using an ODL controller during the Tech Exchange Community Showcase. William Diegaard from Rice University set up the university’s scenario and requirements as Cisco’s Eddie Ruan demonstrated an ODL solution that solved the specific Rice requirement.

Harper Reed, CTO of the Obama re-election team was the featured keynote speaker for the Technology Exchange. Reed was a popular speaker with his mix of technology insights and irreverent humor. He noted a few key messages that were critical to the success of the 2012 campaign that have broad applicability for Cisco and our customers. Reed noted:

1)        When execution is critical, make sure you build the right platform – scalable, agile, and adaptive.

2)        Big data is only important in its ability to drive big answers

3)        Micro-targeting is a big source of value in analytics of both structured and unstructured data.

Cisco is continuing to build its engagement with the Internet2 community. Plans are already underway to increase our visibility at the 2015 Global Summit which will be held April 26-30 in Washington, DC. Additionally, next year’s Technology Exchange will be held in Cleveland, Ohio with Case Western as the host institution.

We are proud to be an active partner with Internet2 in the university research community and look forward to the positive impact our partnership will make on these institutions. Together the possibilities are endless. We can’t even begin to fathom what the next generations will experience as they go to college and how their research will impact our world. Join me on this exciting journey as the next big thing unfolds into that staple technology we can’t live without.

To learn more about Internet2, check out their upcoming events, and join us at the global summit in April.

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Globe University rolls out innovation over Cisco WLAN

For the past 125 years, Globe University has focused on hands-on training to ensure the career success of students offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, as well as diploma and certificate programs.  A recent article from the magazine Campus Technology showcases how they are pioneers in adopting new technology in the classroom. They have a systematic program dubbed as edUX (Educational User Experience) to integrate tablets into every program they offer. In addition, they work with an e-book platform called VitalSource and use Blackboard technology in the classrooms. Students are also encouraged to use technology. For example, math and science instructors use videos from the Khan Academy, the business school recommends Twitter accounts and the librarian encourages using EasyBib for book citations.

Campus Technology

In the past few years Apple introduced mDNS services such as AppleTV, file servers and printers that use a Zero Config-based technology for service advertisement and discovery called Bonjour. While this technology works well in the home, which is a flat L2 network, when it is deployed in a K-12 or enterprise, it does not lend well over a L3 network. In 2013, Cisco introduced Bonjour Services Directory on the AireOS 7.4 and Service Discovery Gateway (SDG) on the Catalyst 3K, 4K, 6K and 5760 Series controllers with release IOS-XE 3.3. The future releases further optimized the functionality in 7.5 release, 8.0 release and IOS-XE 3.6 release. In this blog, I will share deployment details of unified access at Globe University and how they use Application Visibility and Control (Cisco AVC) to track applications in their network and the Bonjour Services Directory to manage AppleTVs in the classroom.

Read More »

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The Not-So-Silent Revolution: The Internet of Everything in Higher Education

Change has come slowly to higher education.  This is understandable given the relative success that the American university system has had in granting four-year degrees that have helped students garner higher long-term earnings.  Regardless, the traditional university system is facing crushing pressure from increasing student loan debt, rising costs, and expectations of hyper-connected students who want to learn anytime, anywhere from any device.

While the MOOC movement raised eyebrows and started people thinking differently about new delivery models, the sort of cataclysmic change some thought would happen with the advent of MOOCs didn’t.  Most institutions, while including some form of virtual learning in their course line-ups, have remained doggedly tied to the traditional, in-person lecture-hall format for the majority of their classes.  Talk about the need for a major revolution.

We believe that the Internet of Everything (IoE) is the catalyst for a revolution that we necessarily need to see in higher education. In fact, I believe that IoE will take the industry by storm.  Successful universities will quickly learn how the IoE can and is helping to create compelling, Connected Learning Experiences for faculty, staff, and students, and then they will begin leveraging this important trend to transform how they’re educating students now and in the future.

IoE is the networked connection of people, process, data, and things and represents the confluence of multiple technology trends: mobility (ubiquitous, high-speed mobile networks, smart devices, and apps); cloud computing, social networks, instant collaboration with anyone, anywhere; data analytics, and finally, an explosion in connected “things,” via inexpensive, intelligent sensors.  IoE brings these elements together with standards-based IP networks, and Cisco projects that it will generate a staggering $19T in value over the next ten years.  Of this, $258B of the IoE value-at-stake will come from solutions for Connected Learning alone.

The network, which is at the heart of IoE, must be stable, scalable, reliable, and capable of handling the increased rate of traffic from the explosion of mobile devices, the use of video, and the implementation of new applications for communications and collaboration.   It must be safe, secure, wired, and wireless, easy to manage and administer, and it must be designed to meet future growth requirements.

A number of universities have embarked on major change initiatives that take advantage of the IoE shift, and they are yielding concrete results: San Jose State University, Duke University, the 4-Virginia Universities, and others.  These institutions are providing ubiquitous wi-fi, access to a world of experts, immersive learning environments, collaborative workspaces, blended learning environments, and a sharing of courses, content, professors, and credit.  They have acknowledged that change is coming and that new technologies are accelerating change.

We are kicking off Educause today in Orlando, and we will undoubtedly be hearing a lot about IoE this week. Come by and visit the team in our booth at #Edu14, and check out this SlideShare to learn more about how IoE is transforming Higher Education.

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