It has long been known that a combination of both formal and informal learning is an effective way of turning theory (explicit knowledge) into practice (tacit knowledge). This includes working and learning alongside more experienced people, both online and face-to-face.
The nature of learning is changing, and new learning technologies are proliferating. Additionally, there is compelling evidence that suggests many learners can benefit from alternative models and novel spaces for developing their skills and gaining further knowledge. Couple this with the increase in distance and virtual learning offerings—which offer little opportunity for face-to-face contact for both formal learning and networking—and a significant need for additional learner support begins to emerge.
This need is also being driven by our busy lifestyles: learners may not always have time to study at their chosen institution or study center; entrepreneurs and startups may need access to temporary experts and more formal learning opportunities; and learners and workers may need more than just online support from time to time. Sometimes learners want a place to study away from the distractions of home or work, or they may need an informal learning place to engage with peers and mentors.
“Learning hubs” may be the solution. Learning hubs are technology-enabled, flexible, formal and informal learning spaces designed to support learners of all ages. As opposed to study centers or traditional classrooms, learning hubs:
- Are purpose-built to accommodate more than just tutorial instructions and seminars
- Serve as a space for temporary or prearranged meetings and discussions with peers
- Enable students to meet with experts and mentors virtually or to join a class remotely (from one or more hubs) via high-definition video-conferencing or telepresence facilities
Learning hubs can be located in Smart Work Centers, university and school campuses with spare real estate, community centers, and other places. Or, they can be “pop-up” hubs—physical spaces connected through high-end video-conferencing technology to enable city-to-city and multicity events—that meet specific, short-term needs. Dialogue Café is one example of a pop-up hub. Other types of hubs are shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Potential Learning Hub Locations.
Source: Cisco IBSG, 2013
A more detailed perspective from Cisco IBSG on learning hubs—including existing hubs and those in development—is available for download at “Learning Hubs: Where Learning Takes Place in a Digital World.”
Tags: Cisco, collaboration, connected learning, distance learning, IBSG, learning futures, learning hubs, Smart Work Centers, Smart+Connected Communities, TelePresence, Virtual Classroom, Work-Life Innovation
My colleague Norm Jacknis (former CIO of Westchester County, New York) passed along a list of CIO concerns for 2013 that was prepared by Alan Shark of Public Technology Institute, a nonprofit that provides technology guidance to local government. The list for cities and counties included:
1. Big Data (Smart City)
3. GIS as centerpiece for strategic decision making
4. Mobility and broadband deployment
5. Cyber and network security
6. Cloud-based solutions
7. Legacy/modernization, RFP
8. Unified citizen engagement (311, social media)
9. Consumerization of technology (BYOD)
10. Shared services (across all jurisdictions)
What would you add or subtract?
I’d want to expand on a few of these items to include another emerging issue for CIOs and other government leaders: getting cities to embrace cloud and networking tools – while moving their urban economies forward.
Well, there’s good news to report on that overarching concern. There are several opportunities to learn more about how cities can embrace technology for economic growth:
Read More »
Tags: #economic growth, Big Data, CIO, CIO concerns, Cisco, cloud, cloud infrastructure, Cloud Management, economy, government, IBSG, ICT, Information and Communications Technology, network, network infrastructure, Smart City, urban economy
In the midst of tremendous disruption, it is impossible to tell where the global media industry is ultimately heading. But a recent analysis from the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) explores four possible future scenarios for the media industry. While they do not “predict” the future, the scenarios help build our understanding of possible outcomes — and how various industry players could be affected.
The Shape of Things To Come: Four Scenarios
We explored the ways certain industry developments could swing future outcomes. Combining these drivers into logical groupings (consumer behavior, regulatory requirements, technology, and macroeconomic conditions), we were able to define the following four scenarios, as shown in Figure 1. These scenarios are differentiated by consumer demand, industry structure, and content supply:
- Dark Ages — low demand, consolidated industry, and relatively low content supply
- Survival of the Fittest — low demand, fragmented industry, and high content supply
- Golden Age of Content — high demand, consolidated industry, and controlled content supply
- Wonderland — high demand, fragmented industry, and high content supply
Obviously, each of the scenarios will have different winners and losers. The financial impact and the implications for players across the industry value chain will substantially change by scenario. And in each scenario, distributors and infrastructure providers will need to consider different types of investments. Consequently, each type of player will need to adapt its competitive responses to the future scenario taking shape.
Figure 1. Four Future Scenarios Are Based on Various Groupings of Industry Drivers.
Source: Cisco IBSG, 2013
Following are examples of how two future scenarios could play out: Read More »
Tags: broadband, Cisco, cloud, cloud services, content, IBSG, infrastructure, media, media industry, monetization, over-the-top, regulatory requirements, service providers, video
Banks, for the most part, have realized the importance of mobile as a channel. Across the globe, empowered executives are being appointed to head up digital channel programs. Their primary mission: define and implement the mobile banking channel and seamlessly integrate it with the other major digital channels—online banking.
For the most part, they have focused their strategies on ”forklifting” online banking features to mobile without worrying much about mobile payments. However, the new reality of channel migration is a bit more complicated: the merger of virtual and digital channels in this new age of ”omnichannel banking” is bringing digital channels into bank branches, customer homes, and places of business, and transforming the world of payments and commerce.
So, how is the omnichannel reality affecting the world of payments, and why should banks care (aside from the fact that payments-related revenues can account for up to 25 percent of total retail banking revenues)?
Most of us are familiar with mobile apps that allow us, when in a retail store, to scan a product bar code, access online reviews, and potentially buy the product from Amazon.com (or a nearby retailer) at a discounted price. This capability is the new reality (and challenge) of omnichannel in the retail world. Such changes, however, will not end here: imagine receiving offers, digital coupons, credit card loyalty points, and more on your cell phone so that you can seamlessly apply them to your purchases when paying with your mobile device upon checkout (at the physical store or online).
The promise of connecting mobile payments and commerce through new capabilities embedded in the mobile wallet is real, and several mobile-wallet providers have emerged, including a number of non-financial-services players (telcos, tech companies, retailers, and others). Read More »
Tags: Cisco, digital banking, digital channels, e-commerce, IBSG, mobile banking, mobile payments, omnichannel, omnichannel banking, omnichannel branch, online banking, payments, social payments
Today’s world is characterized by what I call the “mobile explosion”—an environment defined by mobile cloud becoming a platform for delivering everything. It is a world of heterogeneous networks, licensed macro small cell networks, and unlicensed small cell networks (Wi-Fi for example), all seamlessly combined. In this world, however, I believe we are facing a mobile paradox: on the one hand, there is a staggering demand for data from our smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices; on the other hand, the telecommunications industry is grappling with business and monetization challenges around profitability, how to build up these networks fast enough, and competition from over-the-top (OTT) operators. But, operators are struggling with building the business case and understanding how to make Wi-Fi pay.
The much quoted Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) predicts that global mobile data traffic will increase 13-fold from 2012 to 2017, reaching 11.2 exabytes per month. In parallel, the use of unlicensed small cell networks (Wi-Fi) for Internet access is exploding as more mobile devices are Wi-Fi-enabled, the number of public hotspots expands, and user acceptance grows. Until recently, most technologists and mobile industry executives viewed Wi-Fi as the “poor cousin” to licensed mobile communications. And they most certainly never saw any role for Wi-Fi in mobile networks or their business. The explosion of mobile data traffic has changed all of that. Most mobile operators now realize that offloading data traffic to Wi-Fi can, and must, play a significant role in helping them avoid clogged networks and unhappy customers.
In the “Business Models and Monetization Video” in Big Thinkers in Small Cells, my colleagues and I discuss revenue opportunities and challenges mobile operators face today with small cells, both licensed and unlicensed. Mobile operators Read More »
Tags: Cisco, cloud, data offload, IBSG, macro small cell networks, mobile, mobile cloud, mobile operators, mobile providers, mobility, Networks, offload, operators, service providers, small cell, small cell networks, small cells, Small Cells Big Thinkers, wi-fi, Wi-Fi business models, Wi-Fi providers