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Scaling Education Innovation, the Mooresville Summer Connection 2012

Innovation is alive and well in education. You don’t have to look far to find teachers using technology to personalize teaching and learning in their classrooms. There are also many outstanding examples of schools of distinction that have integrated technology into curriculum and instruction. However, there are precious few examples of school districts that are systemically employing technology as a foundational strategy to improve student achievement. That’s why the Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD) stands out as a shining example of 21st century education and why their recently concluded Summer Connection 2012 institute is so important.

A vision of “every child, every day”, digital resources and a culture of caring are keys to the success of the Mooresville Digital Conversion. However, reform does not happen without leadership. Mooresville is fortunate to be led by one of the most innovative educators in American education today. Listen as Dr. Mark Edwards, Superintendent of the MGSD describes the impetus and impact of Mooresville Digital Conversion.

MGSD ranks 100 out of 115 North Carolina school districts in funding yet ranks 2nd in student achievement and its graduation rate is also the 2nd highest in the state. Can these results be replicated in other districts? Is there a way to scale the Mooresville model? That’s where Summer Connection comes in.

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Innovations that give your network a boost.

As technology consumers, we take almost every aspect of wireless connectivity, network technology innovation and performance for granted. As technology workers, we tend to think about standards more than most people. But even so, do you really think about standards much when you use one of your many wireless devices? When you bought your tablet, did you wonder whether it supported 802.11n or 802.11a/g? Did you think it would matter when you started using it? And when a new standard gets introduced, do you jump online or race to the tech shop to swap out all of your devices so they support that new standard. I’ve never seen an ad for a device that uses standards compliance as a feature or benefit, just as no one has ever said to me, “Hey, check out my new smart phone! It’s 802.11n compliant, man! It’s so cool!” My point: we generally choose our devices based on features and price, rather than on standards compliance. (Well, there are many who are paid to test new devices for standards compliance, so my opinion will not be without some controversy to someone.)

The reality we face, however, is that wireless networks need to account for and support multiple standards, just as they must support multiple device types. The challenge for IT managers is to ensure that they are providing the best experience for users wherever they are on the network, efficiently, so that a user with an older device has the same experience as a user with a newer device. Cisco ClientLink 2.0 Technology does just that.

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Summary: John Lewis Changes the Face of Shop Operations by Using Video

When John Lewis (JL), a leading U.K. retailer, faced challenges with running its new, geographically distributed at home shops, Cisco IBSG knew that the problems could be solved through the innovative use of video technology.

Working with John Lewis CIO Paul Coby, Cisco IBSG and JL picked two critical concepts to pilot for the core retail use cases:

  1.  High-definition, real-time video conferencing based in each store for communicating among the at home shops, and between the shops and head office
  2. A video portal for sharing and viewing videos on demand (via each shop’s PCs)

The pilot’s results proved the value and the business case for video in shops, including estimated annual savings of 28,000 man-hours across the eight shops, and estimated annual travel savings of 20 percent to date.

Read the full article John Lewis Changes the Face of Shop Operations by Using Video

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John Lewis Changes the Face of Shop Operations by Using Video

When John Lewis, a leading U.K. retailer, faced challenges with running its new, geographically distributed at home shops, Cisco IBSG knew that the problems could be solved through the innovative use of video technology. Within the retail industry, video collaboration has historically been regarded as a head-office capability, with the notion that video and mobile technology at the shop level were both too expensive to implement and too complex to use. This was an opportunity to prove otherwise and create a retail industry first.

 Maggie Porteous, head of at home for John Lewis, was challenged with helping the new teams get to know the new shop format and with bringing them together to share learnings and improve operations. And while she wanted the dispersed shop teams to be able to work together, frequent travel was time-consuming, costly, and, most important, meant time away from serving customers. 

 Working with John Lewis CIO Paul Coby, we chose two critical concepts to pilot for the core retail use cases:

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What can the Public Sector Learn from the Best Corporate Innovation Strategies? – Part 2

In my previous post, I described the “culture of innovation,” for which Bay Area companies have become renowned. And we looked, briefly, at what it could mean for the public sector.

It may come as something of a surprise that Bay Area companies are no more likely to follow a Technology Drivers innovation model than companies located elsewhere. Like many top innovators, companies in the Bay Area have not only found success in creating ground-breaking technologies, but they are almost twice as likely as other companies to have developed the capabilities needed to provide a superior understanding of the stated and unstated needs of their end customers. It isn’t just about how many transistors you can fit on a chip.  It’s about how such advances can lead to products and services that gain traction in the marketplace through superior insight into, and understanding of, customers’ needs. Read More »

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