By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist
A while back, I asked what the future of higher education might look like with the advent of distance learning. Even in just the last couple years, online education in higher-ed has grown enormously. A recent study by the Sloan Consortium reported that more than 6 million U.S. students (nearly a third of all students in college) took at least one online course in 2006, an increase of more than half a million students over the previous year.
It’s not surprising that forward-looking institutions of higher learning have been quick to embrace the potential of online coursework. What I never anticipated (although certainly others did) was how quickly online education would take hold in primary and secondary (K through 12) schools as well.
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Tags: distance learning, education, internet, online course, school, training, transformation
By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist
Broadband wireless technology has no doubt had an impact on enterprise productivity — the ability for companies to provide anytime, anywhere access to both data and colleagues means faster response time and the competitive advantage that brings.
But we sometimes focus more on the corporate impact than the impact it has on personal lives as well — and not just the ability of teenagers to text or celebrities to tweet.
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Tags: broadband, healthcare, internet, minorities, mobile, smartphone, wireless network
Earlier this week, I attended the UN’s Broadband Commission meeting in Ohrid, Macedonia, where we discussed initiatives to reach the Commission’s goals by 2015:
1) All countries have national broadband plans;
2) Broadband is affordable in developing countries so that entry-level broadband services cost less than 5% of average month income;
3) Broadband is adopted by 40% of households in developing countries; and that
4) Broadband penetration reaches 60% of the worldwide population and 50% in developing countries
To support this vision of an ever expanding Internet that people see as essential, Cisco sponsored the 83rd Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meeting last week in Paris. At the IETF, more than 1,400 of the leading Internet engineers and technologists from around the world gathered to further develop the standards which provide the foundation for Internet services such as domain names, email, the Web, and instant messaging.
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Tags: 2015 goals, broadband, ietf, internet, Macedonia, multi-stakeholder community, UN Broadband Commission
On Saturday, March 10, Jasmin Melvin published the story “Web Giants Face Battle Over ‘Do Not Track’, Other Consumer Privacy Legislation.” The U.S. government, and governments around the world, have their eyes set on Google, Apple, and Facebook and their current and future policies in regards to internet privacy laws. SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act, was the legislature’s first major attempt at regulating the Internet, and web giants like Google and Wikipedia responded with a day of blackouts, generating “3.9 million tweets, 2,000 people a second trying to call their elected representatives, and more than 5,000 people a minute signing petitions opposing the legislation.” SOPA may have failed, but you can be sure it won’t be the last attempt at regulation. This week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), plans to issue new recommendations for Internet privacy and data management policy.
You might think, “What’s the big deal, sure I want my privacy protected from Google, Facebook and the like, this is the United States of America.” Well, it’s not quite that simple. I agree, Google and Facebook can’t afford to get this one wrong: they would risk losing massive numbers of users who opt out, or choose new options that don’t track data or new features such as a “do not track” button. But decisions like this have massive consequences that go beyond personal privacy and data management. Read More »
Tags: ad revenue, ads, Altimeter Group, data, facebook, FCC, Google, internet, internet privacy laws, jeremiah owyang, privacy, social media, sopa, stop online piracy act
2012 is the bicentennial of the War of 1812. You may remember just two things about this period from your high school history class. First, in an act of ignominy for the Americans, the British burned down the capital. Second, the war ended with the resounding defeat of the British by the heroic General Andrew Jackson in January 1815, in what was the war’s only set-piece battle between the opposing sides. Jackson eventually rode this victory into the Presidency.
There is only one problem with this battle. It took place after the war was over. The previous month, in Europe, the two sides had agreed to peace. But in those days, communications was so slow that word of the peace didn’t reach New Orleans until February 1815.
Fast forward, approximately forty-eight years later, to the Civil War. In the period between these two wars, in 1831, Morse thought up the idea for the electronic telegraph. The Union Army had mastered its quick deployment, so that in 1863 while sitting in Washington, President Lincoln could read almost real time reports from the battlefields many miles away.
This was a dramatic increase in the speed of communications. Not all that many decades later, telegraph lines and cables would unite the world. Yet this did not fundamentally change the way people worked or lived or governed themselves.
So consider 2011, when the US Navy Seals got Osama Bin Laden. There was a tweet about helicopters within several minutes, but the author didn’t know why the helicopters were nearby. The first tweet with some confirmation came about forty-five minutes before President Obama made his announcement.
Now think back about forty-eight years before to November 22, 1963 and the assassination of President John Kennedy. The news was out quickly all over television and radio and newspapers. Walter Cronkite famously told the viewers of CBS News that the President had died thirty-eight minutes before.
Unlike the 19th century examples, there was no dramatic speed up in the reporting of these two more recent events separated by roughly forty-eight years. While we may have more sources of information in more places now than in 1963, word doesn’t get out all that much faster. You could argue that the Telegraph had a greater impact on communications than the Internet.
Yet many of us have the feeling that our world has been changed by this communications. Why is that?
I think it has to do with the changing nature of the work we do. In the mid-19th century, more than three quarters of Americans made things or grew food. In 2011, less than a quarter do so and the rest of us provide services — and increasingly intangible services, including ideas, knowledge, entertainment and the like which is delivered digitally. Because better digital communications directly speeds up the delivery of these services, we see the impact more. It’s the increasing availability of high quality communications, in conjunction with these significant socio-economic trends, which will continue to change our lives.
Please share with us how you’ve seen the confluence of these two trends? Reply here and visit the Cisco Public Sector Customer Connection Community.
[picture credit for Battle of New Orleans http://www.frenchcreoles.com/battnozz.jpg]
Tags: broadband, gov20, government, history, internet, network, neweconomy, technology