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Bridging the Participation Gap – Networks, Learning, and “Play”

As much as the industry talks about social business and the need for organizations to become more “people-centric”, our conversations too often focus on the merits of social applications and platforms. While technology plays a critical role in enabling new ways of working, those new practices should also be complimented by management and community-building strategies that encourage employee participation. Fostering a more participatory culture and work experience that motivates people to contribute beyond the minimum required of the job requires leadership teams to re-think the ways we engage and recognize employees.

At the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, I moderated the “Organization Next” workshop that explored different tactics strategists can employ to close the participation gap that occurs when employees disengage from their jobs. Instructors and panelists explored a variety of topics, touching on issues related to motivation, behavior, culture, and the role of technology. The centerpiece of the discussion revolved around the pro’s and con’s of potential solutions such as “gamification”, social networking, and “in-flow of work” learning. Attendees left the workshop with recommendations on how/where to get started, common pitfalls to expect/avoid, and best practices to consider (based on the real-world experiences of instructors and guest panelists). Highlights from two sessions conducted by our instructors included:

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Three Ways a Free WebEx Basic Account Can Help Kids Learn

July 11, 2012 at 9:35 am PST

The new WebEx Meetings is here and with it comes a free basic account that anyone can get and use. We invite educators to get their own account and start using it in the classroom. Here are three ideas to get things started -- and we have more here. We’d also love to hear your ideas. Please comment on this blog!

Interview an Expert

Use WebEx to bring an “expert” into your classroom. Distance or location is no longer a barrier. Use the video conference capabilities of WebEx to take your students into studios, laboratories or even into the field! All the other person needs is an Internet connection and a webcam to broadcast from wherever they are. They could even engage with you via their iPad or iPhone or Android. Anyone can get the mobile application at no cost.

Classroom Connect

Share your classroom with another classroom! You can aim your webcam at your students and have your partner aim the camera at his or her classroom and away you go. This is a great way to demonstrate to the students that they are similar and different from students in another location. You can also use desktop sharing Read More »

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The Challenges Facing the Class of 2012 Mean a Lifetime of Learning

June 12, 2012 at 10:24 am PST

In the Fiscal Times News, the headline reads, Class of 2012, Don’t Even Think of Retiring at 60. The story congratulates this year’s college graduates and then gently lets them know that they will be working much longer than their parents. In fact, they might not ever stop.

That’s because our economy is changing.

Author Michael Hodin argues there’s no way for us to stay competitive if one third of our population is retired. This is a really interesting point. That affects tax revenue, social security and, more importantly, our greatest asset, our collective intelligence. His conclusion might surprise you:

So your challenge is this, Class of 2012: How can you help create a world where “seniors” contribute at the highest levels to social and economic life? How can you help recreate our 20th century institutions so that older generations remain vital, relevant, and productive? And how can you create new institutions for your children in the 21st century?

This is a great challenge.

At Cisco we have a bias for learning. Not only is it highly valued to keep our employees as current and developed as possible, but it’s also one of our core values around product development. We delight in looking for ways to bring information to remote learners -- regardless of age, location or ability.

WebEx helps people of all ages learn regardless of where they live or work.

Universities, like the California Baptist University in Southern California, use Cisco Webex systems to develop synchronous online learning. You no longer have to live near the source to participate in their program [watch video].

If you are done with school but want to continue to hone your skills -- or learn something new -- you can find a plethora of free online webinars and seminars delivered by our customers. We also offer online education via WebEx Channels where you can find content on management, leadership and much more.

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The Huge Impact of Technology on Education

Have you noticed what’s happening in your child’s school? Technology. There’s rarely a lesson taught, be it math or science or health, that doesn’t include some form of technology.

Education has changed to enhance its message, increase its reach, and improve its communication. If you haven’t been in the classroom lately, drop by this week when you pick up your wonderful student.

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Using Netbooks and Tablets to Encourage Learning: A Case Study

May 16, 2012 at 10:07 am PST

Today’s students are wired -- which is now an old school way of saying connected!

In fact today they are wireless! They have grown up with technology. They have integrated it into their lives. They socialize through technology. Technology, supported by robust and secure networks, gives them instant access to information at home and on the go.

But, what about their classroom experience?

Some forward thinking educators have realized that technology is a key ingredient in driving student engagement and learning outcomes. These educators are embracing new learning programs that feature netbooks or a tablet. In the hands of students, these Internet-based devices can help to increase collaboration and engagement, creating a technology-rich learning environment that feel familiar to students.

Watch this recorded webinar to learn about Lake Tahoe USD’s netbook program.

This is the story of Lake Tahoe Unified School District‘s launch of a netbook program. Read More »

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