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Educause: Bringing Together Technology and Education to Invest in Our Future

It’s amazing to think about the way a traditional classroom operated only a few years ago.  As Renee Patton recently pointed out in her blog post, there were rules, there were barriers, and they were all kept within the confines of an educational institution.  As technology has advanced, those rules have been challenged, barriers overcome, and an entirely new era of learning has emerged.

The collaborative nature of education, educators and learners has allowed new technologies to thrive and innovation to accelerate.  We’re flipping classrooms, implementing mobile learning programs and developing entirely new ways for students to connect and engage.  And we’re looking with excitement toward a future that will continually change the way we teach and learn. Read More »

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Lynn Wins Big with Cisco Technology – Successfully Hosts Presidential Debate

February 21, 2013 at 8:49 am PST

Lynn University is a 50-year old private, coeducational institution located in Boca Raton, Florida.  So how was this fairly small and quiet school selected to host the final 2012 presidential debate?  It’s booming with technological innovation.

The school has long held the belief that student collaboration and sharing of knowledge is vital to the learning process, but realized with time, they need to increase student support through technology.  To move to a 1-to-1 program entailed giving each student an iPad and overhauling its network environment. In late 2011, as this transformation was underway, Lynn discovered that they would also soon be the youngest school to ever host a presidential debate.

This meant the school had less than a year to undergo a complete technical refresh, so Lynn turned to Cisco for help. University CIO Chris Boniforti summed up his decision to select Cisco by saying “All of our diverse technical requirements, for both the debate and the university, could be done under one umbrella, with one vendor, and that was Cisco.”

This umbrella of technology included Cisco wireless solutions, Cisco Unified Computing System and Cisco security, voice and IP communications. Cisco joined forces with longtime partner Modcomp to deliver a solution the university could use well beyond the presidential debate.  The result:  A successful implementation that resulted in a “technically smooth” debate.

It’s important to note this project didn’t shut down once the debate was over.  Today, the school is committed to providing a mobile platform for its entire faculty and students by the time the newest crop of freshmen arrive in fall later this year.  The addition of the new business school will include lecture capture and resources-sharing tools, including video.  Now embedded in the teaching environment, this benefit would not have been possible without Lynn’s new Cisco network.

I’m personally impressed with the university’s commitment to technology.  They are a great example for other small schools looking for cost-effective innovation. What do you think?  Is your school ready for this kind of transformation?

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Collaborative Learning on Display at Educause 2012

Collaborative learning was on display this week at Educause 2012 in Denver.  As colleges and universities are embracing technology to enable more dynamic teaching and learning, inside and outside of the classroom, it is clear that the “stale, passive lecture model” is transforming to a collaborative model of instruction.

A just published eCampus News special report on collaborative learning details how universities such as Duke, San Jose State University, Case Western, and West Texas A&M are embracing video, flipped learning and social collaboration platforms, like Cisco’s recently announced WebEx Social for Higher Education, to help faculty and students interact  “in much richer ways’.

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Flipped Classroom Transforms Personal Learning

The Flipped Classroom continues to enlist tech-savvy teachers as evangelists, and technologies that support them continue to evolve.   At this year’s ISTE conference, Cisco caught up with Flipped Classroom pioneers, Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams to discuss one of the hottest trends in education.

In the video below, Jonathan and Aaron discuss how the Flipped Classroom model transforms the entire classroom dynamic through conversation rather than dissemination of knowledge. Jonathan suggests one of the greatest benefits of flipping is that overall interaction increases: Teacher to student and student to student. With more than 67 percent of educators reporting that this model has improved student test scores by 67 percent it’s no wonder that this is being rapidly adopted.

Looking for more Flipped Classroom colleagues to connect with or model? Check out the People of Flipped Learning for a list of educators practicing, and blogging about their flipped experience.

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The Flipped Classroom

Just been reading a white paper from Cisco about the Flipped Classroom -- linked here for download FlippedClassroomWhitepaper_D8_V5.

The paper describes how the teaching and learning model used around the world today has it roots in the 18th century.  This is based the premise that lessons are delivered in real time by teachers and lecturers and then students do further study and review the content.  Following is an extract from the paper which sets the scene.

“For the first 19 years of his career in education, Jon Bergman–like most educators–rarely had the time to speak to more than a few students each day in his high school chemistry classes. His teaching model followed the conventions established generations ago: Standing at the front of his classroom, he delivered lectures to students who furiously scribbled notes. He presented homework each evening, which was briefly reviewed the next day in class before beginning a new lab. Students who quickly grasped the concepts Bergman presented did well enough on tests to pass his class; those who struggled or were reticent to ask for help did not.
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