This week, Cisco will receive the National Partner in Innovation Award from MIND Research Institute, based in Southern California.
We are honored, but that’s not what is most important.
While many such awards are given annually by nonprofits to recognize their donors, this award actually acknowledges a decade-long partnership between Cisco and MIND to improve student math achievement.
Such a long-term funding relationship is rare; most giving spans at best three to five years. But MIND is rare, too. We have been supporting the organization this long because they have developed one of the best and most effective approaches to helping students learn math that we’ve ever seen, with rigorous and significant student outcome data to prove it.
Our introduction to MIND’s work was at one of their annual meetings, back when they were still serving a relatively small set of schools in their local region. Flying into Orange County, California, I recall remarking to a colleague that there had already been many unsuccessful attempts to technology-enable math learning, and I did not expect to see anything new at the conference.
I was never so happy to be proven wrong.
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Tags: math, mind, proficiency, stem
What if your biggest challenge in learning math was that you could not understand the words that the teacher used to convey math concepts? That the language in the math book was not your first language? Or that your learning disability involved difficulties with words and reading?
Dr. Matthew Peterson, co-founder and COO of MIND Research Institute, knows what that’s like. He is dyslexic. But after completing an undergraduate triple major and a Ph.D. in visual neuroscience, he decided to try to figure out a way to teach math that minimizes the use of words, but maximizes student understanding and achievement.
Dr. Peterson’s stunning innovation is called ST Math, a web-based, self-paced software program that uses language-free animation to help students grasp key math concepts. This resource is offered to students in addition to regular classroom instruction, twice a week.
It turns out that all students, regardless of language or culture of origin, gender, and in some cases even learning disability, do far better at math when they have additional help from solving the ST Math exercises.
As we outlined in an earlier blog post, Cisco’s initial expansion support for ST Math in Silicon Valley and in Arizona has shown strong student performance gains of double to triple growth in math proficiency. Our newly supported 22-school Virginia ST Math pilot sought to replicate these successful outcomes.
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Tags: achievement, Cisco CSR, corporate social responsibility, CSR, math, stem
This week, 2 of Cisco’s current or former education nonprofit partners were recognized by Business Roundtable for their work to prepare U.S. K-12 students for college and the workplace.
- MIND Research Institute. MIND’s Spatial Temporal (ST) Math program is a language-free, web-based software program that uses animation to help students learn key math concepts. Cisco support helped MIND convert ST Math to a web-based platform, enabling it to expand its reach from 55,000 students in 2007 to 500,000 today—a 357 percent increase. Students using the program have, on average, doubled or tripled their growth in math proficiency on standardized tests. Learn more.
- New Teacher Center. This nationally recognized nonprofit partners with states and districts to design and implement comprehensive new teacher induction programs that provide face-to-face and online mentoring with highly skilled educators. Cisco supports the organization’s Teacher Assessment Tool and its online mentoring solution. Learn more.
A student uses the ST Math program. Photo: MIND Research Institute
As a technology company, Cisco views STEM education as a business imperative, and these organizations all recognize the urgent need to encourage students to pursue STEM subjects, said Alex Belous, a program manager for Cisco and the Cisco Foundation who has worked closely with these nonprofits to facilitate Cisco’s support.
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Tags: Cisco CSR, corporate social responsibility, CSR, K-12, math, stem, student achievement
The U.S. National STEM Solutions Conference is just around the corner and the Cisco CSR team will be among the more than 2,000 business, education, and government leaders from around the United States in attendance at the Austin Convention Center from June 17 to 19, in efforts to continue change in STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) education, policy, and workforce development.
Cisco CSR, along with its partner STEMconnector, will use the conference to advocate for more STEM education to better equip the students of today with the education and resources necessary to become the leaders of tomorrow.
During the three-day conference, the Cisco CSR-funded EdTech: Revolution in Education and 100 CEO Leaders in STEM reports will be showcased. EdTech: Revolution in Education is a first-of-its kind effort to create an inventory of education technology resources. The 100 CEO leaders in STEM report features interviews with 100 CEOs, including Cisco CEO John Chambers, which highlight the committed leadership necessary to win the STEM education battle.
On Tuesday, June 18, Cisco’s Senior Director of Corporate Affairs, Harbrinder Kang, will give brief remarks during the release announcement of the EdTech report and later during the 100 CEO Leaders in STEM dinner. On Wednesday, June 19, Cisco Networking Academy Director, Gary Coman will participate on the panel Bridging the Gap: the Pivotal Role of Community Colleges and Career and Technical Education. With 10,000 Networking Academies in 165 countries, Cisco has long been a pioneer in training students around the world to become ICT professionals.
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Tags: education, math, networking academy, science, stem, STEM solutions, technology
Photo courtesy of MIND Research Institute
Encouraging highly successful nonprofits to collaborate with each other on shared goals can often be a challenge. Part of their success hinges on laser-like execution of their own program and on getting results. But occasionally, two programs are so complementary that the combination greatly magnifies what they could ever achieve on their own. Cisco has been a longtime partner and supporter of both City Year, an education-focused nonprofit working in underserved schools, and MIND Research Institute, provider of innovative math learning software. Both held admirably strong track records with their approaches. City Year places young volunteers in schools to assist with multi-subject tutoring, before, during, and after school, in a Whole School, Whole Child approach. City Year staff measure their results by tracking what they call the ABCs: attendance, behavior, and classroom performance in literacy and math.
Photo courtesy of City Year
MIND Research provides ST Math, a set of cloud-based learning games for K-12. These games are non-language based, which has helped students succeed in learning math regardless of their language of origin, gender, and even, in some cases, learning disabilities. Two years ago, it occurred to Cisco’s Community Relations lead, Ricardo Benavides, that combining the programs in the same underserved Alum Rock district schools in the San Jose, California area might lead to even better outcomes. Read More »
Tags: Cisco, city year, CSR, education, math, mind, stem