Having had a great time at EDUCAUSE 2012 in Denver this year, I wanted to follow-up on an interesting story from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Universities around the country are using technology to drive greater levels of knowledge sharing and improve the effectiveness of education, and our friends at CU Boulder are no excpetion.
If this is the post-PC era, I first encountered computers in the pre-PC era. I remember a field trip to a room of giant kitchen appliances that turned out to be full of information instead of groceries. Despite the lack of snacks, I was enamored with the punch cards they gave us as souvenirs. My dad was amused enough to bring home a whole stack of punch cards from his work — Hewlett-Packard’s Santa Clara manufacturing facility. (Another day he brought home a cat.)
Not long after, I met my first desktop computer when I started learning very basic BASIC programming on a Commodore PET with an external cassette tape drive. Ah, the nostalgia of summer school and CRT displays.
Apple managed to maintain a Macintosh beachhead, but it was definitely a sea of PC.
For the most part, it was much like Henry Ford’s infamous “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.” At most companies it was the same story, you can select any of 14 options, but they’re all PCs. Want a Macintosh? Provide business justification and get VP approval. Today at Cisco, the PC vs. Mac choice comes down to personal preference.
In 1998, Oracle introduced “the concept of hosted applications to the Oracle market, allowing customers to rent access to software hosted on Oracle computers and access those systems via a Web browser.” As eager as Larry Ellison might have been to displace the dreaded Microsoft and PCs with lightweight terminals, the rest of the planet wasn’t quite there yet. Hosted software? Internet storage? Thin clients? Web access? Huh, sounds a lot like cloud.
Fast forward and today we’re in the post-PC era.
Android and Apple iOS have made even quicker, more vigorous operating system inroads than DOS did, thanks in large part to devices and applications.
Smartphones and tablets have outplaced desktop and notebook PCs in global unit shipments since the fourth quarter of 2010, according to Morgan Stanley Research data.
PC manufacturers need to adjust more quickly than most seem to be doing to survive. Says ZDNet’s Jason Perlow, “To put it bluntly, the Post-PC world represents a displacement of computing from the traditional, 30 year-old Intel architecture used on desktop to the Datacenter and the Cloud.” We no longer need the same processing power and storage for the things we do on a daily basis. We have web applications, we have clouds, we have mobile devices.
Today is about mobility, smartphones, tablets, and clouds — ideas impossible to picture on my first field trip to HP. Operating systems, bits, bytes, and cumulus accumulations of data aside, the biggest difference is in how we use our devices of choice today. Emphasis on choice.
“Within ten years, the majority of business professionals will be using extremely inexpensive thin notebooks, tablets and thin clients (sub $500) which will utilize any number of software technologies that run within the browser or will use next-generation Web-based APIs and Web Services … to provide line-of-business application functionality.”--Jason Perlow
Don’t miss our own product managers Jagdish Girimaj and Mark Denny take a deep dive with NSA Show hosts Blake Krone and Samuel Clements into the technology behind enhancing wireless with the Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE) and Wireless Security & Spectrum Intelligence (WSSI) AP3600 module.
Mobile learning is an important trend in education today. The Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD) is at the forefront of this trend with their successful “Digital Conversion” and 1:1 laptop initiative. MGSD embarked on this journey in 2007. Today, MGSD ranks second in the state in overall student achievement even though it is one of the lowest funded districts in North Carolina.
While much of the discussion around mobile learning centers on new devices, MGSD CTO, Dr. Scott Smith, is quick to highlight the importance of a robust network and wireless infrastructure that supports what teachers and students want to do in the classroom. In this video, Dr. Smith also discusses the importance of making strategic investments to “future proof” the network for evolving models of teaching and learning.
Has your child visited with Santa yet? Then you know the excitement of hearing that jolly laugh and the “Ho Ho Ho” that accompanies Santa’s twinkling eyes. But, what about the children who are hospitalized over the holidays and unable to visit with Santa at the local mall?
During December, Santa is using Cisco video collaboration technologies to visit children at 31 children’s hospitals throughout the US. The hospitals use iPads with Jabber, video monitors, and webcams in hospital playrooms to connect children with Santa at his North Pole workshop. Cisco TelePresence mobile carts are wheeled into hospital rooms so that children who are confined to their rooms can share holiday wish lists with Santa and get updates on their favorite reindeer.
Now in its 6th year, the Cisco Santa Connection allows Santa to remotely connect with hospitalized children, many of whom would not otherwise have been able to see Santa. Cisco is proud to be able to touch the lives of these children with the hope and happiness of a personalized visit with Santa using Cisco technologies.