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This year at EG, Everything is Learning — and Learning is Everything.

EG7Once again this year, Cisco is a proud to sponsor the EG 7 Conference in Monterey, California, April 18-20, 2013. The theme this year is Everything is Learning — and Learning is Everything,  and many of the world’s leading inventors, explorers, educators, entertainers, artists and entrepreneurs are coming together to probe these frontiers.  The content is truly inspirational.

Everything is learning… and in higher education, the sea change has become a tsunami: Stanford-born Udacity and Coursera are racing with edX from Harvard and MIT to flood university curricula online.  Will this be the most significant transformation of universities to date?  After all, these thrusts aspire to reach billions of learners — anywhere, anytime.

At EG this year, the founding CEO’s of all these movements are speaking: Sebastian Thrun, Daphne Koller, and Anant Agarwal.  This is a revolution in the way higher education is purveyed.  How it affects learners around the world — the billions who may someday benefit — remains to be seen.

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Now Available On-Demand, The Cisco Virtual Forum for Education Leaders

March 25, 2013 at 8:22 am PST

Edu-Virtual-Forum 540x420 Cisco Now v3The Cisco Virtual Forum for Education Leaders, 2013 opened on March 19th to rave reviews by attendees from schools, colleges and universities from around the world. Here’s a sample of their feedback:

  • “Thanks to all the Cisco folks who put this together. It was informative, exciting and motivational!!!”
  • “Thank you so much for providing this virtual forum. What a GREAT way to share ideas and resources!”
  • “It was a pleasure speaking with everyone and hearing the marvelous presenters! Thank you Cisco!!!”
  • “Very informative. Good presenters. Fun and engaging.”
  • “I think you covered all the topics on technology and learning well.”
  • “I loved the “classroom of the future” presentation, is it available to share with other educators in my district?”

If you missed the opening day of the Virtual Forum, you’re in luck. All the sessions and content are now available on-demand. Registration is free!

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Online Learning and MOOCs – passing fads or major game changers?

It is twenty years since Harvard moved into online learning, quickly followed by Rice, MIT – and the Open University. So it is worth asking what is new about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)? I think two things are new: First, the scale of the disruption: free learning, for hundreds of thousands of individuals, most of them outside the formal university system. Coursera claims to have 2.4 million students registered to their 200 online courses; these are pretty impressive numbers achieved in a relatively short period of time. Second, the nature of the learning experience: increasingly collaborative, and even peer-led.

But as a driver of real transformation, the impact of MOOCS has been limited, absent a viable business model. And specifically, absent a way in which providers can offer some level of teaching experience, that’s valuable and therefore chargeable to the learner. However, two initiatives we’re familiar with at Cisco suggest this sort of model is now starting to emerge.

The first initiative is the University Of The People. A global university, with 1500 students, remarkably from 135 countries. This is online peer-learning – chat-room technology – providing qualifications in business and technology at just $50 a course. A very affordable model offering mentoring of substantial value from volunteer faculty around the world.

The second initiative is the latest move by Udacity. Udacity as we know has 750000 students in all, 150000 registered to one course, Artificial Intelligence, alone. But as Sebastian Thrun recognizes, Udacity has been looking for a business model until the announcement last month of San Jose State Plus.

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