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Five Lessons from the Front: Using Tech in Education

April 18, 2012 at 10:46 am PST

Here are tips from the experts. They feature advice and case studies of how teachers and districts are using tech in education. All of these WebEx sessions are on-demand, so you can watch them when you have time.

Blend Traditional and Online Learning

Blending traditional classroom instruction with online learning is bridging the achievement gap, as many public schools now offer hybrid classrooms.

Aventa Learning/K12, Inc. in partnership with the Santa Clara County of Education, explain the blended model: how it can build a broader range of engaging and rigorous courses, how to customize an online learning solution and they provide insight into the financial and educational benefits. Watch it.

The Power of Writing

California’s 2007 Teacher of the Year Alan Sitomer talks about sensibly incorporating technology and new literacies.

He explains why Read More »

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Brisbane Girls Grammar School Embraces and Enables Mobile Learning

Have you seen the video of the one year old child trying to use a magazine like an iPad?  It makes for fascinating viewing and an indication that while today’s students consider the internet to be important in their lives, many of tomorrow’s students will not know a world without internet, particularly mobile internet.

Some schools are already tackling this mobile experience.  Brisbane Girls Grammar School is a secondary school in Queensland, Australia with 1000 students.   It has recognised the extent to which mobile devices, communications and technology play an integral role in business and consumer lifestyles and recently implemented a “bring your own device” strategy for students and teachers. It runs a wireless network across its campus that supports two personal devices per person — whether laptop, mobile phone or tablet — as well as school owned devices.  Up to 3,000 devices are supported on the network for educational purposes at one time.

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What Helps You Differentiate from the Competition?

Let’s face it: Providing quantifiable value and cost savings while convincing customers of their return on investment, can often make or break a deal. However, the advent of architecture-based solutions and the increasing need for consultative services are helping drive partners’ success and growth. But in the negotiation phase, how can partners think creatively to help provide analysis and assessments to customers?

As you look for new revenue opportunities, what helps propel you ahead of the pack and helps differentiate you from the competition?

Cisco Gold partner Presidio completed an RFP for Tyler Independent School District in Texas and was competing for the business with another solutions provider. What helped to win Tyler’s trust was the ROI analysis they shared with the district’s superintendent.

Tyler Independent School District has 18,000 students, but only had a 4:1 student to desktop ratio. Additionally, thousands of the district’s PCs were seven, eight, or nine years old – completely incapable of running Windows 7 or new applications. IT was struggling to keep up with management and maintenance issues, as well as security challenges. Additionally, the district wanted to enable a BYOPC (bring your own PC) policy but lacked the equipment, tools, and bandwidth to do so.

So how did Presidio solve the district’s IT problems and save the schools money, too? Read More »

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The Future of Higher Learning: Classrooms Optional

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

Reading David’s post on “TEDTalks” got me thinking about how we conceive of the classroom and what the future holds for higher learning. How important is the traditional college experience in a world where ubiquitous broadband networks let us see and interact with teachers virtually, from anywhere in the world?

In his 1854 essay “The Idea of a University,” John Henry Newman argued why, even in an age when knowledge was widely accessible in books, the college experience was still vital:

“The general principles of any study you may learn by books at home; but the detail, the colour, the tone, the air, the life which makes it live in us, you must catch all these from those in whom it lives already. You must imitate the student in French or German, who is not content with his grammar, but goes to Paris or Dresden: you must take example from the young artist, who aspires to visit the great Masters in Florence and in Rome. …we must come to the teachers of wisdom to learn wisdom.”

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