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School District Uses Flipped Learning to Improve Student Learning

Have you heard about Flipped learning? It is transforming the world of education.

At the Denton Independent School district in Texas we wholeheartedly embrace technology education. Why? Because we understand the correlation between technology and student success. With over 26,000 students to serve, Denton ISD looked to “flipped learning” as a solution that would benefit students at all levels. With flipped learning, student’s take-in content before connecting with the teacher in the classroom. Often times, this takes the form of video based material recorded by the teacher and made available to students from any device or location outside of the classroom. In this way, students spend time with their instructors applying learned knowledge instead of acquiring content.

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Video Collaboration – Better Than Being There? Decide for Yourself, Place Your Vote

Recently Cisco commissioned a study with The Economist Intelligence Unit to survey 862 business leaders on their sentiments about the value of in-person meetings and the impact on more than 30 business processes including initial meetings, project kick-offs and contract renewals. Business leaders were virtually unanimous in agreeing that in-person communication is more effective, powerful and conducive to success; with 75 percent stating it is absolutely critical to the health of their organization. (For those of you who prefer infographics, here is one with the results).

However, our desire for closer, more synchronous communication is being challenged by globalization, distance, and increased pressure to reduce costs or “do more with less.”  Telepresence is the most effective way to bridge the in-person gap, and as OJ Winge mentioned in a recent speech, it is helping to drive innovation and positive social change in all industries and businesses of all sizes.

But an interesting debate remains, while the majority of business leaders agree in-person is the most impactful communication, 60 percent of communications are not real-time. So what gives? Read More »

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Startup America Partners with Cisco WebEx and Kicks Off at SXSW

Cisco WebEx has joined the Startup America partnership — an organization to help accelerate the growth of America’s young companies.

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A Record Year for Digital Music

In 1982, Roland Swenson, a band manager in Austin, splurged $75 of his band’s budget to travel to New York City to attend a music conference.  Knowing that his band wasn’t happy about the expenditure, he hustled to make sure the trip paid off.  On the first day he successfully tracked down a booking agent and secured a $200 gig.

As Swenson told Texas Music Matters, he figured if this model worked in the Big Apple, it would work in Austin, so in 1987, he co-founded the SXSW Music Festival, which in its inaugural year hosted 172 acts and more than 700 attendees.  For Austin bands, Swenson and his co-founders had created the most efficient way to connect with music fans, agents and distributors — ever.  That is, until the arrival of the Internet.

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SXSW 2011 Recap: Chop Shop / Atlantic Records Party

Rhydian Dafydd, on bass and Ritzy Bryan, on guitar - rock out at the Chop Shop Records / Atlantic Records SXSW Party 2011, enabled by Cisco Eos

At SXSW, with hundreds of bands, singer / songwriters, DJ / producers, playing across the city, I was reminded of why record labels are important. You need them for the curation and aggregation of the music. Otherwise, in a sea of music, there are less avenues to find a good group of similar artists you may like.  Last year at the Bandwidth Conference in San Francisco, we heard music industry luminary and Elektra Records founder, Jac Holzman, opine on the importance of labels as curators (watch video here).

I attended many record label showcases at SXSW 2011 that proved this point – including two showcases enabled by Cisco Eos: The Killers Lasers Papers showcase which was hip hop / R&B focused (link to our review), and the primarily indie rock driven Chop Shop Records / Atlantic Records SXSW Party.

If you are reading this post before March 27th and you register at several of the artist sites of the bands who played the Chop Shop / Atlantic showcase including –,,, – you’ll be entered to win a custom designed Flip MinoHD™. The custom artwork on the Flip reflects the talents of Portugal The Man lead singer, John Gourley, who created the painting for the showcase poster.

I had not heard any of the Chop Shop Records bands before the event, and I was pleasantly surprised once the showcase got going. All the bands put on monster performances. I thought to myself again, “great curation at work”. The showcase started off with Kitten The Band, led by vocalist / guitarist Chloe Chaidez. Chloe was thrashing about during the 5 song set with a powerful voice and a confident stage presence. The music reminded me of early years of The Cure.

When Chloe of Kitten got off stage, I got to talk with her briefly about how she uses social media to connect with fans. The Atlantic Records team kindly let me know she’s only 16 years old. You would need to get up close to the stage to even guess Chloe’s age because she performs so confidently, yet sure enough she’s a soft spoken fresh faced teen when not singing. Each of the bands I talked with during the showcase have a specific social media channel that they like to use as their primary means of communication with fans. Chloe of Kitten’s social media platform of choice to talk to fans is Facebook;  I guess like you would expect of a teenage girl.  John Gourley of Portugal The Man emphasized he’s all about Twitter. For the U.K.’s Scars on 45, video blogging is the primary way they communicate to fans. In the clip, they talk about the video they shoot and other methods they use to communicate with fans, including via their Cisco Eos powered web site –

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