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The Price of Being First

New technology is always exciting. There are always groups within the organization that have seen some product demo at a convention or user group and need that new functionality right now!

But sometimes the infrastructure is not there to support it. Or it’s the first time this type of technology has been introduced into your organization. Both of these pose their own distinct issues and challenges.

Some initial questions we ask ourselves are the following:

•    Does our current infrastructure support the requests?
•    Do we need to procure hardware or do code upgrades?
•    Will this pass a security sniff?
•    Will this support the entire organization or is this a one off that will sporadically be used?
•    Who is the first department willing to pilot this?

EricBlog51

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Four Initiatives to Bridge the Collaboration Adoption Gap

November 2, 2012 at 8:33 am PST

In my previous post, I mentioned that I’d briefly describe four initiatives Cisco promotes to help customers bridge the adoption gap. Most of all, adoption needs to be factored in at all phases of the plan-manage-build collaboration investment lifecycle. The biggest mistake organizations can make is to treat adoption as an afterthought or process that naturally occurs without prompting when a collaboration solution goes live.

Bridging the adoption gap begins with lowering the barriers to customer investment in collaboration-focused IT services by expanding the role of “as-a-Service” collaboration consumption models. Here, cloud computing is the enabling technology, but beyond that, Read More »

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A Student’s Perspective: The Borderless Classroom, Part 2 of 2

I am a member of the millennial generation, and I have been exposed to the education system for nearly 14 years. Recent analysis of Cisco’s International Education Survey prompted me to reflect on my experience as a student. This passage is the second in a two-blog series that portrays my perspective on how and why technology will benefit every facet of teaching and learning.

This blog represents my interpretations on technology’s aid in the evolution of how teachers teach.

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How do we get our teachers and faculty members to adopt technology?

July 2, 2010 at 3:15 pm PST

How do we get our teachers and faculty members to adopt technology?

One of the greatest, and most important challenges education institutions face is adoption of technology by the faculty.  This challenge is common across geographies and at all levels of education.  And it’s a major issue.  If we can’t get the very individuals who deliver education to change the way they think about technology, then we will fail to prepare our students with the 21st century skills required to compete in a global economy.

Over years of talking with education leaders who have shared a number of insights on professional development, and exploring how to use some of our own technologies, I’d like to share some of the best and most impactful ways we can turn the tide:

1.       Show faculty members what’s in it for them.  Help them to understand time savings they will realize when they use new technologies.  Remember how resistant some teachers were (and some still are) to keeping track of grades and taking attendance online?  Remind them of how much time they saved from past technology innovations.

2.       Give faculty members a laptop, web access, and a mobile device.  Tell them they can attend their next staff meeting from home.  All they need to do is login to a website, follow the audio instructions, and they’ll be in attendance.  Or, make the next staff meeting online only.

3.       A recent study that we did with Clarus Research showed that faculty members learn best from one another, and that’s their preferred method of learning.  Give all faculty members FLIP video cameras, and ask them to find a faculty member who has a great reputation and student following.  Ask them to video record one of their classes, make observations about what makes the teacher great, and post the videos and observations on an internal web portal.

4.       Many teachers and professors (and people in general) struggle with using technology and are too embarrassed to admit it.  Identify your top 20 most tech-savvy students, and set up an incentive program to receive an IT certification for helping teachers use technology.  If you have a Networking Academy Program, even better.  Pull students from here.  Let teachers know they are helping students by providing access to their classrooms. Give the students an opportunity to learn more about technology and exposure to teaching by helping teachers use technology in their class curriculum.

5.       Encourage an online community of best practices.  Allocate a portion of your intranet for best practice sharing.  Enable the posting of blogs, videos, and compelling content so that all teachers can access the information.

6.       Use those same FLIP videos and ask students how they learn best.  Make a video montage of students talking about what engages them most in learning, share this at a staff meeting, and post it on the portal.

7.       Have faculty members ask their students to record their world around them with FLIP video cameras and have students share these videos over a laptop and projector when they’re back in class.  They could, for example, record incidents of natural selection, take footage of their favorite building, capture parabolas, or record a dialogue in Spanish.  This is one of the simplest ways to engage students and show faculty members how easy technology can be.

8.       Invite a guest lecturer to your next staff meeting, over video-conference. 

9.       Join a community such as the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC), GETideas.org, or ePals Global Community, to network and collaborate with other educators. These resources are a rich source of great, proven ideas about how to incorporate collaborative technologies and web-based delivery strategies into your curriculum.

Please add your ideas to this blog.  Together, we can highlight the best of the best, and support all faculty members as they identify and implement new ways to use technology to improve efficiency, engage students, and move quickly with the new generation of learners.

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