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My experience at the Grace Hopper Celebration 2012


My first encounter with Anita Borg Institute (ABI) was hearing Telle Whitney, the CEO of ABI; speak about the need to empower women in technology at the Cisco Women in Technology Forum (WITF). I was impressed by her talk and the years of research and work in this important area. When I was invited to attend the ‘Women of Vision’ Awards by ABI, I was thrilled to reap dual benefits of getting inspired and charged by the award recipients and their stories and at the same time doing my bit of being a role model for graduate students eager to join Cisco. Attending the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC), this year held in Baltimore, MD, seemed like a natural course of action for me.

The theme for GHC this year was “Are we there yet?” a question that everyone should ask themselves whether for personal goals or a larger cause.. GHC did a wonderful job to address this theme and spread it across many seminars and talks. There were multiple sessions aligning different tracks like Industry, Security, Academia, Early Career and Social Collaboration, happening at the same time, so the GHC app on my smartphone came in very handy to pick out the sessions of my interest. The app also provided details on schedule, location and bios of the speakers.

Here are my key takeaways:

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Technology & Law Enforcement: Insights from IACP 2012

When police chiefs from around the world and other international community policing leaders come together with technology, you get innovative solutions that make the world a safer place. The Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference and Law Enforcement Education and Technology Exposition (IACP) does just that. It showcases technology and brings together global leadership in community policing and public safety to share information and experiences and to work together to find innovative solutions to issues facing law enforcement of today.

In attending numerous educational sessions lead by today’s leadership within community policing and public safety, we’re seeing some common themes emerging with respect to challenges. Some key insights have been as follows: Read More »

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Technology and the Future of Neighbourhood Policing

As delegates gather for IACP 2012, policing in democratic societies faces the twin challenges of increasing demand and diminishing resources. The period from the mid-1990s has seen the widespread adoption in Europe, North America, Australia and elsewhere of neighbourhood or community policing models. Governments and police forces have responded to popular demand for policing to be responsive to local demand to address crime and antisocial behavior, and to do so in a way which reassures the public that issues of public safety are being actively addressed. It has been an agenda which is rooted in an understanding of and responsiveness to the priorities of local communities.

Public sector budgets almost everywhere are under pressure, and so is neighbourhood policing. Prevention and reassurance are at risk of becoming the focus for cuts, whatever the longer term impact on reassurance and public safety.

So if there is to be a successful future for community policing, it needs to be on a sustainable and innovative basis. This is not just a question of technology, but technology can play its part. There are three areas in which this is the case: Read More »

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Classrooms Go Mobile to Enrich Student Learning

October 1, 2012 at 9:40 am PST

School is back in session, and from all the parents I’ve talked to, there’s been a new addition to the old school essentials list -- notebook, lunch and now,  a smartphone. We’ve reached a time where mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are entering classrooms at an accelerated rate. In fact, recent numbers in Canada showed that the back to school season is starting to rival the holiday season for buying cellphones.

In 2011, we asked nearly 3,000 college students and young professionals how fundamental they feel the Internet is. An astounding one in three respondents equated the Web’s importance with air, water, food and shelter. It’s safe to assume the younger set feels the same:  Research conducted by Project Tomorrow found that from 2009 to 2010 smartphone use for middle and high school students jumped 42 percent, so younger student are obviously adapting early expectations of anywhere, anytime online access.

If schoolchildren are using mobile devices on their own time to connect with parents and friends, it makes sense for schools to be working these devices into the learning mix, too. In fact, according to The Journal’s Mary McCaffrey, schools must go mobile to better personalize their students’ learning experiences.

Here are three ways mobile collaboration contributes to the learning environment: Read More »

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Community policing at its best: And the award goes to….

It’s award season, and no I am not talking about the Hollywood elite, I’m talking about something much more important, an award where there is no red carpet or pre-show, no one cares what you’re wearing. This award recognizes the true heroes in our society, heroes who, most of the time, are unrecognized and unappreciated. I am speaking of our law enforcement officials and this year’s IACP/Cisco Community Policing awards.

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