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Connecting… The Isolated

I’ll never forget my first day as a brand new high school teacher.   As a young college graduate (with absolutely no experience teaching and a one-hour course on classroom management), I stood stiffly in front of the room on that hot end-of-summer day, afraid to crack a smile.  Thankfully, a more seasoned teacher had taken me to lunch the day before school started, so I at least had a pretty good idea of how to set up my grade book, allocate points to assignments, and fashion a seating chart.

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Flipped Learning – Transforming Education

To say the way students learn today has dramatically changed since I was in school would be an understatement. Not too long ago, technology played a limited role in education. Computers were not an active part of any discussion; it was a lab we went to for an hour a day.  Now students are fortunate to have access to a variety of technologies that enrich teaching methods such as interactive smart boards, laptops and tablets, video technology and more. This has transformed  the way educators engage with their classes and how students learn.

I think video collaboration technology specifically has had a profound impact on education. Today, teachers and school officials alike are utilizing video collaboration for many diverse uses such as advanced instruction, distance learning, virtual field trips and global student collaboration. Most recently, flipped learning has been receiving a considerable amount of attention and buzz for the powerful benefits it offers students and educators. Read More »

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UC and Video – Phones of the Future

What will phones in the future look like?  If our experience at Cisco is any guide, there will be more and more phones, and they will look like almost anything. They will all have two things in common:  they will all bring people together – and they will do it with voice and video.  Always video.

The video may be on a small screen that fits in your pocket, or expands to your pad or laptop, a bigger screen that fits on the desk, or screens that cover the wall bringing people, lifesized, to your meetings from around the world.

At Cisco, we’re using all of these “phones” (although only one or two looks at all like a phone), and they all work together to bring people together, face to face.  Some share more than voice and video, adding presence information and contacts and instant click to call or click to chat or click to share desktops

Here’s Rich Gore from Cisco IT, to give a quick look at these different “phones” in use at Cisco today.

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Mobile Video Collaboration

In today’s world, we are always on the go and want to communicate and collaborate wherever and however we choose to live, work, and play.

We are seeing this mobility trend emerging with more of our customers, as they realize they need their employees to be able to effectively work across their different devices while on the road or in different office locations.  And just being able to connect isn’t enough.  There must be really good quality not only in audio, but also increasingly with video and application sharing.

The latest version of Cisco TelePresence Server (v3.1) has been developed with these customer needs in mind.  Organizations can now better enable their employees to collaborate face to face while on the move, with new video capabilities that improve the user experience from any endpoint:

  • Flexibility with ActiveControl:  Users can be more engaged with a higher level of user control of meeting layouts.
  • Video quality with Cisco ClearPath:  Over highly lossy public networks – even at packet loss rates of 20% – ClearPath delivers a clear video experience.  Watch this video to see the difference ClearPath makes in quality:

Under the same network packet loss conditions, the left screen is the video experience without ClearPath; the right screen is the clear experience with ClearPath.

Are you a mobile worker, or have a mobile workforce?  We’d like to hear from you.  What do you expect and need from video for great collaboration?

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Collaboration Solutions: Choose the Right Ones for Productive, Effective Teleworking

In one of my recent blog posts I discussed the value of video for teleworking.

blog pic teleworker hi res EspenFrom this blog I received a lot of feedback from folks wanting examples of the type of technology to use for teleworking.  Many asked, “How do you know what the right technology is to use to support remote and traveling workers without giving up on a quality experience?”  Cisco supports all aspects of telework and remote scenarios with technology that is flexible, interoperable without comprising quality or providing just a “good enough” video experience. Cisco TelePresence personal solutions and video desk phones consistently offer high definition video on every call.  Companies do not want to compromise quality when deploying technology for remote and teleworkers. Cisco solutions offer both high quality and flexibility to support productive, effective teleworking.

Cisco has just released a new white paper that gives an in-depth explanation of the benefits of teleworking based on business class collaboration solutions. These solutions provide organizations the key building blocks in developing and designing a strong foundation for supporting remote workers worldwide.

The closer you get to an in-person experience in meetings with remote employees and teleworkers the more productive you will be.  Today working from a remote location does not mean that you are removed from what is going on back at the office. Cisco delivers flexible high quality solutions for teleworking that bring people together whether they are across town or across the world.

How are you deploying teleworking capabilities to your workforce?

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