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Minnesota Leads the Way in Rural Schools Innovation

If you caught Secretary Arne Duncan on the Jon Stewart show back on February 16th, the Secretary reiterated an education theme that has been common over the years for the Obama administration. When pressed by Stewart on how the U.S. Department of Education can help drive innovation in our schools, Duncan answered, the real creative breakthroughs “…need to spring from the local district, superintendents & principals themselves … and not the Washington bureaucracy.”

Enter Itasca Schools — in the very rural outstretches of northeast Minnesota. It’s another example, along with Mooresville Schools in North Carolina, of how local schools and school districts are doing exactly that.

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Video Apps for Government

This week is National Telework week. I’m working from home using WebEx video to collaborate with Cisco colleagues around the world. 

My 3-day telework pledge will save me $81.90 in transporation costs and 122 pounds of pollutants for the week. If I continue the 3-day telework routine for a year, I will save $4,095 in transporation costs and 6,120 pounds of pollutants or 3.06 tons for the year.   Imagine how much we could all save if every government worker and citizen was able to use network collaboration and video to work from home. 

Also this week,  the President members of the Pacific Alliance participated in the first Virtual Presidential Summit through TelePresence without the need to travel.  During the 90-minute “Historic Presidential Summit,”  the Presidents of Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica and Panama (by telephone) were able to specify the fundamental points for the signature of the treaty for the “Pacific Alliance.” 

There are many exciting video applications for government including:

Please let me know how you are using video apps in your government agency to cut costs and enhance services for citizens and constituents in your community.

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Manifesto Girls in ICT: Challenge to Other Companies

Since my blog Where Will You Be April 26, 2012? Girls and Women in ICT, posted on January 24 2012, Cisco has been preparing for a very active April 26 2012 Girls in ICT day.  I must assert that many Cisco offices already engage in Girls Day activities throughout the year and that Cisco takes this issue very seriously.

Examples in the past include Job Shadow day hosted by Cisco for example in France:

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Telehealth In Action: Remote Care for Veterans

February 20, 2012 at 5:11 am PST

The victim of a gunshot wound to the back of the head, Joseph “Jay” Briseno Jr. came home from his 2003 tour of duty in Iraq to an entirely different life—one that requires extensive ongoing care.

To make necessary healthcare services more accessible to Jay, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C. (DCVAMC) worked with Cisco TelePresence to tailor a telehealth solution specifically to Jay’s needs. Jay can communicate with his doctors through the telehealth device installed in his family home, 30 miles away from the hospital, and avoid the ambulance ride he would otherwise have to take every time he had an appointment.

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Is Your Network Ready for a Mobile Workforce?

February 17, 2012 at 8:49 am PST

Ready or not, governments, healthcare providers, and schools are going mobile. If your workforce isn’t mobile yet, it soon will be: by 2013, 80 percent of businesses will support a mobile workforce (one that specifically relies on tablet technology), according to Gartner.

As I mentioned before, mobile employees will depend on telepresence and video collaboration tools to optimize their work experiences: these technologies do a wonderful job of filling the gap in personal interaction that can occur when an entire office works outside of the actual office.

But telepresence and video are only as good as the networks that support them.

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