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Disability and Technical Expertise from Cisco interns

“When I first got here, the [intern] orientation was talking about all business stuff…supply chain..and I’m a computer science major, and I was thinking, uh-oh, I’m in the wrong place.” Kelley Duran said as we settled down to talk about her internship here at Cisco.  Her classmate Samuel Sandoval had the same reaction: Honestly, I thought I was in [the] wrong group since I’m in IT [information technology]”

Internships are a great way for students to make the connection between their studies and the business world.  Combining education with practical application through internships means an easier transition into the workforce after college.  Even better is when education and personal expertise are both channeled into the right internship.

Kelley and Samuel are studying Computer Science and Information Technology respectively at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. I sat down with Kelley, Samuel and their Cisco mentor Shraddha Chaplot to get their thoughts on how to create a successful internship program for college students with hearing disabilities.


Samuel Sandoval, Shraddha Chaplot and Kelley Duran spell Cisco in American Sign Language at Cisco Headquarters

Internship Projects

Samuel and Kelley interned for 11 weeks in Cisco’s Software Engineering Accessibility team.  The Cisco Accessibility team is focused on ensuring Cisco products are accessible and usable by people with disabilities, whether by design or through compatible use with assistive technology.

Samuel worked as a lead developer for real time text chat on the Read More »

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Challenging Students to Reach Out with Telepresence


Ever hear about an interesting location, historical site or tourist attraction and thought “wow, I only live five miles from there, I should check it out”? Well, it just happens that there are numerous groups of students who are engaging with the uniqueness of their communities and sharing their knowledge with the world.

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Medianet at CA World ’11 in Las Vegas

Cisco was a platinum sponsor at CA World 2011 that occurred Nov13-16, 2011. The medianet team had a booth and  a session presented by Ulrica de Fort-Menares –  TM100SN Enhancing Video and Application Experiences with Cisco Medianet. Thank you all who stopped by our booth and watched Ulrica’s session.  It was great to speak with all the visitors that came by the booth or attended the session.

At the booth we demo’d the recently released Cisco Prime Collaboration Manager 1.1 , our comprehensive application management tool that has live awareness of active telepresence sessions that allows operators to use medianet capabilities like performance monitor and mediatrace in the network to monitor service levels for these calls. Operators are alerted to issues detected by the endpoints and they can drill into the session to find the path and quickly determine what nodes in the network are contributing to loss or jitter. The tool also makes use of the IPSLA Video Operations feature that enables validation of a network path with more simulated video traffic. Yes this can be done to an extent with IPSLA, this new enhancement allows for more realistic traffic than previously available.

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VA Rolls Out Tablets, Enables Telepresence On-the-Go

To ensure its facilities stay on the cutting edge of healthcare and technology, the federal government plans to purchase 100,000 tablet computing devices for its Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, according to Nextgov.

It’s a move that makes a lot of sense, as Fierce Mobile Healthcare notes in a recent story. Tablets represent the most current technology available, and their presence in a hospital lures medical students to fight for positions, as they perceive the technology as top-of-the-line, according to the article. The devices save hospitals money by preserving funds that would otherwise go towards more expensive PCs or laptops, and they save physicians time by streamlining documentation and administrative procedures, the article said.

There’s one more crucial thing a tablet brings with it to the hospital: telepresence. With telepresence at their fingertips, doctors can remotely follow-up on their patients, yet still see their patients “in person.” They can provide care to chronically ill patients living far from the hospital, review x-rays clearly and precisely, and access continuing education resources.

We’ve had the fortune of seeing the tablet in action at a healthcare facility. Palomar Pomerado Health in Southern California uses Cisco’s Cius tablet to enable physicians to access full patient histories anytime, anywhere. This access speeds the reporting of test results and the delivery of prescriptions and medications. Doctors also use the Cius to support Cisco TelePresence.

While there are security and other mobile device management issues to consider, both Apple- and Android- based applications are beginning to take these barriers into account and fine-tune security on their devices, according to Nextgov. The Cius, for example, built from the ground up with security in mind, has security functions in place at all levels, from the hardware to the network access and from enterprise access to mobile security.

With anytime access to telepresence, patient records, administrative tools, and more, the VA stands to greatly enhance its patient care as it evolves its technology to the tablet. Knowing confidential information remains secure with tablet technology, could your agency or office benefit from having telepresence and expanded network access on the go?

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Learning in an Online Environment – Drexel University and Learning@Cisco Share Best Practices

According to the American Society for Training & Development, 37 percent of training in 2009 involved electronic technology, up from 15 percent in 2002, while face-to-face instruction fell to 59 percent. As the paradigm of education continues to evolve to meet new institutional and business requirements, developing instructional strategies for new virtual education environments is becoming key to improving student results.

Watch below as David E. Fenske, Dean, iSchool at Drexel – College of Information Science and Technology and I discuss Talent Development in a Virtual World – TelePresence, Trust & Learning.

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