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GSA Centers Bring Telepresence to the Federal Government

Back in July, I wrote about the federal government’s General Services Administration’s (GSA) plan to install 15 telepresence centers in federal buildings around the country.  Well, I’m excited to report those sites are up and running!

Outfitted with Cisco TelePresence, the sites allow federal employees to conduct face-to-face, real time meetings with colleagues in faraway locations without incurring any travel expenses. Participants can share electronic documents and presentations, discuss strategy, and look each other in the eye across the virtual table. The GSA sites are open to employees from agencies that register to use the telepresence system.

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Why Video and Why Now?

As Cisco recognizes its five year anniversary in telepresence, Cisco’s Vice President of TelePresence and Emerging Technologies, David Hsieh, reflects on the changes he has seen in the market and how technology has evolved. David also delves into the question “Why video and why now?” Watch David’s interview to hear more about the trends impacting the future of TelePresence and what’s next for Cisco.

Be sure to register for our live webcast on October 25 at 9:00 a.m. PT, where you’ll hear the latest Cisco TelePresence innovations and how we plan to redefine telepresence.

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Educating Millennial Learners with Technology

In the first video blog from his office in Howe, Oklahoma, Cisco education advocate Dr. Lance Ford interviews Mike Harttree, an engineer at Cisco, about the importance of utilizing technology in engaging today’s tech-savvy students. Mike encourages teachers to do anything they can to advance the types of media and devices they use in the classroom and promote communicating visually. I love the story Mike tells about his seven year old son and his friends making stop action videos with Legos – and even making money at it.

Check out the video now!

What other value do you see in utilizing telepresence and other technologies in the learning process?

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Evaluating School Leaders with Telepresence

We read a lot in education news about evaluating teacher performance, and I wrote a few months back about how telepresence could help with assessing and developing classroom leaders.

But what about the top school leaders? Education Week’s Christina Samuels wrote a recent article about the need for re-vamped evaluations of the people who manage the teachers: school principals.

According to Samuels, school districts struggle to design and implement effective principal evaluation systems. Today, most principals have annual reviews with district-level administrators, but these meetings do not serve to adequately assess the principals as instructional leaders, she writes. Samuels notes that Delaware has made some progress to improve evaluation procedures by developing a system that measures principals’ abilities to analyze school data and use it to set goals, as well as coach teachers to improve their practice. Read More »

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Leading by Example on Energy Reduction

Cisco’s TelePresence product is helping organizations around the world reduce their carbon footprints. A perfect example is the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which just held its annual global launch through video conferencing for the first time ever.

Where once executives and speakers would have flown in from far-flung locations around the globe to attend the meeting, people from nine locations on four continents gathered at a virtual conference table to discuss the challenging environmental problems facing our planet. Read More »

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