Angeline, 12, works in the computer lab at the Thomas Food Project in Thomas, Haiti. She said she wants to be able to write and research because there are a lot of things she wants to know.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Neelley Hicks of United Methodist Communications. I was looking for people who work at the intersection of technology and education in developing regions. Her energy, compassion and dedication to this work is quite inspiring. As it turns out, the UMC team was in Haiti this week and I wanted to provide a brief update of their trip.
The team arrived on Monday and traveled to Thomas, LeVegue, Mizak and Petit Goave through the week. Their objectives were to assess and report on how new technology is changing lives. This is an anniversary trip where they will check in on last year’s programs, and start new ones. The team posted a great summary of this week’s work on their website.
“These centers give people who are otherwise off-the-grid access to information through the Internet that can help them live more productive and economically viable lives,” said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. “This is a key tool for the church to use for human empowerment.”
For nearly everything that I do in college, I need access to the Internet: classes, studying, meetings, and, discussions. In class, I access lecture documents on Blackboard. In meetings, I review and send emails. Studying, I research topics online and download information from the library. Essentially, I’m connected to the network constantly, and to be successful, I have to have the ability to connect any time, from anywhere, on any one of my several devices.
As most CIO’s and IT professionals would agree, building a scalable and robust network is a thankless and daunting task. It’s even more difficult in colleges and universities, where enabling tens of thousands of students to quickly and safely access the network is a critical imperative. And if the equipment is unreliable, access is compromised. When this happens, the institution faces difficultly in implementing online teaching initiatives, costs can increase and ultimately, there may be a productivity decrease. Additionally, faculty and students can become disgruntled and unmotivated as a result of network complications.
I had the privilege to shadow Kathy Mulvany from Cisco Corporate Affairs through the Connected Women Executive Shadow Program and wanted to share what a fantastic experience that was. I shadowed her marketing strategy sessions as well as her next fiscal year planning meetings. During our time together, I was most intrigued by the stories she shared with me from her recent trip to Africa, where she met a number of individuals who have been impacted by our social investment programs, including students from the Cisco Networking Academy. Read More »
Mobile devices are an absolute necessity for the current generation of students. The 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report found that two-thirds of students (66%) cite a mobile device (laptop, smartphone, tablet) as “the most important technology in their lives.” At the same time, educators at schools, colleges and universities are embracing mobile learning and “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives to provide engaging and collaborative 21st century instruction and learning. These emerging trends are creating new demands on school and university networks to accommodate this unprecedented influx of users, devices and applications.
To help education leaders respond to these challenges and opportunities, Cisco recently announced Beyond BYOD, a next-generation solution which allows schools, colleges and universities to implement multiple device strategies without compromises.
Los Gatos High School, located in Los Gatos, California, recently switched to block scheduling, effectively decreasing the number of school days by 15 a year. For science teacher, Steve Hammack, what began as a way to provide students with the lecture content they would necessarily need to pass his courses in the face of a decreased number of school days, has ended up as a new model for students to learn massive amounts of information for his AP Biology and Physics classes. For a technology fan who spends her days at Cisco Systems focused on educators who are using technology to improve learning outcomes, I was intrigued.
I quickly became aware of Mr. Hammack’s approach when I walked into my teenage son’s bedraggled bedroom and heard a familiar voice emanating from the direction of his PC. It sounded like someone I’d met at back-to-school night. My son, Joe, a senior at Los Gatos, was reclined in his chair, feet up on his bed, notebook on his lap, busily listening to the voice and taking copious notes. As I entered his room, Joe clicked a pause button and asked, “What’s up?” “What’s up with you? What are you doing?” He pointed to his screen and said, “Listening to my biology lecture for Mr. Hammack’s class. We do this every night, then we have a quiz or test every day when we come into class.” Interested, I said, “Tell me more. Do you like it?”