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Technical College System of Georgia Connects Students Across State

November 1, 2012 at 7:12 am PST

Always interested in the unique ways telepresence is being used in education, I recently heard about one of Georgia’s technical colleges with six campus locations using telepresence in a unique way. With video communication, staff advisors and registration personnel work from one main location and use video to connect to students across the state to assist them with the often stressful registration process.

The college is a member of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), which is the agency responsible for Georgia’s technical colleges, adult literacy programs, and many economic and workforce development initiatives. As recently published in an interesting case study, the TCSG works to unify the education system across 25 technical colleges in Georgia, representing 100 campus locations and more than 170,000 students and 11,000 employees. The TCSG team wanted to provide a technology solution to streamline internal communications between administrative staff at each college. Its goal was to migrate campus infrastructure from the older Centrex architecture to a next-generation technology model, which would help enable the efficient provisioning of student and administrative services and increase opportunities for collaboration between campuses and colleges. Read More »

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iPad Mini Launches – How will it and others impact education?

October 26, 2012 at 9:27 am PST

As we look seriously at connected learning, the influx of notebooks and mobile learning applications has been astounding. This week, in fact, Apple took over much of the news with the launch of its iPad Mini. In the previous weeks leading up to this launch, I heard and read discussions around education being a key target audience for this new iPad offering, which renewed my intrigue in the use of handheld devices & mobile learning.

Bloomberg discussed the rise in iPads being used in the classrooms due to its “cool factor” and ability to encourage students to learn by increasing engagement. More than 2,500 classrooms currently utilize iPads as learning tools, and this number is expected to increase with the continued growth of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Superintendent of the McAllen Independent School District in Texas was quoted saying, “We’re moving away from desktops and laptops. Ninety percent of the work is now being done on mobile devices.”

Think about that for a minute -- ninety percent -- wow. With mobile learning amongst Forbes recent list of Five Technologies to Watch, it is obviously only going to increase in momentum. In addition, the potential revolution in digital textbooks is primed to change the entire landscape. The jury is still out on when that revolution will take place, but it’s looking more and more like a reality.

Are you, or do you know, an educator who is formatting educational materials for mobile devices and planning learning activities that leverage multimedia, videoconferencing and other features of smart phones and tablets? Tell us your story! (and what you think of the new iPad mini)

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How Do You Take Control of BYOD and Create a True Unified Workspace?

October 19, 2012 at 8:58 am PST

Want to know how to make sure your network is secure & meets compliance all while enabling a successful BYOD program?

OK, I admit that I’ve always been a techie wannabe, however I never quite made it to true techie level. So when the buzz around BYOD and unified workspace started a couple years ago, I was intrigued, and as it has built momentum and taken hold in so many organizations, I have taken an interest in understanding how it really works. Obviously, security, visibility and control are the big concerns, and to understand how those concerns are met, I found this video on Cisco’s Identity Services Engine (ISE) really helpful:

Read More »

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Your Workspace, Your Culture… Your Way

Last week, the blogosphere was abuzz with fresh insights on business mobility, BYOD, and collaboration.  Cisco worldwide sales leader Chuck Robbins highlighted recent research commissioned by Cisco from the Economist Intelligence Unit.  His blog talked about the risks and rewards that come with a business mobility strategy.  The research showed that business leaders see this new mobile way of working as inevitable, even though it comes with a certain amount of risk for corporate data.

Chuck’s blog also briefly touched on another concept:  culture.  I recently spent some time speaking with customers about their mobility strategy, and culture came up in some of these conversations as well.  When I think about Cisco and other companies I’ve worked with, a big part of corporate culture is  defined by how we (as individuals) work, how we share, how we collaborate, and how “close” we feel to others in the workplace. Have you ever reminisced “when I worked for xyz-company, I really felt like I was part of a family?”  I know I have.

In today’s non-stop global world, preserving culture is more important than ever, but technology and geography can conspire against culture – and so we have to actively work to preserve culture in modern business environments.  One way to promote culture is to create a collaborative and open environment through the use of video collaboration, not just for remote employees, but in every meeting.  While ideally every meeting would be face-to-face, the reality of mobility and BYOD is that we’re not always at our desks.  Video puts us front-and-center.  It forces us to tune in and focus on the conversation at hand.  But it also drags our culture and our surroundings into the meeting.  I saw this first hand speaking to a customer on WebEx this week, when he unexpectedly turned on his iPhone video, and marveled at how he could walk through his home, streaming video while speaking with me on the call.

And there it was!  That simple act of sharing video turned a regular conference call into a vibrant, two-way engagement. If we can make it easy and enjoyable to use video collaboration in the new global, virtual, mobile workspace, we share more than just words – we share culture.  And to do that in a mobile environment, you’re going to want a strategy and a partner that can get you there regardless of the device you are using at the moment, be it a traditional PC in an office or cubicle,  a thin client delivering a virtual desktop, or a smart phone or tablet.

One thing is for certain – freedom to use a wide variety of items is having a profound impact on society and culture.  Putting those devices to use to nourish and extend your corporate culture is an idea that some forward looking IT leaders are already turning into practice.  How has, and how will video and mobility impact your workspace and corporate culture?  The following info-graphic highlights some of the trends that are driving the need for a seamless blend of mobility, video, and collaboration across all your devices.

Click the tall info-graphic above to learn more, and them come back and post a comment!  Tell me how the consumer usage of video and mobility are changing the culture of your company.

 

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Public Sector BYOD Series: Streamline IT for a Mobile-Ready Work Strategy

For this week’s final Public Sector BYOD Thursday post, I wanted to discuss a survey  that illustrated what employees want and need when it comes to IT in the workplace:

  • Control over the work experience—the ability to use technology to personal preference, in ways that improve productivity and enhance job satisfaction.
  • Choice when it comes to devices and the ability to use preferred, personally owned devices to complete work-related tasks.
  • Flexibility to perform personal activities at work and work activities on personal time.
  • Mobility that enables anytime, anywhere connections to colleagues, customers and partners.

Read More »

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