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Keep Videoconferencing Conversations Confidential

Follow these tips to secure critical company information from prying eyes

Videoconferencing—conducting meetings with anyone, at anytime, from anywhere—seems like a win-win solution. Videoconferencing both saves time and cuts down on travel costs. And it can help employees collaborate more efficiently and stay better connected.

What can go wrong? As it turns out, videoconferencing can open a giant security hole in your business. Like a tap on your CEO’s phone or a bug hidden under your conference table, videoconferencing can allow eavesdroppers access to your company’s confidential conversations.

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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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Challenging Colleges to Cut Costs Through Technology

March 5, 2012 at 9:24 am PST

If you’re a parent, you might want to sit down. Some financial advisors predict a four-year college education that begins in 2015 will cost about $120,000. And that’s for public school. The private price tag runs closer to $230,000.

You can exhale now. Thankfully, the federal government has taken note of the ever-heavier burden families bear to cover college tuition. In his January 24 State of the Union address, President Obama challenged higher education institutions to find innovative ways to cut costs and acknowledged universities that have optimized their technology in an effort to lower student expenses. His praises echoed those delivered by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the November 2011 Financial Student Aid conference. Read More »

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Universities Adjust to Teaching a Different Kind of College Freshman

February 8, 2012 at 5:14 am PST

There’s a different kind of college freshman on university campuses these days. According to EdWeek’s report on The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2011 survey, today’s freshman bears more of the cost of his or her own education than did past first-year college students, and, as a high school senior, today’s freshman paid more attention to his or her studies than those who came before.

So what does this mean for colleges?

For one, today’s students’ higher academic engagement could translate into demand for more innovative, challenging courses. But with the survey showing more students taking out large student loans as their parents’ unemployment rates remain stagnant, universities cannot raise tuition price tags to hire more faculty to develop new classes. President Obama said as much in his January 24 State of the Union address, mandating that schools use tools like “better technology” to improve their course offerings without raising costs. Read More »

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