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Scotland and California Governments Embrace Healthcare Technologies

November 3, 2011 at 7:40 am PST

Government support for healthcare (telehealth or telemedicine) technologies continues to gain momentum across the globe. The latest examples in Scotland and California emphasize improved medical care and reduced costs from adoption of technologies such as telepresence, home monitoring and Internet services.

A recent Guardian article highlights a report from the Scottish auditor which urges NHS to consider telehealth when developing or redesigning services. The report sets out a series of questions for NHS boards to ask around improved access, increased capacity, cost avoidance and health benefits. They include: Are any patients unable to access the current service because of geography? Do clinical staff have to do more than a four hour round trip to deliver the current service? Could using telehealth potentially reduce hospital admissions? Hopefully NHS takes this recommendation seriously and starts to make some serious headway on the telehealth front. Read More »

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University of South Carolina Business School Pioneers Telepresence Instruction

October 18, 2011 at 7:07 am PST

A few months back I shared some ideas on how telepresence could help raise student satisfaction with higher education programs. It’s exciting, now, to share a success story of telepresence’s invaluable contribution to one business school program that earned rave reviews from participants.

Using Cisco TelePresence, the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business conducted its first custom executive education program. The Moore School connected leaders at textile manufacturer Fiberweb in Frankfurt, Germany, with professors in Columbia, South Carolina, allowing them to work together on marketing and strategy projects … and no one had to step foot on a plane.

Read More »

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Educating Millennial Learners with Technology

October 14, 2011 at 9:56 am PST

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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The New Age of Conference Calls—You’ll Actually Want to Tune In

October 12, 2011 at 6:48 am PST

In her BNET column, “168 Hours,” Laura Vanderkam recently shared “22 Things to Do During That Boring Conference Call.” While I applaud Vanderkam’s suggestions to write love letters and thank-you notes, read poetry, and do other things that arguably make the world a better place, I also agree with her that if people need conference call distractions to pass the time, perhaps they should instead think of ways to make the calls more worthwhile.

So how do you make a conference call productive? Host it over telepresence. The face-to-face connection commands people’s attention—you can’t hide from the person staring at you across the virtual table! With telepresence, participants can read each other’s nuanced body language and engage in lively, natural dialogue without the common audio call hazard of talking over one another. Just by paring down the confusion of faceless communication, telepresence calls can take regular 60-minute conferences down to 45 or 50 minutes. Add up those savings over the course of the week, and you’ve earned back several hours of quality time. Read More »

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Evaluating School Leaders with Telepresence

October 7, 2011 at 6:32 am PST

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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