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Congratulations to This Year’s Computerworld Honors Gold Medal Laureates

May 22, 2012 at 9:36 am PST

Each year the Computerworld Honors Program recognizes individuals and organizations that create and use information technology to promote and advance public welfare, contribute to the greater good of society and change the world for the better.

We are proud to say that four Cisco nominees from public sector, including one school district and one university, were selected as Gold Medal Laureates because of their innovative uses of collaboration technology. Brief descriptions of all four are listed below. Read More »

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Virtual Fieldtrips: Connecting students to culture, geography and the world

April 23, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

Ah, the fieldtrip! Brings back memories, doesn’t it? Well, actually, the memory I always recall is not entirely a happy one. Sure the zoo was fun, but what I remember most was the bus breaking down, the monkey hitting my friend in the eye with a butterscotch candy and a dark-haired boy promptly throwing up when we walked into the hippo area. It was still fun, though, to get out of school for the day and explore what we were learning hands on. An opportunity for real-life engagement in the learning process. Unfortunately, with budget struggles, time constraints and often just a school’s rural location, fieldtrips are few and far between for many schools.

More and more schools, however, as I’ve written before, are finding ways to take virtual fieldtrips (or VFTs) allowing students to participate in the same live, interactive experience without bus rides, transportation costs and loss of instructional time. Read More »

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Ivy League Colleges Reinvent Lectures

April 16, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

Classes just got a little more interesting at Harvard Law School, Columbia University and Sciences Po, an elite university in Paris.

A 65-student class dedicated to making students think critically about reimagining society, “Progressive Alternatives:  Institutional Reconstruction Today,” is using telepresence to create a discussion that transcends three campuses located in different parts of the world.

According to an article in The Harvard Crimson, the class is taught by Harvard Law School professor Roberto M. Unger and includes commentary from Columbia University professor Jeffrey D. Sachs and Laurence Tubiana, a professor from Sciences Po.

With its telepresence system, the instructors and class are able to interact in realtime. The first hour of the class is a lecture and comment from each professor and the remaining one hour allows times for questions and a lively discussion. Read More »

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Students Visit Great Barrier Reef via Telepresence

April 12, 2012 at 8:57 am PST

A great discussion here following a virtual fieldtrip (VFT) to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia by a 5th grade class at Augusta Elementary School in Greenville, South Carolina,  .

Cisco’s Dr. Lance Ford discusses the experience with one of the 5th grade students and her father who also attended the VFT.

Margaret Murphy, the 5th grade teacher who planned the VFT had this to say:

“Extending an opportunity to students to (voluntarily) come to school and immerse themselves in a foreign ecosystem is an amazing new method to reach our children….Not only did our students leave asking and thinking of more questions than they ever knew about the Great Barrier Reef, they were probing their parents to answer questions that the parents have never considered before. I have received more parental and student feedback on this VFT than I have on our three day (face-to-face) field trip to a South Carolina ecosystem.” Read More…

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Video and Telepresence Integral to Supporting a Mobile Workforce

March 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm PST

Whether you work for a government agency, a hospital, or a school (or you attend school as a student) the verdict is in--you needn’t spend all day in your office, classroom, or examination room to productively do your job or complete your assignments.

Consider these examples: In San Antonio, Texas, detectives obtain search warrants via in-vehicle laptop telepresence connections to judges; doctors in a California hospital use tablets to videoconference with their colleagues; and, thanks to a telepresence-equipped mobile robot, Lyndon Baty, a 16-year old with kidney disease who cannot attend regular high school, interacts from home with his teachers and peers and participates in lessons as if he were sitting in the classroom.

Read More »

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