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Tennessee School System Bridges Gaps Between Rural Classrooms

June 28, 2012 at 10:27 am PST

PCSS VITAL program reaches more studentsIt seems school grants have become commonplace as education budgets continue to be cut, and therefore, the fight to win a grant is increasingly becoming more difficult. I recently had an interesting conversation with Stephanie Jones, Manager of the Cisco Grant Services Team, and Hillary Janison, Regional Grant Manager for Cisco about Putnam County School System (PCSS) in Tennessee. PCSS worked with the Cisco team to implement a comprehensive grant initiative to bridge the distance gap between the state’s classrooms.

The wide physical distribution (17 campuses) of students among multiple classrooms throughout the state presented PCSS with a number of challenges, including inability to sustain IT and teaching resources, manage personnel, and provide appropriate opportunities for advanced learners. Additionally, faced with an ever-shrinking pool of personnel and classroom resources, PCSS officials knew they would need to maximize their efficiency. Read More »

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Maine State Library Network Breaks Communication Barriers

June 21, 2012 at 10:20 am PST

With the radically changing technology landscape and evolution of e-readers, tablets and notebooks, the traditional city or county library has been forced to move beyond “checking-out books” to become a center of resource for entire communities. It has truly been exciting to see the transformations taking place.

To meet new resource demands, libraries have been increasingly making efforts to have state-of-the-art technology in place. The Maine State Library Network (MSLN), which works with 269 public libraries throughout Maine, has taken great strides to ensure it is keeping up with the times. Read More »

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Florida Mentoring Program Connects Gator Athletes with Elementary Students

June 5, 2012 at 5:09 pm PST

Throughout its 106-year history, the University of Florida’s (UF) intercollegiate sports teams, commonly referred to as “Florida Gators,” have won 27 national team championships and Gator athletes have won 241 individual national championships.

According to an article in the Gainesville Times, UF is now extending its good fortune to a small group of Oakwood Elementary School students located 375 miles away from the university’s campus. Through video conferencing, the lucky group of students gets to spend around 30 minutes each week with its athlete mentors, including Gray Horn (track and field), Jeff Demps (track and field/football) and Tahnai Annis (soccer).  Read More »

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Connected Justice Translates Into Time and Cost Savings for Florida County

May 4, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

Interpreters are extremely important in the judicial system, and they are increasingly in high demand. Costs for interpreter services continue to rise in courtrooms across the country, but technology is helping cut those costs while improving quality of life for the interpreters themselves.

Orange County is currently using a Cisco Connected Justice solution for Florida’s first high-tech interpreter system. The system instantly connects interpreters to 67 courtrooms through high definition, live, interactive video. From their desks, interpreters have the ability to control camera angles and audio levels in the courtroom, speak directly to any of the parties participating in a hearing and can appear in real-time on a monitor in the courtroom. Read More »

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Texas Schools Build New Learning Models for STEM Subjects

April 27, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

You probably saw the headlines about the devastating tornadoes that swept through the Dallas, Texas metropolitan area a few weeks ago. Our hearts go out to those who suffered damage.

As the Lancaster area of the storm-hit region undergoes its recovery, I recently read that at least its public school students have much to look forward to in the months ahead. Lancaster schools recently announced a plan to create a “STEM District”—a union of schools committed to systematically changing teaching practices to promote state-of-the-art education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. It’s an exciting opportunity for the historically economically disadvantaged district to become a national model for teaching these critical topics. Read More »

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