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Innovating the Education Experience with BYOD

When I was a student in elementary school, we had desks, teachers, and blackboards (not even whiteboards!). My interaction with technology in the classroom was limited to an exciting experience playing Oregon Trail, a software game that my teachers leveraged as a hands-on experience for students to see what kinds of challenges pioneers faced going west in the 1800’s.  When I think about how deeply entrenched technology is in education today, I realize my teachers were quite ahead of the curve!

Anyone who has witnessed a child play with a smartphone can attest to the fact that technology comes easily to kids. Educators today are well aware of this situation and have been creating innovative ways to engage the interest in technology with school curriculum. Kids now “know” technology as a part of education starting as early as kindergarten.   Whether it’s a laptop carts, tablets in the classroom, smart boards, or leveraging the internet as a pure teaching tool, the availability of technological resources places no limits on how education can be delivered and innovated.

A Pew Research survey on 2,462 teachers indicates that 73% of their students use mobile devices to complete assignments, 45% use e-readers, and 43% use tablets. Technology in the classroom is not a future trend, it is already here.

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One Network for the BYOD Challenge

January 23, 2013 at 5:01 am PST

In my previous posts, I discussed with you the importance of unified policy and management as you respond to the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend. The Cisco Unified Access solution brings “One Policy. One Management. One Network” to help you with your BYOD initiatives. Today I’ll take a look at the third pillar of Cisco Unified Access, One Network. I’ll explore with you what it means and why it is a critical factor as you take on BYOD.

The workforce is increasingly going mobile. According to research firm Gartner, tablets will be the key accelerator to workforce mobility. A Gartner 2012 report suggested that annual tablet purchase by businesses totaled 13 million units and this number would more than triple to reach 53 million units by 2016. Such rapid mobile growth calls for major wireless network expansion. Market data from Infonetics showed that global wireless LAN equipment sales in the 3rd quarter of 2012 passed the $1-billion mark for the first time.   Read More »

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Network wide Bonjour® – How would you support Bonjour across multiple VLANs?

As the saying goes, “every stick has two ends”. While laptops, smartphones and tablets have enabled us to be more mobile without compromising on being “connected,” with it comes challenges such as WIFI accessibility, power consumption and your ability to find network based services, like a printer wherever you happen to be.

To facilitate the ability for an end user to discover Services on a network, various Service Discovery protocols have been introduced. One of the most popular is DNS-SD (DNS-Service Discovery), which in conjunction with mDNS (multicast DNS) make up Apple’s offering called Bonjour. Bonjour enables end users to discover Services on their local network. While Bonjour is focused on smaller networks (e.g. Home Networks) with the advent of mobile customers wanting to discover services in close proximity, Bonjour becomes an ideal option to facilitate that. However, as Bonjour utilizes mDNS which is constrained to a single VLAN, customers are not able to discover services across multiple VLANs.

There are a few approaches being proposed to support Bonjour across multiple VLANs:

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Webinar Thursday: Sneak Peek on #ConnectedMobile

This Thursday at 10a.m. PST, we have a fabulous webinar where we’ll discuss a new wi-fi solution that can help businesses more effectively engage and better understand their customers.  What’s cool is that this new wi-fi solution will help businesses offer personalized and enhanced mobile experiences for their end users – even based on where they are or how long they’ve been at a particular spot.  A great part of this webcast will be the discussion on how businesses who’ve deployed it are using this new tech.  Click on the image to the right to register. 

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The Network on Wheels – Raising Funds for Paralympic Athletes

October 30, 2012 at 9:37 am PST

“You mean you can Facetime us from your camp site”, my daughter said incredulously. “From the middle of nowhere?” she continued.  “You lot are mad!”  OK she was more annoyed that I was taking our WiFi-only iPad away with me as I took some time out of my day job in Cisco Data Center Services, to participate in 2 stages of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain. Prior to the ride, I blogged about this challenge here, discussing the scale of the event and our target to raise money for Paralympic athletes.   A nine day, 969 mile cycle over some of the most challenging terrain in Britain, the ‘Deloitte Ride Across Britain’ was an immense physical and mental challenge.  From Saturday 8th September until Sunday 16th September (just passed), over 700 riders took part in this epic journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats.  For the second year in a row, Cisco provided key technical support to the riders, so that they were able to focus fully on this enormous and exciting journey.

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