Dennis C. Frezzo, PhD

Learning Scientist and Consulting Engineer

Learning R&D

I joined Cisco in 1998. Today I work on the team that creates learning products and services for the Cisco Networking Academy(NetAcad) and Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility.

I am currently leading a variety of design-based research projects for teaching the Internet of Things and Big Data. I see myself as an evangelist for using the learning sciences to advance Cisco’s vision of changing the way we live, work, play, and especially, learn.

I helped start the NetAcad program in 1996. Over the years I have served as inventor, lead designer, and subject matter expert for Packet Tracer (PT), the simulation, visualization, collaboration and assessment software we developed to help address the digital divide in networking education; I have also worked on most iterations of NetAcad curriculum, assessment, and gaming projects.

My professional interests include: interaction and connected product design for the IoT; IoT and Makerspaces; IoT Bootcamps; IoT Field Engineering; the use of mobile, fog, and cloud technologies in teaching, learning, and assessment; teaching about the IoT via the IoT; and the use of simulations and games in teaching and learning.

I earned my Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawai’i in May 2009; my Master’s Degree in Education and teaching credential from Stanford in 1994; my Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from UC Berkeley in 1988; and my Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Brown University in 1986.

Prior to joining Cisco, I worked as a community college instructor, high school teacher, and fiber optic development engineer. I try to teach at least one course per semester to gain insight into how our powerful portfolio of teaching and learning tools works in real classrooms.


March 9, 2021


Meet the Enchanted Virtual Classroom

3 min read

How can we offer engaging student experiences for the new era of education? Meet the Enchanted Virtual Classroom.

May 13, 2020


Remote Teaching: Tips and Tools to Build Engagement

2 min read

What does it mean to be a remote teacher? Learn how Cisco Networking Academy is empowering educators in distance learning.

May 18, 2017


How Learning Science Fuels Educational Innovation for the Digital Economy

6 min read

As we embark on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it is clear that technology will play a central role in nearly all aspects of our lives. Research by the World Economic Forum estimates that 65% of children entering primary school will find themselves in occupations that today do not exist [1]. Additionally, by 2020, it is estimated […]