Enhancing Education with Collaboration Technology
Imagine traveling to dinosaur digs alongside archeologists.
Going on safari with biologists.
Exploring outer space with NASA scientists.
Collaboration technology helps expand access to education. With it, schools have the ability to reach more students. Using video, online instruction can be as effective as traditional face-to-face interaction. Meanwhile, collaborative learning models are transforming the way educators teach and students engage.
Technology extends learning beyond the classroom. In recent studies, students and educators have shared their perspective.
- 69% of teachers in a study from SAM Labs said technology can be used to support any subject
- 85% of instructors interviewed by Campus Technology say tech has a positive effect on teaching
- 56% of college students say learning technologies help them collaborate, according to a survey by Hanover Research
Technology allows every student the opportunity for an equal, even superior, global education. “Through Webex, we can bring more color and life to our lessons,” says Robin Sleeman, Assistant Principal. “That’s very powerful. It gives us enhanced contact with students so we can support their learning in ways that weren’t possible before.”
Teachers have more flexibility in how they help students succeed. They can give extra help at the end of classes to students who need it, or have feedback sessions with video or chat. With this approach, teachers can deliver high-quality education in a more flexible, agile manner.
Collaboration technology in education can help:
- Drive student success: Empower students to succeed with face-to-face interaction, regardless of device or location.
- Personalize learning: Encourage students to learn at their own pace through blended and flipped learning.
- Increase student engagement: Equip students with online tools to access content and collaborate with classmates and teachers.
Cisco collaboration solutions help keep schools at the forefront of education, both technically and academically. What can be accomplished next? Read on for examples of how different schools are using technology to improve education.
Open Access College: Leading distance learning
When chronic illness keeps students from Open Access College (OAC) from attending school, collaboration technology keeps them in class.
Until recently, OAC used audio conferencing to connect with homebound kids, but it was one-way and costly. When the state department asked administrators to cut costs by a third, they found a new solution to provide quality distance education at a fraction of the cost. With Cisco Webex Training, OAC reduced annual phone costs by 96% and enhanced remote education with an interactive online platform.
“Through Webex we can bring more color and life to our lessons,” says Robin Sleeman, assistant principal. “That’s very powerful. It gives us enhanced contact with students, so we can support their learning in ways that weren’t possible before.”
Teachers and students share resources and see each other’s desktops. Students work on projects in virtual breakout groups. Everyone can use digital whiteboards. With access to a virtual classroom, home-based students experience many of the opportunities they would receive in in-person classrooms.
Read how Open Access College students are able to access learning anywhere, any time.
First Nations School of Toronto: Connecting remote students
The Connected North program brings virtual learning to remote students at the First Nations School of Toronto with videoconferencing. The program connects Indigenous Canadian students with virtual education and youth mental health and wellness services, mentors, and other students across Canada.
“We are excited to be the first Indigenous urban school in the Connected North network. It is critical that the education of Indigenous students includes opportunities to explore their cultures, traditions, histories, identities, and Indigenous knowledge,” says Jonathan Kakegamic, principal of the First Nations School of Toronto. “Connected North will give our students the chance to explore, to build ties with other Indigenous students, to deepen their learning, and to expand their knowledge and understanding.
The now operates in 20 schools across Canada, and is expected to reach 105 schools in the next five years. “Joining the Connected North program will open up a wealth of new and exciting educational experiences for our students,” adds Bill Daley, principal of Fort Frances High School. “We’re thrilled to be able to extend the classroom experience and connect our students with peers, guest speakers, community leaders, and educators across the country.”
Read how First Nations expands experiences for students.
Shawnee Mission School District: Transforming education with technology
The Shawnee Mission School District is one of the largest districts in Kansas. Today, its 4,200 teachers and staff serve roughly 28,000 students across 14 communities in the Kansas City area.
Shawnee Mission recently began using Webex Boards in their Center for Academic Excellence for whiteboarding and live video collaboration. “Teachers are also using Webex in classrooms to create real-time, synchronous collaborative learning opportunities on 1:1 devices. On top of whiteboarding and exchanging assignment files, they can chat with individual students who may be facing unique challenges. These important conversations can continue after the school bell rings,” said Drew Lane, Executive Director of Information & Communications Technologies at Shawnee Mission School District.
“Digital learning creates a very dynamic environment, and you never know what’s ahead,” says Drew Lane. “But with Cisco as a partner, we now have confidence that we have access to what we need for a secure and productive future.”
Read how Shawnee students are increasing digital literacy.
Learn more about Cisco Collaboration for Education.