Do you remember when school used to be a place? Do you recall going to a building, finding a classroom, locating your desk, and sitting in your row for an hour, or maybe seven? You probably had breaks to go out onto the playground in elementary school, the soccer field for PE in high school, or to your job to pay for college tuition.

And how about your teachers? They mostly stayed in one spot, normally in the front of the class, lecturing and maybe facilitating some group work. They wrote on backboards, and then whiteboards, and then interactive whiteboards. The best days were when you got to go on a field trip. We boarded a bus and journeyed to the post office, the aquarium, an old mining town, and other local destinations. We watched movies on film, videotape, or later, DVDs, the quality improving over the years.

Learning used to be confined to a physical place. Now, it’s no longer limited by walls or daylight or location. Learning happens in spaces that transcend these boundaries. These spaces can still have physical elements, but they are no longer defined by a physical footprint and constrained by the limitations of time, space, and matter. These spaces are also virtual spaces that extend the traditional classroom, library, or field trip beyond the campus to reach students anywhere and everywhere. Learning can now take place on any device, in any place, and at any time.

A learning space might be a single classroom, a network of connected classrooms linked across a district, state, or nation, or a virtual classroom accessed across the globe. But a learning space can also be a dorm room, where a student watches a lecture on her mobile device. A car, from which a student joins a class while commuting to the job that helps him pay his way through college. The campus quad, where students connect with one another on the lawn and online to complete a group project. A connected bus that enables K-12 students to do their homework during long rides to and from school.

Cisco is working with schools, colleges, and universities to design spaces that liberate learning from any constraints. We are helping to define how teachers and students can reach one another to learn and collaborate actively, regardless of the time, place, or circumstance.

In the coming months, we will detail the range of learning spaces our customers are building to expand access to education, engage their students, enrich the student experience, and ignite innovation on and off campus. Follow our blog to track our Learning Spaces series and learn more about how Cisco solutions for teaching and learning help students learn without limits.

To learn more about Cisco’s solutions for learning spaces, click here.


Renee Patton

Former Global Director of Education and Healthcare

Global Industry Solutions Group