Craig Tranter is a former educator, and now serves as a technology presenter for Cisco. This blog is the fifth in his series on advancements and opportunities in education. All views are his own. 

There are many different ways that we like to communicate and there are trends in communication preferences. For example, the “Silent Generation” tend to prefer meeting in person, letters, email, phone and voicemail, which may not be surprising as IM, social media and handheld devices were not a part of everyday life growing up. However, as more technological developments occur, we can see how these preferences have changed below.

The way we study, work, and communicate has evolved a great deal and it’s important that we develop tools that are fit for purpose. If not, those tools quickly becomes obsolete. The biggest development in this area is with the use of apps. If an app is fit for purpose, then more and more people are going to adopt it. If the app no longer does what you want it to do, you simply download a new app that does. You are no longer tied in to expensive investments into the newest hardware that you can’t afford to upgrade for years. If it doesn’t work, simply download something that does.

The main advantage of apps is that they can be updated with new software on a regular basis, meaning that they can stay current and up to date, without the user needing to worry. For example, do you know what version of WhatsApp you’re using? No? Me neither, but it doesn’t matter, because I know I have the most up to date version with all the best features as I’ve enabled automatic updates on my device. So, no worries.

Now, perhaps there may be some bias here as I use this every day at work, but a fantastic app for work and education is Cisco Spark. This app offers an easy to use, persistent IM chat with file sharing, white boarding, and video calling functionality. It can also be linked up to any Cisco video-endpoint that’s registered to the Spark Cloud so that you can easily swap your call between devices and share content wirelessly with ease. The other great aspect is that various integrations and bots can be developed to suit your needs. These integrations and bots can also communicate with Learning Management Systems (LMS) such as Blackboard and Moodle to integrate with universities’ existing systems. For more on the future of bots, you’ll have to wait until next time.

In the meantime you can download Cisco Spark for free by following this link.

Watch out for the next post about the Future of Bots.


Craig Tranter

Technology Presenter at Cisco