#TransformationThursday: Community Learning in the Digital Era
Time to Cut the Cord:
Sometimes it’s hard to let go. Whether it is a favorite toy as a child or that beloved outfit that will never go out of style (although it definitely has), it’s a challenge to push beyond the familiar comfort of the status quo.
The times are changing and education needs to change as well. We need innovation. Today’s traditional classroom is in the process of being drastically redefined. Innovative educational technologies might represent a completely new way of teaching, or it can reflect a better way to reach students and learners regardless of time or space. The creative design of new technologies and media that deliver powerful teaching and promote engaged learning are arguably some of the most important advancements of the digital era. Education and continued learning have the unmistakably essential role to play in shaping our future generations.
The development of technology looks to address our changing social demands for how things like teaching and learning mechanisms are contemplated and perpetually evolved. However, it’s easy to forget that technology is just the vector, not the mission. We must first focus on the users, and what educational challenges they’re grappling with each day.
As rapid connectivity takes hold, communities must first and foremost address and solve the issues of bridging the digital inequality gap. For education, that means providing and/or enabling learning tools for those of any age, any socioeconomic background, in any location and at any time.
Let’s then consider both physical and network connectivity. Connected transportation solutions for education are providing the option for a mobile platform to bring critical connectivity to underserved or remote areas, ensuring equitable learning opportunities. Schools are already beginning to experiment with strategically parking buses in particular locations to allow groups of students and parents to access web resources. Howe Public Schools took a different route (pun intended) with live video monitoring on buses to keep students safer, Wi-Fi accessibility in-transit for access to the school network and online courses for ongoing study, and GPS monitoring on the fleet of buses for telematics and location management. In the process, saving time, cutting costs, extending the learning environment, and keeping students and faculty safer.
Next, let’s look at a traditionally structured learning environment. In the middle of Norway’s second largest city, Bergen University College sought to optimize the physical space available to them while improving the productivity and campus experience for both students and faculty. By providing fast reliable Wi-Fi and tools to guide students and visitors around campus, students and teachers have more time together, campus mobility is much less stressful, and the university finds it easier to attract the best educators and students.
Next Up in #TransformationThursday Series:
Stay tuned for next week’s post to discover more information about community safety and security. And be sure to check back each week as we discuss digital transformation in cities, detailing storylines and examples with various social, environmental and economic outcomes.
We’d also love for you to be a part of the conversation by using the hashtag #TransformationThursday and by following @CiscoGovt on Twitter.
And for more information and additional examples, visit our smart cities on Cisco.com.