As a father of two small childen, I think a lot about their future.  One of the things on my mind the other day as I dropped them off at school was the need for Education to evolve to support the new learning models of this generation.

Everyday, my kids surprise me by the ways they learn – which are very different from the ways we learned in previous generations. My kids are 5 and 7, and they are wired differently than me.   Being natural digital learners, they absorb information better and faster than previous generations, and as a result they want to explore knowledge deeper and wider as well.  This Digital Generation is hungry for information and they now have it at their fingertips.  A while back I heard my oldest son ask, “Alexa, how many Elevators are in the Burj Khalifa Tower?” There is no need to go to the traditional library anymore.  Also, teachers are not the primary or sole source of information.

As part of my role of enabling Cisco Partners to drive digital transformation in the education market, I am intrigued by the challenges of Educators as they engage this generation of digital learners.  I am seeing higher education institiutions change the way they teach, because younger generations are consuming content differently. Universities are evaluating how to better connect and engage their student populations with technology.  They are looking to create environments that challenge students in very different ways that address the unique needs of this digital generation.  This is a great opportunity for Cisco and our Partners to transform Higher Education to become fully Digital and immersive.

One opportunity for Cisco Partners is empowering universities to create experiences rather than passing knowledge. These digital experiences engage the students’ reasoning skills to teach them how to solve complex problems, create new realities, and accelerate the pace of innovation in every field.  By providing experiences, universities differentiate based on their ability to create new enviroments that adapt to changing learning models and student requirements.  This focus on unparalleled student experience will attact the next generation of learners.

Educational institutions know they need to differentiate to survive in a globally competitive environment. This is opening up budgets to partners who know how to position digital education use cases that help drive differentiation.  One use case partners can easily offer is the ability to extend classes outside the walls of the university so the students can learn anytime, anywhere and on any device. I have seen universities utilizing Webex, Spark/Spark Board and CirQlive (a Cisco Ecosystem Partner) to create digital classrooms that extend the boundaries of the campus. With this platform, Cisco Solutions can connect to any Learning Management Systems (LMS).  Every teacher can create virtual classrooms and invite their students to join the class on their mobile devices or laptops. Teachers can also create virtual rooms with Spark that keep all the notes and comments made in class.  They can post documentation and other reference materials and enhance the student-teacher relationship by engaging students with just a few clicks.  These digital capabilities are available for partners to offer their education customers today.

Cisco partners have the opportunity to work closely with customers around the world to create flexible digital platforms that enable schools and universities to reimagine education, capture the attention of younger minds, and prepare them for a fast-moving world. What a wonderful place a university will be when my kids are old enough to go to college, and Cisco Partners have the chance to be at the center of that evolution today! Learn how you can be part of this transformational change by checking out our Industry Transformation Partner Guideat cs.co/customerin and to join our next Education Webinar on April 26th, please register here. Find more Cisco higher content at Education@Sales Connect.


Andres Ruiz

Senior Business Development Manager

Global Partner Organization