Cisco and the iSchool Initiative Bring Technology to US Schools
The most difficult part of teaching students is making sure that they’re stimulated enough to learn. When anyone—not just a child—is bored, their mind wanders and the lesson is lost. The iSchool Initiative knows that keeping a brain active and present is no small feat and they’re able to do this, along with some help from Cisco.
The iSchool Initiative is a role-modeling concept that uses gamification and problem-based learning to educate both students and teachers about high tech solutions. This real-world education is done in schools throughout the country via the iSchool Initiative’s “Escape the Bus” program. Much like the popular Escape the Room games, participants go into the bus where it is “locked”. The people inside have to use their intellect to solve a series of clues to “escape” in a certain amount of time.
Since it’s a literal bus, the iSchool Initiative just needs to gas up and then they’re able to bring the learning to any school in the nation.
But how does Cisco fit in? The bus is stocked with Cisco devices that keeps it on the cutting edge of technology. The wireless connectivity is maintained by Cisco Aironet 3700 Series Access Points which are connected to Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers. The entirety of the bus’s infrastructure is made up Cisco products. From the aforementioned access points (AP) – which also include Cisco Meraki APs – to the Integrated Services Router to the Cisco Unified Communications Manager.
Last year Escape the Bus attracted more than 35,000 visitors and it’s a big hit wherever it goes.
“We use Escape the Bus for teachers, like a form of professional development,” said Margaret Scuteri, Supervisor of Science and Technology at Manalapn-Englishtown Regional Schools in New Jersey. “[It] shows them the value of technology.”
With two new Escape the Bus vehicles ready to roll out this year, there will also be new themes including one that simulates a rocket ship to Mars.
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