The all-cash deal was Cisco’s first acquisition of an overseas public company, CEO John Chambers said. Chambers said the acquisition “showcases Cisco’s financial strength and ability to quickly capture key market transitions for growth.”

Cisco has been focusing on the high end of the video conferencing market, selling so-called “TelePresence” systems with multiple plasma screens that present life-size images of the participants to provide the illusion of face-to-face communication.

With Tandberg, Cisco got the leading maker of video systems that range from small “video phones” to full conference-room setups, allowing it to sell a full range of solutions to schools and colleges.

A report published by the California Education Department and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art examined the role of video conferencing in K-12 schools. The report—which gathered data from businesses, nonprofit organizations, and telecommunications companies—outlines how bolstered broadband internet service can help make video conferencing more accessible throughout the state. The report advocated that video conferencing become a “standard teaching tool.”

The report, titled, “A Blueprint for Strengthening K-12 Videoconferencing in California,” said using the technology could help enhance education while the state’s operating budget remains mired in a deficit that has cost thousands of state employees their jobs, because it can help eliminate costly travel expenses.

“Today, the value of video conferencing in education is indisputable,” the report said. “It is no longer difficult to imagine a world where K-12 students in California can travel to an art museum or aquarium and engage with content specialists in real-time discussions without leaving their classrooms.”

Four percent of California classrooms have video conferencing equipment, compared with one-quarter of classrooms in states such as Texas, New York, and North Carolina that have video conferencing capabilities.

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