Twenty years ago, Cisco recognized a shift toward a knowledge-based economy. We felt it was important that everyone have an opportunity to participate in this economy—and that education, combined with technology, would have the power to achieve that. From this, Cisco Networking Academy was born.
What began as an act of community turned into a global movement as schools, students, and teachers were inspired to harness the power of technology to provide the skills people and businesses need to thrive in the digital economy.
Today, we look back at how this IT-and-career-skills-building program has reached 7.8 million students in 180 countries since 1997 and highlight best practices and lessons we’ve learned along the way.…Read More
Shorter days, less homework, and better results. How do you get that? Do like the Finns. For those in the know, the Finnish system is often seen as the pinnacle of how to do education.
We’ve seen a huge rise in teacher mental-health issues and high levels of teachers leaving the field. One of the main reasons people look to Finland for inspiration is because of its high level of teaching. Realistically it is so advanced because of the expert training teachers receive, and because they are allowed to do their job without much interference.
As a Finnish-based entrepreneur in the business of creativity and innovation within the media industry for more than two decades, I’ve recently turned my focus on how to scale innovation within the education sector. Education innovations are siloed and practiced in isolated classrooms; that’s why my latest project, HundrED, is a nonprofit that’s on a mission to change this by seeking and sharing some of the world’s most inspiring K-12 innovations and packaging them online for educators to easily implement with 24/7 support for free.…Read More
From shifts in school choice to student assessments to online learning, the educational landscape is constantly evolving. This coming year, districts will continue to face many challenges and opportunities that will impact students, staff, and school systems as a whole.
Below, experts from various areas of the education industry share trends that will help shape K-12 education in 2018.
Calls for innovation in education seem to get louder by the day. “Innovation” has become the catchall term for the urge to make up for what our current system lacks; a system that, on balance, is neither delivering an equally high-quality education to all students, nor designed to reliably prepare young people for the modern workforce.
From there, of course, opinions about what sorts of innovations we ought to invest in, and to what end, vary politically and philosophically. At the Christensen Institute, we’ve always divvied up these wide-ranging ideas into two main categories, which Clay Christensen first identified in the 1980s: sustaining and disruptive innovations. Those categories are helpful in identifying the dimensions along which organizations are improving and how new business models can displace existing ones. But disruptive innovation theory has little to tell us about whether a particular innovation will be successful.
Enter Clay Christensen’s newest book, Competing Against Luck, out earlier this week. In it, Christensen and his co-authors Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, and David Duncan chronicle the coming of age of another theory that may prove just as, if not more, powerful than disruptive innovation: the theory of jobs to be done.…Read More
With smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, students have 24/7 access to news, information, and opinions—not all of which are well-informed or well-intentioned. In truth, we are flooded with a constant stream of information online, from legitimate news and facts to websites and social media posts taking sides in intense political debates.
In an age when students get the majority of their information from the internet, how can we make sure they know that not everything they find online is reputable? How can we help students become critical thinkers and smart consumers of information who also have empathy for others?
Monitoring students’ internet access in school won’t help them once they leave the classroom. Instead, they need the skills to evaluate online information for themselves. At a time when anyone with a basic understanding of search engine optimization can have his or her personal website appear atop the results of a Google search, students must be able to discern opinion and bias from fact.…Read More
Growth mindset holds that every learner has the potential to excel. How could it impact education?
Great teachers have long known what research is beginning to prove: an individual’s mindset — as much, or even more so than ability — can have a profound impact on their success in school and beyond.
But until recently, noncognitive skills like perseverance and self-motivation sat at the periphery of an education debate centered on the measurement of skills like reading and math. That is beginning to change.
Books on noncognitive skills pepper best-seller lists. Policymakers have taken note of a growing body of research that proves our abilities and intelligence can be developed. The recent revamp of the federal K-12 education law, for the first time, introduced terms like “well rounded” into the policy lexicon, opening the door to inclusion of non academic factors in accountability plans.…Read More
No matter the subject, making and collaborating engages students in inspiring ways
You know the maker movement has hit the big leagues when even the President is talking about it.
Earlier this year, for the National Week of Making, President Obama issued a call to action to educators, designers, and makers of all stripes. “During National Week of Making, we celebrate the tinkerers and dreamers whose talent and drive have brought new ideas to life, and we recommit to cultivating the next generation of problem solvers,” he said. “As the maker movement grows, I continue to call on all Americans to help unlock the potential of our Nation and ensure these opportunities reach all our young people, regardless of who they are or where they come from.”…Read More
According to the FCC and others, satellite technology holds promise
As high-speed internet service becomes more ubiquitous in American households, some readers might be surprised to find out that a “digital divide” exists in many of our schools.
According to a 2014 blog post from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, “Forty-one percent of America’s rural schools couldn’t get a high-speed connection if they tried,”— where a high-speed connection is defined as offering speeds of 10Mbps or higher. Whereas he may have been right that they don’t have it, he was wrong to conclude they couldn’t get it. Indeed, many individuals living in urban areas are typically well served by fiber-optic, cable or DSL providers, unaware that high-quality satellite internet is available virtually everywhere, nationwide, and at affordable prices— no matter where you live, work, or go to school. So the digital divide in fact is a misnomer; it’s really a terrestrial digital divide as the FCC itself has now concluded.
In its recent 2014 Measuring Broadband America Fixed Broadband Report, the FCC stated that, “the launch of a new generation of Ka band satellites represents an important advance in consumer-based satellite service which will benefit those consumers under-served by terrestrial alternatives.” The report continued, saying, “because satellites broadcast wirelessly directly to the consumer, no actual terrestrial infrastructure has to be deployed. As a result, satellite technologies have a more uniform cost structure, which is unique among the technologies under study in our Report.” Chairman Wheeler acknowledged as much, stating, “Fiber connection costs are much higher for rural schools and libraries. As a result, either there is no fiber, or that level of connectivity is only available at an unreasonably high price. It may not be unusual, but it is unacceptable that these realities are allowed to hurt students.”…Read More
With E-rate reformed, educators must consider new learning-centered questions
E-rate, officially known as the Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, was created to provide schools and libraries with an affordable way to obtain telecommunications, internet access and internet-related services.
In the beginning, E-rate focused principally on telephone service, which was the most basic and universal way individuals communicated 20 years ago. While the focus on communication has remained, technology has changed radically throughout the past two decades. During this period, E-rate adapted by broadening the range of eligible services to include mobile phones, pagers, voicemail, email, school websites and basic collaboration tools.
As the program evolved, the definition of “new technology” grew increasingly inexact and complicated. It became clear that E-rate was in need of a refresh. Advocates for change, including legislators, the Federal Communications Commission and organizations such as ISTE and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), hoped to address the question: How do we increase internet bandwidth available to our schools and provide ubiquitous wireless coverage?…Read More
Follow this checklist as everything from watches to thermostats goes online
Tech-savvy higher education IT executives may be on top of many of the changes looming in technology, but the Internet of Things (IoT) is not yet one of them. They are fully aware it is coming, but as of now, the IoT is not yet a major focus. Given the wide-ranging security, bandwidth, legal and business implications involved, this may be a mistake.
The Internet of Things basically refers to any so-called “smart” object that uses an internet connection to enhance functionality. Today there are watches, forks, thermostats, and any number of other related devices that students or school campuses may be bringing to a network near you.
Planning for this next evolution of networking needs to simultaneously be defensive (ensuring that IT infrastructure is ready) and offensive (encouraging and leading groups outside of the IT department such as teachers and students to take full advantage of the promise of the IoT.)…Read More