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Students succeed with Cisco!

- August 25, 2014 4:10 pm

The last Monday of July, I had the pleasure to talk about Teaching Technology and Technology for Learning at DevTO. I tag-teamed with Shanta Nathwani, who talked about her innovative program blending communication, design, and technology run at Sheridan College in partnership with the University of Toronto at Mississauga. I went second, with the help of Rohan Karamandi, to explain what fascinating projects Sheridan College students have been working on, why they are doing so well, and what opportunities lie ahead of them. The slides and the video recording are available online.
Today, it would be hard to find someone not concerned by the quality of public education. Most of us are mindful of the link between a good education and a strong economy. We’re all talking about student success, in term of higher achievements in school, but also in the job market, whether it is as job seekers or as job creators, energized by an entrepreneurial spirit. Needless to say, I don’t mean to underestimate the other benefits of a good education, which are essential for a strong democracy, as well as for a long, healthy and rewarding life. However, I find that few people are aware of Cisco’s strong commitments to education. Some people don’t even know what Cisco does (not to be confused with “Sysco”, the food company)… I have to thank DevTO for this opportunity to clarify and to explain what Cisco has to offer to students and educators.

Our great story of the day is that Sheridan College is at the leading edge of education, leveraging blended learning, virtual desktop, and collaboration tools, while demonstrating an authentic appetite for learning and doing that inspires students. And it shows on campus. Sheridan graduates created an app that shows real-time queues at Tim Horton’s locations to improve customer experience. Talk to them about making life better!

Marc Lijour, Lead for Cisco’s Business Transformation solutions for the Education Sector in Canada, at DevTO

Marc Lijour, Lead for Cisco’s Business Transformation solutions for the Education Sector in Canada, at DevTO

Students take advantage of Cisco’s infrastructure at Sheridan, but that’s not all. Everyone has access to a free and open community of more than 80,000 developers, sharing code and ideas. More than 100 APIs and 74 SDKs are available on DevNet. Sandboxes will be available early 2015. Students can start working on the latest technologies such as location-based awareness with Connected Mobile Experience (CMX) and WebRTC with JabberGuest. Did you know that Cisco made the industry-standard H.264 codec open source? Download it for free (binaries and source), and Cisco takes care of patent royalties on your behalf. Developers can start today by cloning the OpenH264 Git repository.

We all know the app economy is poised to grow significantly over the next few years. Cisco estimates the value at stake for the Internet of Everything is worth $19 trillion dollars, or $92 billion in Canada alone. The Internet is at the center of everything: people, data, process, and things. What a great opportunity for students and entrepreneurs to partner with Cisco. Let’s be amazing together! If you are in the software business, a good place to start might be the Solution Partner Program. You’ll get access to support from Cisco, a market place to showcase your solution, and other resources to help you grow your business. By the way, if you have a new solution for education, I want to hear from you!

Cisco has been actively engaged in more than 100 Free/Libre Open Source Software projects over the last 25 years. For example, Cisco is in the top 25 list of contributors to the Linux kernel, as well as a contributor to Mozilla, Eclipse, Apache, FreeBSD… and of course Snort and OpenDaylight. We also contribute to standards like WebRTC, XMPP, and SCTP. The list is long. I already mentioned OpenH264. The other key project to follow might be OpFlex (under an Apache 2.0 license), which brings speed to the modern data centre. As always, Free/Libre Open Source Software is a great way to learn the art of developing software from the best of the best, while starting to build a reputation of one’s own. Cisco encourages you to collaborate as we build the next generation software stacks.

What excites you most in education today? What do you think are the greatest challenges and opportunities ahead for students?

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