Students succeed with Cisco!

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?

About Marc Lijour

Marc Lijour is leading the Digitization of Education in Canada. With 20 years of experience in education and innovation, he taught Science, Technology, IT and Mathematics in Canada, Mexico, Portugal and France. He was instrumental in defining and implementing the provincial e-learning strategy and revising the Technological Education Curriculum, among other policies and programs at the Ontario Ministry of Education. Lijour held several roles in the private, public and non-profit sectors, leading technical and process innovation, and aiming to maximize value and student success. Marc Lijour holds an MBA in the Management of Technology and Innovation from Ryerson University, an IT Executive Leadership Certificate from Leaders Beyond (formerly CIO Summit), a BSc in Computer Science from Ryerson University, and a Licence de mathématiques from University of Paris. He is certified to teach in Ontario and in France. Marc Lijour acompagne les organisations scolaires et éducatives au long de leur transition vers le numérique. Pendant 20 ans, il a enseigné les sciences, les technologies, les TI et les mathématiques au Canada, au Mexique, au Portugal et en France. Il a joué un rôle clé dans l'élaboration et la mise en place des stratégies provinciales pour l’apprentissage en ligne et la révision des parcours de formation technologique, ainsi que d'autres politiques et programmes du ministère de l'Éducation de l'Ontario. M. Lijour a occupé différents postes dans les secteurs public, privé et non marchand, où il a dirigé la mise en œuvre d'innovations techniques et de processus et s'est efforcé de maximiser la valeur et la réussite des étudiants. Il est titulaire d'un MBA en gestion des technologies et de l'innovation de la Ryerson University, d'un certificat en direction des TI de Leaders Beyond (anciennement CIO Summit), d'un baccalauréat en informatique de la Ryerson University et d'une Licence de mathématiques de l'Université de Paris VI. Il est habilité à enseigner en Ontario et en France.
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