In his session introducing CISCO Digital Schools Network: A Community of Digital Progressive Schools, Vaibhav Kumar Srivastava dwelt upon the power of technology to change the face of education. Discussing the rationale behind CISCO, he shared, “When we talk about introducing a new technology in one school - some other school in some other geography would have already implemented it - we would want to discuss the challenges, experiences, and ideas with a school that’s already using it. We, at CISCO, thought if there’s any way we can connect these two people. Thus, we introduced CISCO Digital Schools Network which is a new community of digitally progressive schools.”
The mission of CISCO is simple: to create a mechanism for schools to connect, collaborate and share. “That’s the premise of how we talk about the digital schools’ network. Schools can become a part of this community through invitation and/or nomination. We want this community to be collectively intelligent enough to guide schools across the globe. Right now, we have schools from Australia, Japan, Korea, and Singapore while China and India are open for nominations.”
CISCO offers forums wherein the community can talk about the next wave of technology, which is impacting school education. They can also help schools get access to technology which they believe can help the school.
The network consists of two categories of school, namely the exemplar category or schools that are already using technology and will be leading schools as mentors, teaching the benefits and use to the larger community; the second category is the learner-leading schools or schools which want to enter the technological arena and are trying to get on the journey of digitalization. “The categories exist not to differentiate but to create an ecosystem where you aspire to be at some place. We want more schools from India to become exemplary schools,” explains Srivastava, adding, “The evaluation committee assesses the school’s profile and gives them training before the official launch in September. The CISCO academy also gives certification to students in order to help build a strong community.”
CISCO has CILC as their partner in U.S. which helps with program offerings, and Flinder’s University, Australia, on board as their first mentor. “We are now open to schools in India and they can also be part of the community as mentors,” he concluded.
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