Collaborative Education Empowers Young Minds

Few things are more emotional than debate regarding our educational system. Parents want the best for their children, teachers want to provide creativity for their students, and students want to be empowered to be a part of their own learning process, while also having access to the latest tools, technology and information. All this must be wrapped up in a system that ensures learning objectives are met, and students are absorbing information that will prepare them for their next steps in life.

Recently we caught up with Gregory Alvarez, senior manager, Education Vertical Market, for NEC Corporation of America, to learn more about the changing landscape of education and how NEC’s Collaborative Content Management Solution (CCMS) creates solutions to solve challenges in the collaborative education model. Here’s what Gregg had to say:

Q: What are some of the shifts you see in education that are driving the need for new learning solutions?

A: Education is moving more toward a “creator” versus consumption environment. In the past, students were given textbooks. Now, they often consume their assignments on a tablet or laptop, which allows for more elements such as video, presentations, and audio files to be included.

Social interaction is also becoming a large part of the educational experience, particularly since students are so accustomed to using social media to interact with friends. Educational environments are working to provide that same level of interaction via blogs and discussion feeds to keep students more engaged. Furthermore, students can now have access to virtual learning environments, allowing for more progressive learning environments such as flipped classrooms while also supporting learning at home. If students are out of school due to weather, injury or extended illness, they can continue studies with minimal interruption, ensuring they stay abreast of their studies while also keeping them engaged.

Higher education, while ahead of the curve with student technology use (the average college student has three-to-five networked devices), is looking to redesign the classroom and improve students’ interaction. Now these institutions are moving towards work group, project-based learning where students create workgroups and collaborate on class assignments. The goal is to prepare students for today’s work environment where collaboration and teaming are the new norm.

These schools see a need to get students more engaged, as well as provide professors the flexibility to go beyond the core curriculum and expand teaching elements. By providing the flexibility for educators and students to collaborate on learning objectives, everyone has an improved educational experience.

For example, if a teacher is providing a history lesson and students can collaborate on the curriculum by uploading videos from current day events that tie-in with the lesson, then not only are students more engaged, but teachers are able to help them draw conclusions in a real-life manner that was not available before.

Q: What is NEC’s Collaborative Content Management System (CCMS) and how does it support this new educational shift?

A: It is a learning management system (LMS) solution for higher education and K-12 that is powered by the cloud software platform PassTheNotes (PTN).  As a technology leader, NEC takes pride in anticipating market changes and the impact that technology will have on society. NEC recognized that educators were looking for a solution that provided a tool to help faculty expand on course curriculums through the addition of content. This helps engage students in their educational experience with a service and methodology they are most comfortable with (the Internet and social media), giving students the ability to be a part of their educational experience.

Our collaborationwith PTN enables NEC to offer a cloud-based learning management solution that leverages the best of the PTN content management/educational solution with NEC collaboration and communication solutions. PTN is a dynamic, innovative company of veteran educators who understand and process customer feedback to continually improve the offering. We view our working together as a way to improve education for students, thus better serving the community.

The NEC CCMS provides benefits to educators and students they cannot find in other learning management systems today, including:

  • Immediate access via a non-proprietary platform providing technology-agnostic solutions.
  • Single sign-on access with popular applications such as Dropbox or Drive.
  • Collaboration within the platform so students can invite students to create modules for enhanced learning opportunities.
  • Built-in application for taking and hosting notes.
  • Social interaction leveraged via discussion feeds and peer reviews and grading.
  • Seamless integration of additional technology such as unified communications or biometric facial recognition.

Q: What other educational trends are on the horizon?

A: We see a number of trends that are quite interesting, including:

Biometrics and Facial Recognition –While traditionally seen in law enforcement or security, biometrics is making its way into schools and campuses to address specific use cases. The most obvious use case is for security, where facial recognition can capture an image match against a database to determine if the individual belongs on campus.

We’re also seeing more interest is using facial recognition for verification of course completion for accreditation. Facial recognition is being considered as a tool to address attendance taking as well. This becomes a time saving solution in K-12 and for higher ed use to support class attendance requirement for course credit.

Learning analytics is an educational application of “big data,”a method used by business to analyze individual activity. In education, learning analytics is being used with the aim of improving student retention and providing learners with a superior personal experience. Learning analytics uses student data to build better pedagogies, identify at-risk students, and assess whether programs aimed at student retention are successful.

In the future, we see the introduction of other technologies and teaching methodologies that could take hold, such as.

  • 3D printing
  • Gaming and gamification
  • Making online learning more natural

Thanks to Gregg for providing a fascinating overview of current and future educational trends, while explaining how technology provides #SolutionsforSociety in education. You can learn more about NEC’s educational solutions, as well as see demonstrations of other innovative solutions such as unified communications, cloud contact center and SDN by visiting booth 1121 at Enterprise Connect 2015.

 

Photo by NEC Corporation of America on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.

TechKnowledge: The Best of 2014

As we look back at 2014 to prepare for 2015, we thought it would be great to provide you with some of the best tips from our NEC Today series. So sit back, relax and prepare to be informed!

MOBILITY – COMMUNICATION

Creating a strong mobile platform provides flexibility for your workforce, but must remain secure in order to protect company assets. Take a look at these posts on the subject:

  1. Get the Best of All Worlds with In-Store Mobile
  2. How to Stay ‘Mobile’ during a severe Weather Event
  3. Healthcare Innovation for Improved Patient Experience
  4. Under the Sea…with Internet?

SDN

Software-defined networking supports business agility through architecture that is dynamic, manageable, and adaptable. Are your ready for some transformative technology?

  1. Is Your Company Seeking Business Agility? Uncovering the Business Value of SDN
  2. NEC Teams with Microsoft for flexible, open, standards-based SDN for the cloud

BIG DATA

A critical component and potential differentiator for businesses going forward, big data and analytics are showing up in every industry and business type, as you can see in the posts referenced below:

  1. Big Data to the Rescue!
  2. Armchair Quarterbacks Rejoice! Big Data is in the Game!

IERS

Our guest blogger, Matt Sarrel, provided us with many good posts on InfoFrame Elastic Relational Store, so if you are in need of information on high-performance databases building for high availability and flexible scalability, look no further! Here is a sampling:

  1. An Introduction to IERS and NoSQL/NewSQL
  2. An Interview with Atsushi Kitazawa of NEC Japan, the “Father” of IERS
  3. IERS is Built for Elasticity

We hope you enjoyed some of our best posts from 2014. We look forward to providing more compelling information in 2015, so check back regularly to see what’s going on with NECToday!

Power-Up Your Summertime Reading List

Recently the Irving (TX) Public Library reported a 35% increase in its summer reading program from a year ago. This is good news for kiddos wanting to keep their minds active over the summer break. So that you can also keep your mind active, and because we did not want you to feel left out, we’ve compiled our own summer list of powerful informational topics. You can read or listen to great content and bone up on all things innovative, technical and positive for the society! Check out our sessions:

Solutions for Society

Solutions that make things better for society as a whole. Think about how much safer we are by being able to identify bad guys quickly with our NeoFace® facial recognition solutions. Many innovations positively impact society, from big data to healthcare innovation. Check it out…

From NECToday

What Do Intel’s Youngest Intern and NEC Have in Common?

Joey Hudy is the youngest intern in Intel history. At 16 years old, he has achieved multiple accomplishments including a solar-powered computer submitted at a recent science fair. His personal credo – Don’t be bored, make something – is a commitment from NEC as well.

Biometrics Can Improve Customer Experiences

According to a report from research firm Frost & Sullivan, biometrics is just beginning to gain recognition as a viable solution for customer experience in the retail and hospitality industries.

The biometric market is expected to be worth $6.2 billion by the year 2019, primarily due to the continued adoption of the technology for applications beyond the law enforcement and government arenas. For example, the banking industry has found biometric facial recognition to be quite useful in ATMs.

Big Data to the Rescue

What do Lady Gaga, the FIFA World Cup committee, and major communication companies have in common? Big data! Check out these real-life use cases to learn how big data significantly impacts the lives of just about everyone.

Healthcare Innovation for Improved Patient Experience

The primary objective of any healthcare provider is to focus on the patient. Whether it’s a private practice or a large medical conglomeration, the healthcare system needs improved patient communication in order to ensure positive patient experiences.

From NECAM Soundcloud Channel

JPS Heath Network

JPS Health Network is the public healthcare system for Tarrant County and surrounding areas in Texas. Its flagship facility, JPS Hospital, is in Fort Worth and is the only Level-I Trauma Center in the county. The network also includes 42 primary and specialty clinics and health centers throughout the county to serve its population of approximately 2 million citizens. NEC helped JPS upgrade its communications platform to help staff and doctors deliver quality care to its patients.

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – Justice Network

The Pennsylvania Justice Network (JNET) is a collaborative effort of 16 state agencies to build a secure, integrated justice system that promotes information sharing through the use of its applications, services, architecture, outreach and training.

Case Study: Children’s Hospital of Orange County

Named one of the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report (2013-2014), CHOC is exclusively committed to the health and well-being of children through clinical expertise, advocacy, outreach and research that brings advanced treatment to pediatric patients.

Software-Defined Everything

The “Internet of Everything” taken to the next logical step – software-defined so it’s proactive, interactive and positive for companies who want to save time, money and improve productivity. Learn more about next-gen systems…

From NECToday

Continuous Availability at an Affordable Cost for Today’s Business

For IT organizations with mission-critical data, as well as large retailers needing to maintain and access data quickly, the requirements for server uptime and processing are even more important. Trying to achieve five nines (99.999%) of uptime is feasible in a clustered data center environment, but often these organizations are better served through the implementation of a fault tolerant (FT) server.

An Introduction to IERS and NoSQL / New SQL

NEC Corporation of America recently announced the general availability in North America of the InfoFrame Elastic Relational Store, a high-performance database built for high availability and flexible scalability.  IERS is a key value store that provides high-speed transaction processing and SQL (structured query language) capabilities through a JDBC/ODBC interface.

An Interview with Atsushi Kitazawa of NEC Japan, the “Father” of IERS

Everything you wanted to know about IERS, from its position in the world of next-generation databases to its design goals, architecture, and prominent use cases.

From NECAM Soundcloud Channel

The Path to Five 9s of Availability for SQL Server

Get an overview of the different SQL Server high availability technologies from the lowest to the highest levels of availability.

Stay In the Know While On the Go

Mobility is only becoming more prevalent, so check out these great options to learn more about how to keep your mobile workforce productive, secure and well, mobile! Explore on the go…

From NECToday

Under the Sea…with Internet?

Can you imagine a world where ANYTHING is possible? Science fiction movies have depicted it: people living on the moon, on a planet, or under the sea. But now, are we coming closer to fantasy becoming a reality? Perhaps so!

How to Stay ‘Mobile’ During a Severe Weather Event

Enabling employees to do their jobs even when they can’t get into the office keeps them safe during dangerous travel conditions, but it also means not losing employee productivity over the course of the weather event.

Get the Best of All Worlds with In-Store Mobile

In-store mobility is the most efficient and accurate way to create the type of retail experience a consumer expects. Plus, it supports associates in providing a rapid response to a shopper’s needs, ensuring that the sale goes to your retail establishment. To understand the power of in-store mobile, first let’s understand the current consumer shopping behavior.

From NECAM Soundcloud Channel

Case Study: Schenectady City School District

Schenectady City School District (SCSD) is located 12 miles from Albany, New York. The district offers hundreds of courses and programs to nearly 10,000 students throughout the city of Schenectady, and has more National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT) than any other district in the state, with the exception of New York City.

It’s In the Cloud

Isn’t everything? Truth is that cloud solutions have significant practical applications for most businesses, if you understand how to apply them correctly. Do you need a hybrid, cloud or on-premises solution? Find out the answer to that question and more with these sessions:

From NECToday

Is Your Company Seeking Business Agility? Uncovering the Business Value of SDN

Hear first-hand SDN thought leaders from NEC, IBM and featured analyst firm Gartner Research talk about the business benefits of software-defined networking.

NEC Teams with Microsoft for Flexible, Open, Standards-based SDN for the Cloud

Mike Schutz, general manager of Microsoft Product Marketing for the Server and Tools Group, talks about the collaboration between these strategic partners and the benefits customers can expect in this new video.

Unified Communications: As-a-Service vs. On-Premises – What’s Best for You?

Simplifying communication and collaboration is the hallmark of UC and UCaaS. The good news is you don’t have to choose.

ONF Honors NEC as First Vendor to Certify for OpenFlow 1.0 Conformance

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a user-driven organization focused on the promotion and adoption of Software-defined Networking (SDN) through open standards development, has awarded NEC Corporation (NEC) with the first Certificate of Conformance offered through the ONF’s OpenFlow Conformance Testing Program. A Certificate of Conformance from ONF is the highest level of assurance available in the market today to confirm OpenFlow specification compliance.

NEC Collaborates with Microsoft to Transform the Data Center with Software-Defined Networking

Microsoft and NEC joint customers will command new levels of IT flexibility and automation with dynamic management and allocation of pooled network resources, as well as their compute and storage pools, all from a central point of control.

From NECAM Soundcloud Channel

Webinar: Real-Life SDN Use Cases

This webinar, Real-Life SDN Use Cases, features noted network experts Ivan Peplnjak of iosHints and NEC’s network architect Samrat Ganguly. They present real examples of OpenFlow-based SDN at work, and use the NEC ProgrammableFlow® Networking Suite as the market leading vehicle to achieve transformative results.

There is plenty of other great content at your fingertips. Simply check out any one of our content channels and enjoy your own personalized summer reading program!

www.NECToday.com
http://www.youtube.com/interactivenec
https://twitter.com/nec
http://www.facebook.com/NECAmerica
http://soundcloud.com/necam
https://www.linkedin.com/company/nec-corporation-of-america

And the Winner Is….

altI guess you can say there’s a competition for just about everything in the world.  Hot dog eating, wife carrying, ugliest dog and fastest computing.  Although NEC hasn’t won a best beard contest in a while we just won first place at the HPC Challenge with our Earth Simulator. 

Our “Earth Simulator” you ask? 

Allow me to give you the technical answer: The Earth Simulator is a parallel vector computing system that was launched in March 2002 at JAMSTEC. The renewed Earth Simulator, put into operational use in March 2009, consists of 160 nodes of the SX-9/E system with a theoretical peak performance of 131TFLOPS, which also boasts the world fastest CPU core of 102.4GFLOPS.

Now allow me to translate: A really fast computer that would probably be a killer gaming PC.

 Press Release

 HPC Challenge Website

NEC Collaborates with Stanford, Georgia Tech, Raytheon BBN Technologies on OpenFlow Switching

Stanford University's Gates BuildingNEC is at the forefront of research and innovation in the field of OpenFlow networks, an open switching standard developed at Stanford University that enables a new generation of network control software.  Today, attendees at the GEC9 (GENI) conference in Washington, D.C., will be able to see a demonstration of OpenFlow switching conducted in partnership between NEC, Stanford, Geogia Tech and Raytheon BBN Technologies.

NEC now has in limited release it’s ProgrammableFlow switches, which are based on the OpenFlow standard and have been deployed in over 20 research organizations worldwide.

The OpenFlow project at Stanford is part of its Clean Slate Internet Design Program.