A technology partnership between Harvard University and Cisco and 148 public schools in the Cambridge and Boston school systems will provide connectivity to the Internet2 Network and Cisco TelePresence at a school in each city
22 September 2010. Harvard University has announced a new partnership with the cities of Boston and Cambridge designed to bring the world to students — faster and clearer than ever.
Harvard will share its access to the super high-speed Internet2 Network connection with Boston and Cambridge schools, granting all 148 public schools in the two cities use of the most advanced networking consortium in the world.
In addition, Cisco is contributing Cisco TelePresence equipment to the John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science and Cambridge Rindge and Latin School enabling the students and teachers to connect with people around the globe. The fete included a demonstration of the new technology at the O’Bryant School of Math and Science (See picture).
This technology partnership grew out of collaboration that began more than a year ago linking Harvard, the Cambridge and Boston school systems, with funding from Raytheon BBN Technologies, to provide the connectivity to the Internet2 Network. Building on access to Internet2, Cisco offered to establish a leading Cisco TelePresence capacity at a school in each city.
The partnership comes at a time when Harvard itself is growing its use of Telepresence as well. Harvard currently has 11 TelePresence units throughout its campus.
Boston’s Mayor Thomas M. Menino said: “Together with Harvard and Cisco, we are opening the globe to our students and connecting our city to the world.”
Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Carol R. Johnson said: “We are fortunate to be supported by organizations such as Harvard University and Cisco as we work to make all of our schools centers of excellence in every way.”
Cambridge Public Schools (CPSD) Superintendent Jeffrey Youngsaid: “Technology is exciting but it isn’t a goal in and of itself. Making it easier for students and teachers to access and participate in the world of ideas as players not just observers is what matters. These resources can break down the walls of the classroom and extend teaching and learning to every corner of the globe.”
Harvard President Drew Faust said: “The Cisco TelePresence installations will connect classrooms in Boston and Cambridge to each other, to universities like Harvard, and to learning opportunities around the globe.”
Cisco TelePresence technology in the O’Bryant and Cambridge Rindge and Latin schools will enable teachers and students to work in real-time with experts and lecturers, and other classrooms locally and around the globe; access online multimedia education materials, and to connect to new professional development opportunities — all with a simple phone call.
Menino, Faust, and Cisco representatives joined BPS Superintendent Carol Johnson at the O’Bryant and CPSD Superintendent Jeffrey Young for a 30-minute TelePresence tour that connected teachers, students, and administrators with several destinations while gathered in the in the 70-seat amphitheater classroom. The O’Bryant School’s headmaster, Steve Sullivan, guided the room through a series of conversations with educators and students in Boston and beyond. (See picture).
Harvard President Faust also announced that as part of the new partnership with the Boston and Cambridge schools, Harvard will convene an advisory group that will identify opportunities to use these new technology resources to further strengthen Harvard’s teaching and learning partnerships with Boston and Cambridge.
Cisco is providing teacher training on the new TelePresence units and ongoing support as needed. Harvard is also convening Boston and Cambridge educators to present Internet2 resources and offer training.
This new partnership is just the latest in a long and robust relationship between Harvard and the Boston and Cambridge school systems.
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