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Cisco, ITE Singapore bring virtual education to ICT

Posted: 09 Aug 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:virtual learning? collaboration infrastructure? ITE-Cisco collaboration?

While network usage continues to grow, the skills gap is remains extensive as graduates are entering the workforce with a lack of real-world experience, according to Cisco and Singapore's Institute of Technical Education (ITE). To address this, ITE and Cisco will develop a relevant curriculum and joint certifications from the ITE and Cisco, as well as internships and industry attachments.

The duo is developing a connected learning environment at the ITE campus in Choa Chu Kang (historically known as Chua Chu Kang). The interactive and global learning laboratories, called the ITE-Cisco Collaboration Technologies Centre, will connect students in Singapore with lecturers overseas and provide a virtual learning environment using Cisco's TelePresence, WebEx and other technologies. The center will also offer technical education and training in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Singapore through the Cisco Networking Academy.

Virtual education

The ITE-Cisco Collaboration Technologies Centre will connect students in Singapore with lecturers overseas and provide a virtual learning environment using Cisco's TelePresence, WebEx and other technologies.

"The ITE-Cisco Collaboration Technologies Centrea Blended Learning Environment using Cisco-Tandberg TelePresence Conferencing System and Cisco WebEx Collaboration Toolswill be a strategic tool for us to engage our global education partners for joint project collaboration and knowledge sharing and research. The System will allow us to have seamless, real-time communications and 'face-to-face' discussions with anyone with compatible systems, anywhere," said Bruce Poh, director and CEO, ITE.

Cisco and ITE will offer a joint certificate to students who successfully complete the module on collaboration technologies. The module will include content developed by Cisco and ITE, and will be based on the Networking Academy content. ITE instructors will have access to global education resources and learning tools.

Cisco will sponsor up to 100 ITE students annually to obtain the CCNA and CCENT certifications. Cisco will also offer three-month internship programs for students at ITE in the relevant modules and develop the knowledge base by providing industry attachment opportunities for ITE staff at Cisco and its partners.

"Networking Academy's unique cloud delivery model brings the power of the network to ICT skills-based education, in support of the critical need for networking professionals around the world. Our collaboration with ITE will provide a consistently enriching learning experience and increase career opportunities, and help ensure that students and instructors have the resources they need to accomplish their goals," added Sandy Walsh, regional manager for Cisco Networking Academy in the Asia Pacific.

According to a survey by Cisco, most education officials believe technology can play a major role in how students learn and how teachers educate. The same study claims 65 percent of college and university officials surveyed say online international programs are a "major opportunity" for them, as these programs can result in a greater "virtual" student body and can enrich learning opportunities by diversifying faculty, students and expert viewpoints. Most education officials across the Asia-Pacific region shared that improved communications with students is a priority and that investing in research infrastructure and capabilities is important.

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