Education beyond the year 2020 is being re-imagined. Digital capabilities were already transforming education, but the COVID-19 pandemic has upended education and dramatically accelerated this digital transformation at unexpected speed and scale..
Moving learning online has been a shared challenge during the recent globally unprecedented disruptions to education. Even more so, one might say, in Africa, where connectivity challenges add to the obstacles students may face in efforts to continue their education remotely.
Cisco Networking Academy has, through its collaboration and video conferencing technology Webex, empowered almost 300 000 students to continue their education across the African continent over the past year. Almost 45 000 of these students are based in South Africa.
The company has achieved this by expanding free access to Webex accounts to its Networking Academy instructors, affording them an opportunity to transition quite easily to a remote teaching environment.
Alfie Hamid, who leads Cisco Networking Academy’s global partnerships says: “Distance learning does not have to be isolated learning. Digital platforms like Cisco Webex provide flexible, secure ways to engage students before, during, and after class. Since November 2020, Networking Academy instructors have created more than 36 000 meetings, totalling more than 3,4 million minutes, and have reached more than 829 000 learners in the process, worldwide.”
“Webex is integrated within the NetAcad.com platform, making education features more readily available to instructors and learners, including whole-class, lecture-style interaction via video and audio, breakout lab-group style interaction and screen sharing with remote annotation, desktop mouse and keyboard sharing, and whiteboarding.”
In addition to video conferencing features, Hamid says Webex helps instructors manage attendance gradings and even sends automated reminders to students about meetings or classes.
“Fusing the popular Packet Tracer network simulation tool with Webex is a particularly effective learning experience,” says Hamid. “Webex can enable interactions like ‘over the shoulder’ coaching and peer-to-peer group collaboration within Packet Tracer labs, creating powerful synchronous and asynchronous distance learning experiences.”
He goes on to say that the system also provides accessibility to students who have hearing, visual or attention disabilities, so everyone can be included in the class. These innovative collaborative technologies enable smart and connected learning – and most importantly learner engagement – so much more than just a video connection.
The NetAcad free Webex account includes:
- The facility for unlimited co-hosts;
- 24 hours max duration;
- Up to 1 000 participants;
- 50GB of cloud recording storage;
- MP4 recordings;
- Recording transcripts;
- A file transfer feature; and
- Access to meetings, events and training centres.
For more information, please visit:
Learning Never Stops https://www.netacad.com/learning-never-stops
Cisco Networking Academy https://www.netacad.com/