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Building Bridges to the Future of Learning

K-12 Learning

It’s hard to believe that 18 months ago, a major global pandemic turned our world upside down and resulted in unimaginable consequences. Overnight, we had to rethink learning, work and health care.

It’s hard to believe that 18 months ago, a major global pandemic turned our world upside down and resulted in unimaginable consequences. Overnight, we had to rethink learning, work and health care. In education, students were immediately moved online, teachers were forced to find new ways to deliver learning, and people had to consider careers of the future. Now, a year-and-a-half later, education is at another critical turning point as we look toward the future of learning.

Student and teacher expectations, the fear of security breaches, and uncertainty about the future are creating the realization that technology can be used in new and different ways to deliver learning. This realization is accelerating the digital transformation of education, unlike anything we’ve seen in the past.

Technology is being used to support modern learning, and the possibilities seem endless. Cisco has been at the heart of education and supporting digital transformation since the founding of our company on the Stanford University campus in 1984. Today, we continue to work closely with educators as they imagine new bridges to build the future.


The digital divide continues to grow between those who have access to devices, connectivity and digital literacy – and those who do not. And on top of that, the pandemic has exacerbated a longstanding global mental health crisis among students and teachers that are struggling with burnout. This crisis is driving the need to develop new ways of experiential and engaging learning.

Unfortunately there is a third challenge that adds even more pressure to schools and is the fact that they have become some of the most common targets for cyber attacks. Ransomware attacks increased by seven times in 2020, compared to 2019, with K-12 accounting for the majority of all ransomware attacks. According to a recent FBI report, 57 percent of all reported ransomware attacks in August and September 2020 were targeted at U.S. K–12 schools, up from 28 percent for the period from January through July. The average ransom was around 50 thousand dollars, but the highest has crossed USD 1.4 million dollars.

So, how can your educational organization prioritize investments in and prepare for the future of learning?

No matter what goals you are trying to achieve, Cisco can help build the bridge to get you there.

Now more than ever, we believe that technology can be used to provide an opportunity for all, make a meaningful impact, and bring about a future that is better and brighter than today.

Our commitment to education goes beyond our leading products and services. To date, Cisco has positively impacted more than 527 million people through social impact grants and signature programs. In the last year, we donated 53 million dollars in cash and personal protective equipment to nonprofit organizations and first responders during COVID-19.

For 23 years, Cisco Networking Academy has provided a bridge to career opportunities to more than 12.6 million people in 180 countries. And we recently announced our new Skills for All program, delivering free IT education to empower all people to pursue careers of the future.

As we look toward the future, Cisco is here to support education move into what is next, and flexibility will be at the core.


The new learning models, such as the hybrid model, help maintain learning continuity in this ever-changing environment. More than ever, technology is called up to provide equitable, effective and efficient solutions. Cisco and Cisco Meraki are ready to help with solutions that can help you evolve the student experience by converting every corner of the campus into a smart space that enables learning and teaching in multiple environments. Making the hybrid learning experience impactful.

As schools rushed to provide 1:1 devices to all students and staff last year, ensuring everyone maintains the same access and stays focused on learning was a challenge. Cisco Meraki Systems Manager, a cloud-based mobile device management can centrally provision, monitor and secure all endpoint devices. In addition, Systems Manager enables teachers to lock managed iOS and Android devices to specific applications during lesson time, encouraging students to stay focused on learning.

Cisco just announced the next wave of hybrid learning with an end-to-end secure collaboration platform for hybrid learning and services. This platform is based on our award-winning Webex product line and includes our latest web-based interactive solution, Webex Classrooms.

Webex Classrooms allows educators and students to manage learning with a dedicated place to attend classes, view previously recorded lectures and access course material. This solution brings greater flexibility and mobility to enrich the learning experience for teachers and students.

These two solutions are just the beginning of what is available to enable secure connected school today.


I would like to take this opportunity to recognize our front-line teachers and administrators for helping us to get through an incredibly challenging year-and-a-half. You are our heroes, and we applaud your unwavering efforts in keeping students engaged and learning. Thank you for helping us to build a bridge to the future of learning.