Cisco and IBM keep Madrid kids learning during lockd

  • March 31, 2020
  • imc

In the coronavirus locked-down city of Madrid, more than one million private and public schoolchildren will be able to continue attending their classes using free tele-teaching tools from Cisco and IBM.
IBM and Cisco have provided Madrid with the access, management and support of the Cisco Webex teleworking and collaboration tool, which offers simple and intuitive functionalities for e-education.
Already working, it connects teachers and students in real time. More than 100,000 teachers from Madrid already have a personal account in the service to start virtual classes. All those teachers registered in EducaMadrid in the 2019-2020 academic year will be able to use the platform.
“At Cisco, all workers are committed to positively impacting the country with our collaboration and our technology,” said Andreu Vilamitjana, CEO of Cisco in Spain. “We want to help everyone benefit from digitisation, especially in critical situations such as the current one. Through the Digitaliza programme, we collaborate with the administrations to guarantee the activity of companies, health centres and schools, and help people preserve their health.”
Cisco Webex is a collaboration tool. Its Meetings version not only includes video conferencing, but also the possibility to share the desktop, applications, multimedia resources and surveys in real time.
These functionalities provide a complete virtual classroom, where students participate in classes in guest mode, without the need for a user account. Everything is managed from the personal room of the teacher, who invites the students, controls the audio-silencing and the microphone of the students, and can record the session to share it or review it later.
The Webex Teams version facilitates collaboration between teachers and school staff, with chat, videoconferencing, and document and screen sharing capabilities in a more structured environment.
In addition, IBM offers the teaching community support for the adoption and use of the platform. About 400 company professionals signed up as volunteers when the company opened the request, making themselves available to teachers in record time. Volunteers from IBM in Spain – who also telework from their homes using Cisco Webex – will provide tutoring for teachers so they can make the most of the platform. Likewise, they will be able to provide them with telematic help in real time to resolve any doubt or technical problem. Cisco has also created support video guides.
“From IBM we want to contribute with our professionals, technology and knowledge in the collective effort to alleviate this health and social crisis,” said Marta Martínez, general manager of IBM in Spain. “Our goal as a company is to create innovations that help society progress and improve, with technology always aimed at the common good. On this occasion, we are especially proud to be able to contribute, combining technology and professional volunteering, to reducing the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in our country.”
The Cisco Webex platform has more than 130 million monthly users worldwide, and processes more than six billion minutes of meetings every month. It is cloud computing technology that does not consume storage resources on personal computers. Always accessible through an internet connection, it guarantees the privacy and security of the data and content exchanged in the sessions using security and encryption tools.
The Ministry of Education & Youth has thanked the collaboration of Cisco and IBM and all its volunteers who have shared the concern of that ministry to maintain a public service as important as education.
“At a time as critical as this, the collaboration of companies like these and of all of society is essential for us to come out of this crisis together,” said Enrique Ossorio, minister for education.
The collaboration of Cisco with IBM is also open to all regions of Spain and possible uses in other areas of the administration that may benefit at this time from this remote collaboration platform.