Awards recognize small and midsize organizations on a national level for using the Internet and networking technology in innovative ways to fuel growth
DURHAM, N.C. — Oct. 10, 2007 — Shodor, a Durham, North Carolina-based nonprofit organization serving educators and students has been recognized by Cisco for its innovative use of technology to improve math and science education nationally. Shodor was named a grand prize winner in the Nonprofit category of the Cisco Growing with Technology Awards 2007. Winners were announced Oct. 9 during a ceremony at the Hotel Sofitel in Redwood Shores, Calif.
Accepting the award were Dr. Robert Panoff, president and executive director of Shodor, and Shodor’s first intern, Monte Evans, who is now pursuing his master’s degree in information science at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
“We’re honored to receive this national distinction for our work,” Panoff said. “We dedicate this award to the educators who are using our online tools in their classrooms, and to students like Monte, whose love of math, science and technology drives our desire to help all students to share this enthusiasm.”
Evans’ involvement at Shodor, which began during his formative years, while he was in middle school, inspired Shodor to further its involvement with local students through workshops, apprenticeships and internships. Through these programs, students learn the latest technologies, mentor one another and eventually practice their skills by creating, enhancing and testing components of the agency’s website and network.
Shodor’s use of the Internet and networking technologies is at the core of its dramatic growth and effectiveness in using computers to transform science and mathematics education.
From its early days in the 1990s, when many other education-focused organizations were utilizing CDs to capture and share their resources, Shodor recognized the power of the Internet and networking, and developed those components of their work.
“We started with one Cisco router and one Cisco switch in 1995,” said Dr. Robert Panoff, President and Executive Director of Shodor, “and with just three computational science tools to our name, we were able to easily demonstrate the engaging world of computational science.”
“Through computational science, math and science concepts can be demonstrated and explored by educators and students in a visual and interactive way,” Panoff explained. “Through real-time manipulation of data representations on a computer screen, end results take shape right before your eyes, adding a new dimension and thereby making them much easier to explain and grasp.”
Today, Shodor’s bank of computational science education tools has grown to a substantial level and they are widely used at the national and international levels. Its Website garners 3 to 3.5 million page views per month. Tools such as Interactivate ( http://www.shodor.org/interactivate/) and the Computational Science Education Reference Desk (CSERD - http://www.shodor.org/refdesk/) are not only Website award-winners (2007 Webby Official Honorees), but are also widely popular among students and educators alike - helping to improve math and science education.
The Cisco Growing with Technology Awards program was created to recognize small and midsize organizations from across the United States and Canada that use networking technology in innovative ways to improve sales and marketing, expand and deliver superior service to customers, improve operational efficiencies, or outpace their competition. The winners of the program represent their industries and constituencies as role models, showcasing best practices on the use of technology to address business challenges, compete more effectively and fuel success. A panel of 10 judges selected 15 winners in five categories from more than 570 applications.
“The Cisco Growing with Technology Awards program celebrates the entrepreneurial approach that leading small and midsized organizations are taking towards the adoption of technology. This year’s winners exemplify the Cisco Smart Business approach to technology adoption,” said Peter Alexander, vice president of Business Marketing at Cisco. “Being a smart business means using technology to improve internal business processes: working smarter instead of harder. As one of this year’s winners, Shodor is ahead of its peers in terms of being a smart business. We hope other organizations will be inspired by Shodor’s creative and resourceful approach to harnessing the Internet and networking technology to set itself apart from its peers.”
This year’s panel of judges comprises a diverse cross-section of experts in the field of small and medium business operations. Members include Ken Bast, vice president, Ingram Micro; Ray Boggs, vice president of small and medium business research, IDC; Deb Mielke, president and managing director, Treillage Network Strategies; Joslyn Faust, principal research analyst, Gartner; Lisa Buksbaum, CEO and founder, Soaringwords; Mika Krammer, director of Windows Client Mobility Marketing, Microsoft Corp.; David Morgan, president, D.W. Morgan; Elspeth Jane Murray, assistant professor, Queen’s School of Business (Canada); Joni Podolsky, director of community programs, Entrepreneurs Foundation; and Joe Diodati, senior director, Global Field Marketing Integration, Cisco.
“This award from Cisco confirms what we have practiced from the beginning,” said Panoff, “that technology in service to society and education will develop a new generation of students who will take that technology to new levels. We hope this award inspires other organizations to further the human side of the technology.”
Shodor’s mission is to improve math and science education through the effective use of modeling and simulation technologies. For more information on Shodor, visit www.shodor.org
Mary Paisley, Communications Coordinator
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