Connected Collaboration: From Pilot to Platform

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The Connected Health pilot telepresence program for high-school students at the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine and Early College High School at John Hay has laid the foundation for a larger scale program: the Connected Collaboration Program.

By Tom Miller, OneCommunity Executive Director of Programs and Development

Sometimes we have to wait for technologies to catch up with our expectations.  Over the past few years we’ve seen telepresence technologies (video conferencing) move from stilted, “walkie-talkie” like interactions to smooth, conversation-like experiences, mostly because of new telepresence technologies that are taking advantage of gigabit network speeds.  These advances provide K-12 schools with the opportunity to increase the use of telepresence technologies to have their students engage with Northeast Ohio’s world class institutions to create new era of connected collaboration.

Case in point, over the past year, high school students at the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine  and Cleveland Early College High School at John Hay have been participating in a pilot program in which they engage via telepresence with medical students from the Case Western Reserve University’s  School of Medicine and health professionals from the Cleveland Clinic’s Office of Civic Education.   

A short (3-minute) video overview of the Connected Health Pilot is posted on CWRU’s YouTube channel:

The pilot was built on infrastructure donated by Cisco and served as a catalyst for a public/private partnership to utilize TelePresence for students to explore community health issues and encourage underrepresented youth in becoming ‘next generation’ medical and health professionals in Ohio.

Building on the success of the Connected Health Pilot,  a consortium of 21 schools and 16 institutional partners have assembled and are seeking funds from the State of Ohio’s Straight A fund to scale the Connected Health Pilot to create a Connected Collaboration Platform.

The Connected Collaboration Platform will  provide schools with a growing repository of resources (human, instructional, and technical) to enable student-centric learning that extends beyond the classroom with a continued focus on health/health careers and the inclusion of STEM instructional experiences and college readiness supports.  Straight A funding awards are anticipated in July 2014. For more information about the Connected Collaboration Platform, contact

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