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Thought Leaders in Online Education: Mike Pellerin, Director, Enterasys University (Extreme Networks) (Part 2)

Posted on Sunday, Jan 12th 2014

Sramana Mitra: Okay, let’s drill down on the topic and see some details. First and foremost, which universities are working with you on this model?

Mike Pellerin: Sure. We have begun discussions with the Seton Hill University. They’re based out of Pennsylvania. We have a fantastic relationship with Phil Komarny, the CIO as well.

Sramana Mitra: Do you have any universities that are already working with you on this or are these the schools you’re planning to do this with?

Mike Pellerin: No. Those are the universities we’re starting to work with but at two universities, we have deployed out technical service locations. At St. Claire Community College in Ohio, they have just finished teaching one of their first classes on it. There’s a long rant time in the education space.

Sramana Mitra: I know. The thing that threw me off is the way you started off that many universities are already teaching their computer science networking class from you. It sounded like you have major universities already ramped up but this is still like describing a community college that has done this for one semester. It’s very much in its early stages and is still in its experimental mode.

Mike Pellerin: Yes. It’s still in its early stages. If you’re talking about a decade as being a medium time frame, we have not been doing this for a decade. We’ve been doing it for about over a year so far. We have a school in Pauline that we started working with. We had multiple levels of discussion with other schools. They understand the value that we can bring. The other part is working on the relevance of the Chief Information Officer or director of IT within the university itself to try embrace the relevance with the academic side.

Sramana Mitra: Decisions about curriculum are not given by Chief Information officers but by the management.

Mike Pellerin: Yes. That is correct, but the Chief Information officer and the IT organization could have an impact in guiding with some of the technology.

Sramana Mitra: Regardless, you are saying something about attraction. I think the story you told about a community college adapting is interesting because not only could you see that MOOC is well-developed in theory and practical knowledge of understanding networking as a sub- field of computer science. That’s how your MOOC is being used. That community part makes perfect sense to me.

Mike Pellerin: Correct. These are two different aspects to what we do. The Enterasys university provides schools with hardware to drive their hands on education MOOC specifically is just an interactive, streaming media with the ability to have an open collaborative session with student to student; and student to instructor. So, we do both.

We have provided MOOC modules to nine different schools that have recommended our material to their students. If you visit ( where we store all the MOOC material, you will see that it’s a very different approach.

Sramana Mitra: Is this free of charge?

Mike Pellerin: Yes. It’s 100% free of charge. We have curriculum developed by the thought leaders in our networking company on some of the mega trend winning edge technologies like software-defined networking and virtualization. These topics are yet to be made available in most curricula today because it’s all new. Also, there’s a significant rant time for professors to be able to study them and develop a course.

Our positioning in this material is not as a higher-Ed institution and we would never claim to be. What we do have are stock providers that can allow universities or colleges to build materials. It also helps in showing a vendor that they can work with it. Interesting enough, half of the schools that we’re working with, are not our customers today. The education department found a considerable value add-on to allow their professors to spend more of their time working on other things instead of trying to advance the curriculum.


This segment is part 2 in the series : Thought Leaders in Online Education: Mike Pellerin, Director, Enterasys University (Extreme Networks)
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