Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Fujitsu World Tour event in London, where my colleague Danny Arati, our Europe Education Manager, spoke along with Ash Merchant, Head of Education at our Global Technology Partner Fujitsu.
The event kicked off with a fantastic presentation by Dr Joseph Reger – Fujitsu’s CTO – which set the theme for the day: human centric innovation. There are few applications of technology that are more human-centric than education, but in order to get the best human outcomes in the classroom, you have to be prepared to put in the right human investment.
Ash talked us through some of the fantastic success stories Fujitsu has seen at its Innovation Hubs. These are education establishments around the UK where Fujitsu has provided technology – and most crucially training – to teachers and learners. Even at this early stage, the results have been incredible and we’ll be sharing some of those stories here over the coming months.
The five pillars of the education approach we’re taking with Fujitsu can be summed up as A, E, I, O, U. Or acceleration, exceeding, innovation, opportunities and ubiquitous.
We’ve seen acceleration with one of the students at UTC Reading. He has just secured a place on the sponsored Fujitsu degree apprenticeship programme, which was accelerated by this particular student’s infectious passion for technology.
We’ve seen students exceeding expectations. Ash mentioned that when it comes to cognitive development, students from disadvantaged backgrounds may already be lagging 18 months behind their peers when they start school aged five. Add a disability and this can be 36 months. Through technology, students living with autism like those at Thames Valley School have been given the tools to defy expectations and exceed without limitations.
As Danny mentioned, making technology human-centric and inspiring people to make the most out of it is crucial to Intel’s approach to education. Putting devices alone into a classroom won’t achieve anything unless the people using them know how. That’s why we’ve trained over 12 million teachers and have launched our own Education Ambassadors programme to bring together the best educators, the best knowledge and the best technology to lead the way in this arena.
Creating opportunities is at the core of the ambassador programme. We know that by 2020 there will be a need for a further 300,000 workers in the digital sector. Today we’re struggling to find 20 per cent of that figure. The opportunities are out there, and our partners like Fujitsu are committed to driving uptake in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects by creating 245 apprenticeships and committing to 750 more.
Finally, ubiquitous, or as it’s often known ‘anything, anywhere, anytime’. To give an example, Intel’s been developing internet access points and solar powered batteries that will allow a class to take laptops out into the open for field work. Learning shouldn’t stop at the classroom door.
This blog post has only just touched upon the topics that were spoken about at the event, but together with our partners, we’re confident that we can deliver positive educational outcomes for today’s learners, using a human-centred approach to technology.
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