Education has been important to Intel for much of our 50 year history and remains so as the pace of technological innovation continues to accelerate. The need to close the digital skills gap and ensure that the next generation is ready for Industry 4.0 keeps education as a priority for us.
There are a number of opportunities within the sector, Edtech includes everything from interactive whiteboards to virtual reality, and one technology increasingly referenced within the education community is AI. We’re also seeing a growing trend of education sector members engaging with eSports. It’s important that the technology & education communities increasingly collaborate to allow exploration of these emerging areas and their potential to support teaching and online learning, but also grow skills and workplace readiness.
What particular challenges do you face when dealing with the education sector? And how do you go about solving these challenges?
We see so many wonderful examples of innovation in schools and the way that they creatively use technology helps achieve some fantastic, impactful results. The challenge can sometimes be replicating that across other schools. If one school achieves something brilliant, we have to ask ourselves: ‘How can we share that insight through the community?’
One way we are working to solve this challenge is with The Education Foundation’s EdTech 50 Schools program, which celebrates the success of the work going on in schools using education technology to support great teaching and learning across the UK and Northern Ireland. The ambition is to shine a light on this activity to help share, develop and grow successful Edtech strategies and innovations across the entire schools’ community.
For example, we worked closely with the London Design and Engineering University Technical College (LDE UTC), one of this year’s digital flagship schools celebrated for its pioneering approach to education in this year’s EdTech 50 Awards, to help share their strategy for the transformation of education through technology.
We also worked with Fujitsu on its Education Ambassador Programme which supported educational institutions with their digital strategy as a whole, as well as supporting both students and educators in developing their digital skills.
Does working with a sector so closely linked to government influence hold any issues?
Intel has been working within Education for a long time and has a dedicated public sector team to support efforts in both Education and Government sectors.
Are the needs of schools in the UK changing? Many are going through a sea change as they embrace technology wholeheartedly in the classroom, how does this affect the work you do?
It is an absolutely critical time for education right now. Technology is permeating every aspect of our lives, opening up Industry 4.0 career pathways in new areas such as AI – but we are also seeing change in more traditional sectors such as agriculture. Community insight into the use of impactful technologies and partnerships between tech partners, institutions and industry bodies is crucial to support schools, colleges and universities. We need to support them in understanding these technologies within the operation of their own institutions, on top of ensuring that students are equipped with workplace ready and relevant skills.
The future calls for increasing collaboration between industry and education. This is something that is already happening in many schools in the UK including some of those involved in the EdTech 50 initiative and the outcomes are incredibly exciting for students, educators and future employers – broadening horizons and possibilities for all.
For example, at LDE UTC lessons are brought to life with real-world project briefs from businesses like Thames Water, the BBC and Costain. Meanwhile, students have gone on to start apprenticeships with the likes of BA and Rolls-Royce. Witnessing the successes and progress of these schools is heartening and only drives us on to continue to support and share their strategies for success, so that others may also map out their journeys towards impactful digital transformation.
How about Intel's work with the UK public sector as a whole – is this set to change with Brexit?
We are focusing on impactful public sector engagement (and many other sectors) within the UK and will continue to do so after Brexit.