Cisco, Intel and Microsoft announced yesterday that they will underwrite a major multi-sector research project to improve education through technology around the world.
At the Learning and Technology World Forum in London, Cisco, Intel and Microsoft said the project will include 50 experts and innovators in academia and government to collaborate on the project. Barry McGaw, director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, will serve as executive director of the project.
"Shrinking resources and market pressures mean that education can no longer be the sole responsibility of governments," McGaw said in a press release. "Building the future workforce will require a commitment from the private sector to partner with public institutions...And change on a global scale is required to equip students of today with the skills they need to succeed in the workforce of tomorrow."
The three companies believe that education systems are out of date, and have not kept pace with the skill sets that the global economy requires. "These skills include the ability to think critically and creatively; to work cooperatively; and to adapt to the evolving use of technology in business and society," the press release stated.
ZDNet reported that during the forum, McGaw said technology could be used to help teachers conduct student assessments more effectively and efficiently. The companies also believe that more can be done with virtual learning.
The companies have all made a financial investment into the project but do not plan to disclose the amount, Rachel MacGillivray, a Microsoft spokesperson told The Industry Standard. She added that the first milestone will be to write four whitepapers that assess classroom environments and current educational practices.