Intel Education: Intel won’t just run tomorrow’s computers, It’ll run your classroom.

Intel

Intel isn’t just that mystical chip that’s the brain of your computer! No. Intel, a multinational semiconductor chip maker corporation headquartered in Santa Clara, California also has a vision for tomorrow’s classroom.

Our world is increasingly facing new challenges — challenges in  of immense scale in healthcare, education, the environment, water supply among others. Africa in particular has her own unique challenges such as extreme poverty, civil war, preventable diseases and corruption, challenges which the next generation should address.

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A massive transition is needed and a new approach must be created for the next generation to effect change.

The next generation must be equipped with unique 21 century skills that will enable them to not just survive, but thrive both in life and at their workplace. These include;  problem solving, collaboration, communication, critical thinking and digital literacy.

Intel believes that EdTech or Education Technology is an essential foundation for a transformed environment that makes learning more personal and helps students develop 21st century skills.  Their vision according to an email interview Dignited had with Intel East Africa’s Alex Twinomugisha the  Business Development Manager- Education,  is to create and extend computing technology to enrich the lives of every student on the planet.

Intel is now working with several stakeholders including governments, Donors, NGOs, multinational and local companies to improve education and develop 21st century skills in students by making learning more personal with eLearning solutions.

But the move towards embracing EdTech solutions isn’t quite an easy one. It goes beyond only writing cool innovative educational Apps or importing devices in the classroom; stakeholders such as governments should rethink century old models to education. They should adopt a holistic model to integrating technology (and not just teaching about technology) that includes having a vision and strategy, teacher training, a responsive curriculum and assessment system, relevant content, teacher training and monitoring and evaluation. African schools still remain technological averse as I narrated in this post on “why Tablets could potentially change education in Africa”. Effective administrative policy and strong leadership are essential for transformation in education.

Intel certainly recognizes these challenges and proposes that governments should come up with policies designed to ensure that all students obtain the skills necessary to succeed in this knowledge-based economy and society. When rethinking education systems and designing national technology in education plans, Intel thinks that governments should:

#1. Design, develop, and adopt education goals to equip citizens with the subject-specific and 21st century competencies to prosper in the global knowledge economy. Critical 21st century competencies, skills, and expertise are included in the following framework

  • Ways of thinking: creativity and innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, learning to learn, meta-cognition
  • Ways of working: communication, collaboration/teamwork
  • Tools for working: information literacy, ICT literacy
  • Living in the world: local/global citizenship, life and career, social responsibility

#2. Design, develop, and adopt a holistic model of education transformation through technology that addresses the following essential components: policy, curriculum and assessment, professional learning, infrastructure, and research and evaluation.

#3. Foster multi-stakeholder partnerships in the design, development, and deployment of education transformation initiatives.

#4. Create broad policy guidelines that can apply both now and in the future as ICT advances.

Intel says it supports local governments and countries in developing effective policy and achieving 21st century education excellence.

The chip maker has done several projects in the African continent to foster the adoption of EdTech in the classroom and we’ll talk about them in the next post. Recognizing the links between ICT, improved education, economic development, and national progress, Intel engages with development agencies, multilateral organizations, and nonprofits to advocate for education excellence and access.

Image: Intel East Africa