Today, Sony announced the Future Learning Collaborative, an initiative designed to foster open and candid dialogue among higher education institutions about the role of technology in supporting teaching and learning. Duke joins ten other U.S. colleges and universities who are working together with Sony designers and researchers to develop new classroom technologies and enable more effective teaching methods with the ultimate goal of creating a deeper and more immersive learning experience for students.
Sony’s press release describes the Collaborative as follows: “The Future Learning Collaborative brings design thinking and institutional insight to bear on the development of classroom technologies that enable better outcomes and deeper learning. With support from Sony Electronics, the Collaborative facilitates dialogue among practitioners from a diverse group of 11 colleges and universities, guided by Sony’s deep experience in education technology and rich legacy of design with purpose. Together, institutional leaders and Sony designers and researchers share insights, surface best practices, and source perspectives that reflect the realities, challenges, and opportunities of education technology.”
“Our top priority is improving every aspect of instruction, which necessitates exploring the most effective uses of technology in the classroom,” said Edward Gomes, Senior Associate Dean at Duke University and a charter member of the Collaborative. “By working closely with Sony and our colleagues, we’ve created an environment that addresses our common challenges, encourages honest feedback about the development of classroom technologies, and enables educators and administrators to come together and share best practices that will shape the future of higher education.”
Work on the initiative has been underway for some time. Representatives from Sony partnered with Duke Learning Innovation and Trinity Technology Services to hold workshops on Duke’s campus on September 12 and 13 in an effort to better understand how faculty members approach active/group/experiential learning, as well as to determine some of the challenges and pain-points that they face.
During the workshops, faculty zeroed in on the challenges of managing an active learning classroom at Duke. Specifically, they mentioned:
- the design of physical classroom spaces.
- the “overhead” involved in maintaining an active learning classroom.
- effectively measuring the quality of class discussions.
- student buy-in.
Sony has several tools in development that aim to meet some of these challenges, and the company solicited feedback on those during the workshops as well.
The Sony Future Learning Collaborative:
Arizona State University
Houston Community College
Montclair State University
San Francisco State University
University of California San Diego
University of Central Florida