Sony Electronics and 11 U.S. colleges and universities today announced an initiative designed to foster dialogue about the role of technology in supporting teaching and learning.

UCF and the other Future Learning Collaborative members are working with Sony designers and researchers to develop classroom technologies and enable more effective teaching methods, with the goal of creating a more immersive learning experience for students.

“UCF is excited to be a part of the collaborative, which provides an opportunity for universities to guide tech companies towards more effective and usable solutions for classrooms,” says Don Merritt, director of UCF’s Office of Instructional Resources. “UCF faculty have already had one opportunity to give feedback on technology solutions Sony is researching, and we look forward to more classroom-based feedback opportunities as the collaborative moves forward.”

The collaborative — a cross-section of public, private, two- and four-year institutions — has been meeting in working sessions, focus groups and technology demonstrations facilitated by Entangled Studios. In each meeting, members shared ideas, asked questions, and participated in candid discussions about teaching and learning technologies and pedagogical strategies. In the coming months, the collaborative will begin sharing its findings with the broader higher-education community.

This initiative is part of Sony’s commitment to provide creative products and solutions that directly support the mission of higher-education institutions. The company’s work with colleges and universities ranges from manufacturing products for classrooms and presentations, developing virtual and augmented-reality activations for admissions, leading the design and system integration of new campus facilities, and other services.

“Our top priority is improving every aspect of instruction, which necessitates exploring the most effective uses of technology in the classroom,” says 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.”

The members of the collaborative are:

  • American University
  • Arizona State University
  • Dartmouth University
  • Duke University
  • Houston Community College
  • Indiana University
  • Montclair State University
  • Northwestern University
  • San Francisco State University
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of Central Florida
  • “The work of the collaborative is rooted in Sony’s fundamental philosophy of designing with purpose and developing technology that reflects the experiences — and challenges — of practitioners across a range of fields,” says Satoshi Kanemura, head of B2B of America, Sony Electronics. “Higher education’s mission and complexity present a unique opportunity for our team. Having the support of institutions through their investment of time, and their willingness to share perspectives, enables us to develop solutions that are both actionable and relevant.”