Northwestern Joins Sony, 10 Other Schools, to Tackle Technology in Teaching

October 29, 2018 | By Erin Karter

Northwestern University has joined Sony Electronics and 10 other U.S. colleges and universities in a new initiative to develop new classroom technologies and enable more effective teaching methods.   

Sony Electronics announced this week 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.  

Northwestern and the other member institutions 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.  

“Northwestern is deeply committed to supporting faculty in teaching with technology, drawing on our rich history of conducting research to understand the impact of new tools and solutions on student learning,” said Peggy A. McCready, associate vice president of IT Services and Support at Northwestern University. 

“By working closely with Sony and our colleagues from a diverse group of institutions, we will be better prepared to evaluate how learning spaces and technologies create deeper levels of student engagement and learning,” said Bennett Goldberg, assistant provost for learning and teaching and director of the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching at Northwestern University. 

The Collaborative -- a cross-section of public, private, two- and four-year institutions -- has met regularly since November 2017 for working sessions, focus groups and technology demonstrations. In the coming months, the collaborative will begin regularly sharing its findings with the broader higher education community.  

This initiative is the latest result of Sony’s decades-long commitment to providing creative products and solutions that directly support the mission and vision of higher education institutions.  

The company’s work with colleges and universities ranges from manufacturing products for classrooms and presentations to developing virtual and augmented reality activations for admissions to leading the design and system integration of new campus facilities. Sony’s approach is based on gathering feedback from practitioners and learning an industry’s unique challenges, then developing solutions that meet customers’ evolving needs — in fields as diverse as broadcast, production, cinematography, healthcare, theater and sports, along with higher education.

Members of the Collaborative include:

  • American University
  • Arizona State University
  • Dartmouth College
  • 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 concerns -- of practitioners across a range of fields,” said 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 to meet our mutual goal of student success.” 

About the Future Learning Collaborative

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.