I have had the pleasure to be involved with creating partnerships between innovative educators and the companies that provide them with resources. This currently includes companies like PBS, Common Sense Media, Google, and, Microsoft, SMART, and Edmodo.
Unfortunately, for some, when the word corporation comes up, there is immediate distrust. This is a big PR problem that corporations need to take seriously. Fortunately, many corporations are excited about the opportunity to provide support to those who use their products and the teachers are benefiting in many ways.
Innovative educator Chris Casal, who has participated in some of these programs, provides this insight into the value of partnering with corporations. This was initially posted in response to some members of The Innovative Educator group who were skeptical about such opportunities:
As a NYCDOE teacher and one heavily involved with Apple, Google, and social media I must say these connections are extremely valuable, for both me and my students. I hate "edtech" because I thinks it's generally good "ed" and bad "tech" or the other way around. I try to use readily available tools, the kinds of things student's parents might be using. Corporations have long offered edu training options. ADE, GCT, etc. I think it's great to have direct access to folks at Google, Graphite, Edmodo, etc. Because of these connections Lisa Nielsen has fostered I have gotten access to preview software which has helped me prep & plan for use with my students and allowed me time to experiment & ask questions so I can be a better resource for my colleagues come September.
"Corporations" isn't a dirty word. If corporations create great products & platforms for education that's great. If they offer free assistance to educators to become better versed in their products and provide better learning experiences for students I think it's awesome.
We use Twitter a ton at my school. 30+ class twitter accounts. Three hashtags. Students tweeting. Amazing learning & sharing opportunities. If I can get access to folks at a Twitter that might help me better leverage what we do I think that's a great opportunity.
And maybe these corporations might take some insight from us and develop future iterations with students & education in mind.
Great stuff all around in my opinion.
What do you think? Should the companies who provide resources to schools and districts partner with them to provide connections and support? Have you been a part of any such opportunities? What has your experience been?