This week Intel invited Chip Chick and a group of other women bloggers from around the blogosphere to come visit their headquarters in Silicon Valley to participate in their Intel Upgrade Your Life event. Needless to say, it was an incredible experience on many fronts. We got to take an up close and personal look at the latest mobile products powered by Intel processors. We also got to take a sneak peak at some of the innovative technologies that Intel is currently researching, consider it a glimpse at what the future has in store for all of us. We also got to meet with many of the women who actually work at Intel. It was awesome to meet these very forward thinking women who are instrumental in shaping and influencing Intel’s vision. One of these women, is Genevieve Bell who spoke to us about her experiences getting to know women in different cultures around the world and how they each interact with technology differently.
The day started off with some of the women at Intel – Julie Clugage, Eileen Lento & Alison Richards, talking to us about how and why education is so important to Intel. An important focus at Intel is working on improving global education. There are several parts to this. Firstly, they believe that teaching and learning can be effectively improved through the use of technology. Intel has already invested over a billion dollars in education. They believe that by building 21st century skills for students, they are enabling both individuals and countries as a whole to be successful. This process involves using technology to move to a student driven model, where kids can use technology to go out and collect data, collaborate and then present their data and recommendations to their communities.
One outlet that Intel has been accomplishing this is through Intel Computer Club Houses which are after school programs that give kids access to computers and mentors to encourage their learning. Intel is also actively involved in sponsoring cutting edge research. We saw that first hand last week at the Intel International Engineering Science and Education Fair, where the brilliant teenagers and their sophisticated projects made us feel very simple and bewildered, but in a good way. Their other projects include the Classmate PC and Convertible Classmate PC which was designed for kids to use and share with each other in the classroom. One example of the success of the Classmate PC is the Magellan Initiative which brought one thousand jobs to Portugal, Spain, when the government bought 500 thousand Classmate PCs for students and teachers.
It is sad news for the U.S. but the fact is that Intel can not hire enough engineers out of this country, but they would like to. They know that they need to equip the next generation to grow up and be able to design better processors as well as feats of technology. Furthermore, computers and technology can not only improve learning in the classroom, but it also solves a common problem in the U.S. – which is that there is a deficit in the budget for textbooks in many U.S. states. Textbooks are costly to buy and even just to store, not to mention that they’re also heavy for kids to schlep around. An affordable netbook or laptop for kids like the Classmate PC or even Dell’s new Latitude 2100, can solve the textbook problem and replace it with some thing even more useful – a tool that kids can use to actively get involved in science and learning, instead of just reading about it.
In the U.S., one of the biggest deployments of technology has been in Henrico County where thousands of middle and high school students received a laptop. As a result, teachers have had to restructure their teaching technique around the use of computers. But the result is a true measure of success – standardized test scores got better and drop out rates got lower. Thus, proving that technology in the classroom does indeed engage students and improve the learning experience.
Small Things Challenge is a a campaign that promotes quality education and economic growth in developing countries. For every click you make to give a donation, Intel gives 25¢ towards the cause.
The EdTech Action Network (ETAN) brings together educators to voice their political support to improve teaching and learning through the systemic use of technology
K-12 Computing Blueprint is a resource for teachers to use when preparing a curriculum focused around using technology in the classroom.
This video showcases a small town in India where Intel got involved by providing technology in the classroom. The results changed the lives for a group of young women who got the unusual opportunity to finish highschool.
Intel’s New Sponsors of Tomorrow campaign:
Chances are you have already seen Intel’s hilarious new commercials for their “Sponsors of Tomorrow” campaign. Deborah Conrad of Intel’s Corporate Marketing Group took some time out to explain to us where the inspiration for the new campaign came from. In the 90’s, Intel recognized that people were new to computers and thus confused about the purchase process and how to figure out what to buy. So Intel started the forever famous “Intel Inside” campaign in order to make technology feel more accessible.
Today in 2009, Intel took a look around at consumers and realized that the consumer confusion that they had been trying to eliminate all this time – still exists, and that this is partly their own doing because of their confusing processor names. Eg: Core 2 Duo, Centrino, Celeron, etc. Thank you Intel for acknowledging this! Finally! So Intel has now come up with ways to simplify the brand, in order to make it easier for consumers to understand what they are buying.
Intel genuinely wants to sell to an educated consumer who knows what they are purchasing. How many times have you had a conversation with someone who just bought a new laptop and all they can tell you is that it’s a HP, or a Mac or a Sony? But if you ask them about what is under the hood, they can maybe go as far to tell you that it plays DVDs and has a widescreen. Intel isn’t satisfied with that, they want the average consumer to care about technology and what components are inside their computers. In an attempt to simplify the process Intel has come up with a new ratings system and a Good / Better / Best system of labels for each processor, so that even a newbie to computers will be able to spot and understand the difference between a Celeron and a Core i7 speed demon.
But there is another layer to the Sponsors of Tomorrow campaign, and that is about Intel’s focus on the future. Intel’s investment in research and education, is all part of their efforts to create outstanding technology moving forward in to the next century. Over the next couple of days we’ll bring you more from the Intel Upgrade experience, including some of the latest mobile products and glimpses of tech research projects that will get you excited about our gadgety future.
Below is a list of the other participants at the Intel Upgrade Your Life event.