Centre News

Connected Nation announces new partnerships for Edified program

June 27, 2013 By Jessica Ditto, Director of Communications, Connected Nation, and Michael Strysick, Director of Communications, Centre College        
Centre College, Connected Nation Connected Nation's newest dedicated program, "Edified," aims to
foster educational innovation, work to solve the connectivity challenge
and drive a more effective learning environment for students.

Centre College, VP debate 2012 Centre College first partnered with Connected Nation during the
Vice Presidential debate of 2012, hosting an "Our Voice. Our
Future" student event that explored social media and technology
in education.

The Global Center for Connected Campuses, or GC3—a collaboration between Centre College and Connected Nation—has taken on a new identity based on an announcement by Connected Nation made at the recent International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference, held in San Antonio. As a result, GC3 will become EC3, or the Edified Center for Connected Campuses.

Connected Nation, founded by Centre alumnus Brian Mefford ’95, announced at ISTE that it has launched a new dedicated program to foster innovation in education, have a measurable impact on creating efficiencies in solving the connectivity challenge and drive a more effective learning environment for students.

The program, called "Edified," will work with partners comprised of technology companies, education research organizations, broadband providers, and distinguished educators to accelerate the deployment of the latest mobile technology, robust wireless connectivity, education apps and twenty first century teaching practice in America's K-12 schools, colleges and universities.

"In every sense, we believe that technology has the power to 'edify' the quality of the educational experience at all levels and in ways that no one could have anticipated even five years ago," said Tom Ferree, Connected Nation president and COO.

"We've only scratched the surface in terms of what technology can do—when paired with quality instruction—to impact educational outcomes, especially now that game-changing technologies like tablet devices are just beginning to be deployed on a one-to-one basis in our nation's schools. The time is now to drive a national conversation about how these devices can be most effectively harnessed to fundamentally impact and transform the learning process in America's schools—and make sure that the investments being made by local, state and federal governments are achieving tangible results."

Edified will also advance Centre's partnership with Connected Nation and the newly named Edified Center for Connected Campuses. Most important, EC3 will serve as a laboratory for exploring innovative and practical ways to use technology in the liberal arts college setting. In addition, EC3 will explore innovations in classroom technology, tablet integration, lighting, furniture design, high-definition video conferencing, audio integration, device management and a myriad of software/apps—all while keeping in mind the importance of ease of use. EC3 will also explore how the rise of Massive Online Open Courses may impact liberal arts colleges where personalized learning and close student-faculty relationships remain an integral part of the educational experience.

"This partnership represents a broader initiative at Centre College to embrace technology," said Centre President John A. Roush. "EC3 will provide the opportunity to imagine and then engage technology in a way that allows Centre not only to carry forward its mission as a place of personal education, where great teaching is prized, but also remain open to exploring how technology can complement and expand opportunity for our students, as well as other students across the country and around the globe."

"And while it may seem an obvious point," added Roush, "I would suggest that Edified's focus on K-12 education will help us better understand the fluency with and expectations for technology that young people will have as they begin their college search."

To that point, and building upon Connected Nation's reputation for driving technology adoption and broadband expansion across America, Edified will provide economical services to K-12 school districts, postsecondary institutions, and education technology companies to ensure that more students have access to anytime, anywhere learning. On school campuses, Edified will provide on-site logistics and coordination services for one-to-one tablet deployments, professional development event facilitation and training to ensure that teachers understand how to use technology, and campus IT infrastructure technical assessments. For education technology companies, Edified will facilitate product trials and school pilot projects for new, cutting-edge education technologies and applications.

The most recent example is a project Connected Nation announced at ISTE that was facilitated in collaboration with AT&T, Edmodo, Kno and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile) to pilot a new K-12 mobile learning model that combines mobile devices, connectivity and educational content with the ambition to make "anywhere education" easier than ever.

Additionally, Edified will serve as the home for Connected Nation's newest partnership with fellow non-profit GameDesk, a Los Angeles-based research, game development, and outreach organization that has evolved out of seven years of research at the University of Southern California. Recently named by Fast Company magazine as one of the World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Education, GameDesk's focus is to help close the achievement gap and to engage students, particularly those who are low-proficient in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning. Connected Nation and GameDesk are already aggressively working to build a national project that will help bring its innovative approach to STEM education to schools across the country.

With this launch, Connected Nation has named Brent Legg to head the new program as vice president for education programs. Legg has had a presence on the Centre campus for several months, and he oversees the EC3 project from an office located in the Annex building on West Walnut Street. He is currently working with Centre students Rachel West and Holden Pederson, who are the inaugural EC3 summer interns. As part of their work, West and Pederson accompanied Legg to the ISTE conference in San Antonio.

To learn more about Edified, please visit www.edified.us.

Centre College, founded in 1819, is a nationally ranked liberal arts college in Danville, Ky. Centre hosted its second Vice Presidential Debate on 10.11.12, and remains the smallest college in the smallest town ever to host a general election debate. For more, click here.

Have comments, suggestions, or story ideas? E-mail centrenews@centre.edu or contact the Communications Office at 859-238-5748.

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