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Representatives from 11 institutions have been meeting regularly since last November to swap ideas and ponder technology for an ongoing forum organized by the electronics company Sony and the tech company Entangled Solutions.

The goal of the Future Learning Collaborative, according to a news release from Sony, is to "develop new classroom technologies and enable more effective teaching methods." The group has met several times face-to-face as well as online for product demonstrations and philosophical conversations.

The discussions might lead to a series of white papers on issues like active learning and faculty development, according to Don Merritt, director of the Office of Instructional Resources at the University of Central Florida, one of the participating institutions.

"It’s kind of nice to see a company stepping back and saying, 'We need to be much more proactive on talking to the educational community,'" Merritt said.

In addition to fostering dialogue, Sony representatives have also shown off unfinished versions of new products that could become tools for an active learning classroom, according to Ed Gomes Jr., senior associate dean for the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences Office of Technology Services at Duke University.

Besides Central Florida and Duke, the other nine participating institutions are:

  • American University
  • Arizona State University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Houston Community College
  • Indiana University
  • Montclair State University
  • Northwestern University
  • San Francisco State University
  • University of California, San Diego