Trident Blog

The role of technology in the evolution of education

Kat McDevitt - Thursday, March 14, 2019
Mark Potter, Chief Technology Officer for HPE has recently spoken about the role of technology in the evolution of education and HPE’s continuing influence on the progress of education and workforces.  Potter has touched on how technological developments have changed the world of education and how enterprises must work with educational institutions, as a duty to society and remain relevant in the evolving world. 


I was reminded during the recent national STEM day of how honoured I am to be part of a company which is pushing for STEM education and supporting it right in my own backyard.

Not so long ago children rejoiced on a day when their teacher wheeled in a big tube TV and got out a VHS for a video lesson. Now imagine showing a VHS to a child today and they’d likely have no idea what it is. They’d recognize an iPhone though. They’d intuitively swipe the screen of any device that has one. Even the generation currently studying at university have likely never used a VHS, but I’m sure they would have no trouble navigating Lone Echo or mastering CodeWars. Our tech has changed so much in the past few decades and education is changing too; both in its delivery (contrast free open access online courses with the centuries-old traditional lecture delivery) and in its organization (think about the connectivity necessity throughout campus). Then there’s the research side of university work too; high-performance computing has become an essential tool in the research arm of higher education, allowing scientists to collaborate globally while using the facilities in institutions like the University of Notre Dame. Proper tech infrastructure is now a fundamental requirement of any university that wants to be relevant, as the virtual desktop infrastructure modernization in the County College of Morris demonstrates. Along with storage capabilities, first class data analysis must be in place so that future data scientists have the best tech to learn from and extract data from. Only if our education system is technologically prepared now, will students be properly prepared for the future.


In the face of changing education, enterprises must step up and share their technology and experience, both as their duty to society and as an evolution of it. The workforce is changing, so talent needs are changing too, but also offering more opportunity. HPE has a commitment to a better future and to supporting the future workforce. We believe that tech can have an impact on education and the future, and that as a company we should give back to the communities we’re a part of. This facilitates scientific research, furthers development of education, enriches the workforce, and keeps HPE at the cutting edge of the future. It’s win-win-win.
Two examples of the HPE commitment to education and long term partnerships that I’m particularly proud of, are those with Bristol University and the Federal University of Campina Grande (UFCG) in Brazil. In Bristol, HP Labs has a long history of collaborative research internally, and with other universities around the UK and Europe. Currently we’re collaborating with the Polytechnic University of Turin researching for the European Commission security project SHIELD. Across the globe, the UFCG has been a partner of ours for 15 years- in that time hundreds of students and professionals from very diverse backgrounds have benefitted from an exchange of knowledge and facilities. Promoting an environment of proximity between academia and industry has developed education and advanced HPE solutions, for example enabling OpenStack integration with HPE OneView. It’s also provided many young learners with real world experience, while giving HPE access to the bright minds of the future.

Having many alumni of the University of Houston among the HPE workforce, plus my personal connection to the area, I’m pleased that UH has been included as part of HPE’s commitment to education. We have furthered our -already strong- ties to Houston and made a substantial contribution to the large movement focused on accelerating the development of Houston’s innovation economy. The University of Houston has announced a new collaboration with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which includes a $10 million gift from HPE to the University. This exciting alliance will also involve HPE leaders stepping up as lecturers for UH classes, UH researchers working on complex problems for HPE customers, and HPE actively advising on research areas for students ensuring they, and the faculty, are focused on real-world problems. In recognition of the alliance, the UH Data Science Institute will be renamed the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute (HPE DSI).

It’s exactly this kind of commitment that enterprises need to keep them relevant and the next generation of students prepared for the digitally transforming world. It ensures that UH moves forward in the field of data science, continuing to offer nationally competitive STEM education while engaging with a diverse population of students. This comes at a time when businesses are becoming increasingly aware that data science has never been more important. “As our core industries digitize, leveraging the power of data is critical to that transformation, and collaborations between industry and academia are a key component” states Gina Luna, chair of Houston Exponential- the organization accelerating the development of Houston’s innovation economy.

Data creation is increasing exponentially, but the value lies in gleaning insights from it. Our next big scientific breakthrough and industry disrupting innovation are hiding within that data. Enterprises can harness this potential, and prepare the future generations for it, by enhancing education, promoting STEM, and collaborating with world leading universities. HPE has committed to this endeavour across the globe, through such partnerships as with Purdue University and our Aruba network solutions in Cambridge University, the University of Minnesota, and my own stomping ground, Texas A&M University. I continue to be excited by all STEM education and the commitment to the Houston community, and look forward to seeing all of the great things to come from the city's bright young minds.











 

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