Million Lights Project: Engineering Brightness to Solve Real World Problems

In January, CEO Neil Gaydon was invited to be a keynote speaker at the Education World Forum, an annual gathering for ministers of education. There, he discussed the role of technology in education. This is part two of a three-part series from his keynote address. This part shares the Million Lights project, a project where students and teachers collaborated with each other around the world to help bring lights to others.

When you get great teaching together combined with great technology, it’s an amazing example of something called “engineering brightness.”

The United Nations called 2015 “The Year of Light” and that was a way by which to bring safe lighting to the developing world. Amazingly teachers and students worked together to figure out how they could design, build and 3D print a safe light that could be used in the developing world for their peers. This wasn’t some extracurricular activity. This was part of the STEM curriculum.

The project drove incredible engagement amongst the students and the teachers so much so that one student, who was disruptive to the point where his school was thinking of expelling him, turned around and he actually won an award as part of his efforts. This wasn’t a project in just one country, either. It was done between the United Kingdom, Canada and the USA using SMART Technologies’ education software, Skype video, and other education-based technologies.

The project has been incredible in the way it’s helped students develop presentation, communication, and collaboration skills and capabilities – skills they’ll need for the workplace of the future they’ll soon be a part of.

What was also amazing about this project is that the technology dissolved away the walls of the classrooms. Through collaboration, the use of individual devices, and education technologies, many students’ lives have been positively impacted.

Discover how SMART amp, part of SMART Learning Suite, can help you and your students collaborate with others around the world. Download your free trial today.

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Neil Gaydon
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About Neil Gaydon

Neil Gaydon is President and CEO of SMART Technologies. Prior to joining SMART, he was CEO of Pace plc, a technology developer for pay TV and broadband service providers. During his tenure as CEO at Pace, he led the company through a major turnaround resulting in a ten-fold increase in revenues to become the world leader. Throughout his career, his hallmark has been defining and executing strategy, creating effective structure and changing business culture on a global scale. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School in the Advanced Management Program.

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