ERI and SGLI: Very Tasty Alphabet Soup

At ThinkTank a few days back, I had the opportunity to sit-in on the Education Research Initiative (ERI) Board of Advisors meeting. It was a great opportunity to hear about many of the wonderful projects underway. Through ERI, a partnership with Intel and Microsoft, Lenovo seeks to gain insight into technology’s impact on the learning environment. Utilizing quantitative and qualitative research, the initiative seeks to measure the effect of technology on the learning experience from grade one through college. In its initial year, ERI established core research programs at four global educational institutes:

In addition to these sites, ERI is also sponsoring research of input methods for students with dyslexia, cloud computing and higher education, synchronous vs. asynchronous online lectures, and others. While in future posts, I want to explore some of the other initiatives, today I will focus on SGLI, as the second year of this program is just underway on the campus of the Punahou School. Having grown from eight schools representing two countries to fifteen schools from five countries, this program gathers students from around the world to participate in a project-based, collaborative study of global leadership in the context of social change and sustainability. During the initial year, the students focused on economic and environmental issues of water, and the content theme for this year is energy.

As part of the program, all of the students meet in Hawai'i at the Wo International Center. Here the students participate in a two-week curriculum which features workshops on leadership, presentations by experts in the field of sustainable energy, and cultural exchange. After this period of face-to-face collaboration and learning, each of the teams will return to their schools and communities, where they will implement projects developed during their time at Punahou. The students will continue to collaborate and share online using social networking tools, including updates via guest-blogger posts on Lenovo Education. In my last year of teaching Calculus at Cary Academy, I had the great fortune to teach a student who had been a part of the inaugural class of SGLI. In conversations about her experiences, it was clear that this institute had a profound impact on her and that she developed a real sense of community around the work she did with the other student leaders from across the globe.

Participating Schools

Cary Academy* United States
Lakeside School United States
Noble and Greenough School United States
Phillips Exeter Academy* United States
St. Paul’s School United States
Sidwell Friends School* United States
Punahou School* United States
Beijing Huiwen High School* China
High School Affiliated to Fudan University* China
High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China* China
The Second High School Attached to Beijing Normal University* China
International Christian University High School Japan
Gakushuin Girls’ Junior and Senior High School Japan
King’s Academy Jordan
Raffles Institution Singapore
* - Schools which participated in SGLI 2010