“Touch technology will become mainstream. Today, touch is the new generation’s trend; tomorrow it will enter the schools.” – Guido Terni, Italy

From time to time here at Daily Edventures, we introduce you to companies who, like Microsoft, are working across all sectors to help shape the future of education. Acer is one such company, with a long history of supporting education through innovative technology and programs. The company was founded in 1976, and today is one of the world’s top five branded PC vendors. Their unique education-focused program is called Acer for Education.

Guido Terni leads Acer’s education sector efforts for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), and we’re pleased to highlight the work Terni and his team have been doing to make a difference for students and teachers. Today, Terni tells us more about what his team has done to support schools, particularly those that have been impacted by Europe’s recent economic difficulties. He also offers up his predictions for what technologies will dominate the education landscape in the future. Enjoy today’s Daily Edventure.

Can you describe how your professional achievements have advanced innovation in education?

The responsibility of the Education Division has allowed me to establish a network of highly skilled people, with a strong focus on education and who are used to working on global goals, but with a local approach. Our company’s mission – breaking barriers between people and technology – challenges us to explore the critical and crucial Education environment. A dedicated division allows us to approach this market in a structured way and to offer our wide experience in ICT at school.

What has changed as a result of your efforts?

I increased my trips around the region, and for good reason. Most of the countries are interested in developing local activities in the education sector, and are implementing some good strategies to raise our brand awareness there. They are sharing their experiences that can then be implemented in other countries. We built up a division and now we have a strong team, working together in the same direction.

How can others facing similar challenges implement what you’ve learned through your work?

Thinking outside the box. The Education market is completely different from other industries, and so are its needs. It’s not just a matter of bits and bytes: schools and educational institutions need to rely on a partner that is able to support them in every single aspect of their life. Quality is much more relevant than quantity.

How have you applied technology in innovative ways to support your work?

Today, I can leverage the complementary nature of our technological devices. Different tools that can easily do the same job providing a different experience: more productivity with a notebook, extreme mobility with a tablet, connected everywhere with a smart phone. There are no boundaries.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome to ensure students are receiving a quality education?

We are in the middle of an economic crisis. This means that some – or a lot – of countries cannot increase their budget for schools or invest extra money to offer modern tools to schools. At Acer, we decided to implement cross-countries projects, where we offered technological support to selected schools for free. We aimed at demonstrating how technology can dramatically improve learning and teaching at schools.

What is your region doing well currently to support education?

We have a top-down approach. The European Union (through the European Schoolnet) defines the focus and the main target, and then it’s up to the company to follow these directions. Our focus this year is on the 1-to-1 approach and STEM careers.

What conditions must change in your region to better support education?

We will need to achieve better economic conditions and a wider open-mindedness of Institutions towards innovation and technology.

What is the best opportunity for innovation in education?

The best opportunity is for all technology vendors to work together to bring innovation in schools, acting as one eco-system and not competing with each other.

What advice would you give a new teacher (or to anyone wanting to make a difference in education)?

The working environment is already based on technology. And technology pervades our life events at home. I think that schools should act as a go-between, without hampering the innovation that technology can bring.

What educational “trend” do you think is helping students? is there a trend that is getting in the way of learning?

Technologies like 3-D, touch, and interactivity are supporting a new way of teaching and learning, which is more dynamic and interactive and helps to hold students’ attention. Students using these technologies feel much more comfortable. Touch technology will become mainstream. Today, touch is the new generation’s trend; tomorrow it will enter the schools.

If you could give one educational tool to every child in the world, what would it be? why?

It would be a tablet, no doubt. These devices have been specifically designed for content consumption – a quick and easy way to access media content – and for simplifying the use of technology itself.

About Guido Terni

  • Birthplace: Milan, Italy
  • Current Residence: Milan, Italy
  • Education: Bachelor in Economics
  • Website I check every day: Linked-in
  • Person who inspires me the most: I’m inspired by ideas more than by people.
  • Favorite childhood memory: summer holidays in a foreign country.
  • Next travel destination (work or pleasure): Paris
  • When was the last time you laughed? Why? Every single morning, when I look at my daughter miming strange expressions.
  • Favorite book: I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
  • Favorite music: Pop music
  • Your favorite quote or motto: Carpe diem
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