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Sony Expanding Educator Ambassador Program; Handing Out Tablets

Sony Electronics is opening up its Educator Ambassador (SEA) program to new applicants, and looking for educators from all walks of life.

Those selected will gain a measure of fame and receive a Sony Xperia Tablet Z and travel and a night's lodging to attend an orientation meeting taking place during the International Society of Technology in Education Conference (ISTE) in San Antonio in June. In return, the company wants ambassadors to share content of value to educators.

Sony launched the educator program in February. The latest recruitment will take the count from about 10 to 15. "That being said, if we see a tremendous crop of applicants, that wouldn’t stop us from inviting more. Our goal is to utilize the best possible talent, and we’re not limited by a specific number," said Jamie Marsh, a product marketing manager with Sony. The minimum commitment for those selected is for 12 months. At that point, Marsh noted, the company evaluates participation and either renews ambassador positions or opens up the application process again. Speaker and tech trainer Leslie Fisher will help manage the program.

The application, posted on the Sony Website, asks for basic contact information and throws in a couple of essay questions: "What do you see as the most important question [Sony] needs to solve?" and "How would you recommend Sony improve the awareness of [its] solution within the K-12 community?" Applicants are also asked to submit a sample original resource on how to integrate technology--any technology--into the classroom. Applications will be accepted for this latest round of ambassadors until the end of Friday, May 24.

Those selected by Sony to become ambassadors earn a few more spiffs as well. The program includes access to tablets and other devices at "special pricing" and generates additional services for their schools, including access to a tech support community online specifically intended for the educational environment.

Current resources in the online community include an explanation of how to exploit Google Docs in the classroom, a write-up about "PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit," recommendations for other useful apps, and a how-to article on using WuFoo-built forms to track student behavior in the classroom, among many others.

Marsh added that the program isn't just for teachers. "We are looking for educators...who have a passion for implementing and advancing the use of technology in the classroom. We ask our SEA members to think about how K-12 teachers can adopt and best utilize tech in the classroom and help us create assets that other teachers can use to guide the use of tech in the classroom and ease the burden that’s placed on [them] in today’s schools."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.