Technology in the education sector is growing in importance today across the globe. In the U.S., President Barack Obama has voiced his plans to modernize schools so all children can have access to computers and the Internet. The belief is that having proper skills for these technologies is the best way to prepare and position youth for the future job market they will be placed in. In Portugal, the government has also placed focus on the need for technology in the classroom and has set up an 'Internet in the Classroom' project as part of their information and communication technology literacy (ICT) goals for students. Through improved technology in the classroom, Portugal said it hopes to better establish it's self as 'a leader in ICT to drive economic growth and global competitiveness.' As part of this plan, the nation will equip classrooms with IP-connected multimedia e-learning tools as well as develop a digital platform and content for education and create ICT academies and internship programs, and more.
For the new project, the government of Portugal has chosen Cisco to provide their technologies for high-density local-area network and wireless access in every classroom in every secondary school in Portugal. Specifically, the new project will bring Portugal Telecom, a prime contractor of the project, together with Cisco (News – Alert) to equip 1,220 schools with 215,000 Ethernet ports and 15,000 wireless access points. Cisco's Digital Media System, a suite of digital signage, enterprise TV, and desktop video applications, is helping schools and universities to enhance communications. The company boasts more than 1,000 organizations that have adopted the system in just two years. Using the solution, these institutions are improving campus communications, extending learning beyond the classroom and more effectively disseminating emergency notifications.