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The VictoryXR Show: Margaret Purdue Discusses Intel’s Skills for Innovation Program

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June 12, 2024 | Steve Grubbs


  • Introduction to Intel’s Skills for Innovation Program: Steve Grubbs and Margaret Purdue discuss Intel’s Skills for Innovation program, which provides free resources to schools and students, aimed at equipping educators with tools to teach future job skills.
  • Margaret Purdue’s Background: Margaret Purdue, the community manager for Intel’s Skills for Innovation platform, has a background in elementary education and extensive teaching experience, particularly during the pandemic, which highlighted the need for more educational resources.
  • Program Details and Goals: The Skills for Innovation program focuses on preparing students for future job markets by emphasizing higher cognitive, social-emotional, and technological skills. It offers professional development for teachers and curated lesson plans integrating new technologies.
  • Access and Resources: Educators can access a variety of starter packs and resources through the Skills for Innovation platform using the code “victoryxrsfi”. These resources are designed to be web-based and free, covering a range of subjects from STEM to social issues, and are available for all grade levels from kindergarten to high school.

Watch at https://youtu.be/6wpcmq-rwO8?si=MrDNoxRAXoTclKMh

Steve Grubbs: Welcome to the VictoryXR show. We have a show you should find very interesting if you like freshly free stuff for your school and your students because Intel and their Partners like us have a very generous program that really does a lot for students and provides resources. So we’re gonna talk today with Margaret Purdue, Purdue as in Purdue University. I don’t think she owns Purdue University but spelled that same way and Margaret is the community manager for Intel’s Skills for Innovation program. So Margaret, welcome. Thank you for joining us and tell us just a little bit about your background with education and Intel.

Margaret Purdue: Yeah, thank you so much for having me on this is super exciting and you had said I am the current community manager at Intel and their Skills for Innovation platform, but my background is in education. My degree is in elementary education and I taught for six years in the middle school setting so I taught sixth grade math, science, and communications over the course of a six-year span .I come from a long line of teachers dating all the way back to my grandmother and my great grandmother. It has carried through all of us and a lot of my experience now since I’ve kind of transferred over to the edtech realm is really finding ways to help educate educators, and those within education with resources and tools to help our teachers. I was still teaching during the pandemic, and I know that that was really hard for a lot of Educators and definitely revealed some holes that we needed to work on so every time I talk about SFI always think wow, this would have been something I wish I would have had when I was an educator. I wish that was something that I had access to because I didn’t and there are so many things that are available that I would have just loved to get my hands on.

Steve Grubbs: Yeah, and it’s great that Intel is focused on this. Intel’s primary mission is not learning and education.Iit’s chips and obviously very good at chips, but it’s great that Intel is putting time and effort into this. So why don’t you describe to us the skills for the Innovation program?

Margaret Purdue: Right. Yeah, for sure the reason that this goes for the Innovation program was created in the first place was that in looking at the job landscape even in 2025. There is a huge change in the rules that there currently are and the emerging job roles. So that we have seen a huge shift and we’re going to continue to see a huge shift and something I remember hearing a lot as an educator is we are preparing our students for jobs that don’t exist yet. So, how do we prepare our students and our children for jobs that we don’t even know what they are? And so that is part of the basis of what the platform is built on and just looking at what are going to be these future demands that employers are wanting in these new skill sets. We’re seeing a huge shift. Being away from you’re the physical and the basic cognitive skills, and we’re seeing a huge rise in employers that are really wanting those higher cognitive skills, those social emotional skills or soft skills that they’re called very often, and the technological skills. So the SFI program is created around seeing this need, and working to fill that need through the program by creating resources. Not only for teachers themselves to go through different professional development so that they feel confident in teaching the material, but also curating lesson plans or what we call starter packs integrating these different and new technologies that are up and coming that our students will be needing into the curriculum that the teachers are already teaching.

Steve Grubbs: So let’s get a little bit more granular. It’s that sort of a high level view.

Margaret Purdue: Yeah, high level. Yes.

Steve Grubbs: So let’s dive into some specific starter packs that are out there. Obviously VictoryXR has one and maybe we start there and then talk about some of the others.

Margaret Purdue: Yeah, so VictoryXR if you’re on the site and you go under the partner starter packs, they have a really cool selection of starter packs that deal all with anatomy and that you can go through each one of these you can click on them. There is an entire educator guide that you get to download. So this includes some teachers who you may be more familiar with,  your pacing guide, your goals,  your objectives, essential questions, mapping to all of the curriculum time, you have all of that. That’s in your downloads. Another thing that is downloaded in each one of these starter packs is a slide deck that has the items for you to present in your classroom already curated and ready to go for you and then additionally it also has supplemental materials activities worksheets homework things like that that can be done in parallel to the different starter packs. So when you go on to the website and you see any of those you can click within them and then download all of that content and it will give you the lesson plan of how to go through each and every one of these starter packs.

Steve Grubbs: Yeah, I’d like to just talk a little bit about the educator. We worked on the development of this.

Margaret Purdue: Yes.

Steve Grubbs: She is an All-Star. So Wendy Martin is the teacher. She has been teaching high school biology for 22 plus years, a lot of dissection, and she also was a finalist for national teacher of the year. She’s very Dynamic just a great teacher and  I know this because two of my children had her as a teacher and they just raved about her. We have a science teacher and students love their science teacher, you found somebody who knows what they’re doing. So Wendy has been one of our hologram and virtual reality teachers since the beginning of VictoryXR and we asked her to tackle this starter pack program with Intel and she did a great job. So we would encourage everyone to take a look at that. And just before we leave this, let’s say I’m listening to this and I say, okay. I do want to try it,  where do we go?  And what’s the code that’s needed?

Margaret Purdue: So if you go to http://skillsforinnovation.intel.com/ if you’re not in the EU and then https://skillsforinnovation.intel.eu/  if you are resident of the EU and then you’ll click the register button and it’ll prompt you to enter a code and the code that they we’ll be entering to get access to all of this amazing content would be victoryxrsfi all lowercase.

Steve Grubbs:  victoryxrsfi all lowercase. That’s great and it doesn’t cost anything. That’s good. And for us we need to make payroll. So we like it when people pay us money. But in this instance, this is really great for our branding so people know the types of products we have out there and hopefully, if they like it, they might explore further with our company. So let’s look at some others. What are some other partners who you might recommend that teachers and educators should look at?

Margaret Purdue: All of our partners right now have some really really cool starter packs within the SFI site. We recently just did a community webinar with Epic Games and they have a Fortnite. It’s called Fortnite Storm Shields where individuals get to go into Fortnite creative and build and try to tackle climate change and try to meet these sustainable development goals. Then we also have twin, and they have a lot of really cool content with stem, technology, and sustainability. We also have screenwear which is all about learning and engaging with also some stem and really cool items like that. They also have labs and they have a few virtual science labs for healthcare simulations and interactive items. All of these starter packs span from kindergarten up to high school. I think that’s another thing that’s important to note is a lot of times we feel or we think of technology and we think that’s middle school and high school, but our starter packs range K through 12, and not just your stem and your science and math, but across all of the different content areas as well.

Steve Grubbs: So you gave a code for us, but obviously you can’t give a code for every piece of content you have out there. How do teachers and Educators find those codes for something they want to download?

Margaret Purdue: So their registration code will give them access to the entire site so that’s their only code that they will need, and then they can access everything within the platform. So their VictoryXR will not only give them access to all of the VictoryXR starter packs but to everything within the platform.

Steve Grubbs: I did not realize okay, so when they register they put in the victoryxrsfi they not only get the biology from us, but they also get access to Epic Games content as well.

Margaret Purdue: Epic, Twin, Screw Wear, Acer, Lobster, all of the Intel SFI starter packs, all of the professional development content, all of it.

Steve Grubbs: That’s awesome. That’s great. This is something people need to know about. So let’s talk a little bit about Intel now, and I don’t necessarily expect you to be an expert on Intel chips and hardware but a few things along the way what this is not con. A lot of our customers are accessing content through a virtual reality headset, maybe a Meta Quest, Pico, Vive, or Lenovo But with this content, it’s primarily going to be accessed through PC’s and am I correct Chromebooks as well or just PC’s?

Margaret Purdue: I am not a hundred percent sure on that one. That is where I haven’t learned as much as I probably should with the VictoryXR and the virtual reality and I would know more.

Steve Grubbs: But the forgetful real but epic and twin and all these you access them through your PC, correct?

Margaret Purdue: Yes. Yes. Okay. I understand your question now. So all of the starter packs the software is accessed through a web-based platform.

Steve Grubbs: Got it. So it’s web-based meaning it is browser-based.

Margaret Purdue: I believe all are browser based. So the reasoning for that is it’s not another thing you have to download, it’s not another subscription that you have to get. So, for instance there are some where you find a really great resource and you’re like, it’s a free resource you download it and then to use the specific software then that’s behind a paywall so it doesn’t work now.  For Intel SFI, the software is free and is available.

Steve Grubbs: Got it, obviously Intel is a for-profit company. Wall Street wants to see every quarter that it’s doing well, and that ideally it’s making money. How does education fit into Intel’s mission?  Where does it fit? What is the vision that Intel has for learning and education?

Margaret Purdue: Right, so the vision that we have is technology is so incredibly important and we see how it is continuing to shift and change the world in which we live in. So for skills for Innovation and Intel being able to integrate these technology activities into educators’ existing curriculum and their everyday teaching, it really helps to reinvent this role of what technology looks like in education as well. As bridging this gap for technology in the job market, there is this need and Intel sees the need of raising the cognitive level of students. If Listeners are familiar with Bloom’s taxonomy and that higher level of thinking and not going from just reiterating to applying and analyzing and inventing and that this really fits in with their mission. I think with a lot of individual missions as our society continues to grow, having individuals who are prepared for the world in which they are growing up in, and ultimately the children who are in school now are going to be the ones that are in charge at some point.

Steve Grubbs: Yeah. Another question: how has the uptake been? I was with the adoption of this bin. Are you struggling to get teachers to know that it exists or are you starting to find decent adoption?

Margaret Purdue: I think because this is a global platform as the entire world there are different regions and countries where different relationships and partnerships are a little bit different. So within each country I would say things are a little bit different but as a whole I would say things are really starting to take off. We launched our ambassador program last June. Since then we have had a lot of educators come on and have grown that number to over 70 ambassadors around the country, and close to 20 different countries around the world. So continuing to grow, our platform is continuing to grow as well. But also, we know there are areas that still aren’t aware of SFI and there are districts and teachers that have not heard about this program and the curriculum. So, always continuing to want to grow and be able to make this content available for educators.

Steve Grubbs: Good, and so just drilling down a little bit on the ambassador program. I assume that’s a volunteer program?

Margaret Purdue: Yes, it is a volunteer program, there’s an application for our ambassadors. We have two different levels of ambassadors. We currently have silver and gold. So for an educator to become a silver ambassador they would have to implement a starter pack. So maybe they implement one of the VictoryXR’s starter packs in their classroom. For them to do the application is pretty much just a reflection and thinking about what you usually do as an educator. After any sort of lesson, if it was okay, what went well, what didn’t go well,  what might I change, or how did using a starter pack  differ from maybe the way that I usually taught this content. Filling that out and then submitting and this is all on the platform download then on the platform, upload the application and it will go through review and when approved then they will receive their virtual badge and certificate of being an SFI ambassador.

However for gold it’s a little bit different, and so silver again is just the implementation of the starter pack. With gold we ask that educators would be trained in skills for innovation content and then they would educate 20 other educators on Intel SFI. Additionally there’s a post that we have them do just so people are getting to know it again, and are engaging with the platform about what SFI really is. Then the upload of that is all under the platform as well under the ambassador program tab.

Steve Grubbs: Okay, to some it all up, for educators there are free content starter packs at  http://skillsforinnovation.intel.com/ unless you’re through a .EU on the end of that and diverse from stem to biology to social issues.

Margaret Purdue: So yeah.

Steve Grubbs: Yeah, so, I think we got it here which is good. Last question has nothing to do with this. As a child what was your favorite book?

Margaret Purdue: That’s a whoa, okay. Yeah.

Steve Grubbs: I’ll tell you mine was Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Newberry Award winner and it’s so much that our first son was named Justin. My wife might not agree with this but sort of after the hero rat in the book.

Margaret Purdue: Yeah. That’s a good one. I think I’m having to go through my son who is three and a half right now. So I’m right in the middle of reading and rereading all of the children’s books and I would have to say one of my favorites is called The Three Dots. It’s about three animals who are in a band together. The reason it was my favorite is because the female duck in the book is named Margaret and I had never in my life read a children’s book with one of the characters named Margaret and I still have that book. I read it to my son now and it was very close because my sister’s name is Madeline. So she had all the Madeline books and all of that and I was like what do I get? I don’t have anything so The Three Dots has a duck named Margaret and so that is one of my favorites.

Steve Grubbs: I have another daughter named Olivia. We did not name after the book, but the books here

Margaret Purdue: Yeah, so let me have very much. Yes.

Steve Grubbs: Olivia. Yeah, a pig and a rat. That’s what my kids get.

Margaret Purdue: And I’m a duck so,

Steve Grubbs: Margaret, thank you for joining us today. This is a great program by Intel and  please pass our gratitude for making it happen, and we’ve enjoyed working with your team and we look forward to more in the future.

Margaret Purdue: Yes, looking forward to it. Thank you so much for having me on today.

Steve Grubbs: And to all of our viewers and listeners, we have weekly shows so check the lineup. We’ve got another one next week and all of these we curate the most interesting people in the world of education, usually related to technology. So thank you,  I’m Steve Grubbs, your host of the VictoryXR show and we will see you next time.

Margaret Purdue: Thanks.

Steve Grubbs is the CEO of VictoryXR, the global leader in immersive, spatial education. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s colleges of business and law and served in the Iowa Legislature as Chair of the House Education Committee in the early ‘90’s.