Google, IBM, Microsoft and O2 will work with universities to train the next generation of computing teachers, as the government puts technology at the heart of education reform.
Nicky Morgan, secretary of state for education, revealed the initiative at the BETT 2015 event in London today, saying that experts from the companies will visit schools to train primary school teachers in computing.
Morgan explained that technology must be used to create positive change in the education sector.
"Innovative technologies must be at the heart of this. There has never been a more exciting time to think about the ways in which emerging technologies can transform the world of education," she said.
"The Department for Education has agreed to match-fund all of the projects as part of our commitment to invest £3.6m to support schools with the new computing curriculum. I know this money will be very well spent."
This will also see the tech firms involved work with universities including Queen Mary University of London, UCL and Oxford to help devise training for teachers.
Morgan added that the government has worked over the past five years to drive change in education, shifting from traditional teaching practices to collaboration between teachers, pupils and parents.
The minister said that the government has driven up standards in education, and helped with the adoption of technology such as tablets and laptops.
However, Morgan noted that the pace of technology going into schools has thrown up challenges, principally that pupils often know more about the latest gadgets and software than their teachers.
"It is hardly surprising that teachers and school leaders can struggle to keep up," Morgan said, adding that teachers have requested more training in using technology more effectively.
Broadband connectivity also poses a hurdle for the government and the education system.
"In part, this is a failure of infrastructure - 65 percent of primary schools and 54 percent of secondary schools don't have access to a Wi-Fi connection. A significant number [of schools] reported that their broadband provision is poor," Morgan said.
The minister referred to the government's rollout of superfast broadband as a way to remedy this situation, touting the £1.7bn already invested in the initiative.
Morgan also said that the introduction of bursaries, scholarships and programmes to help teachers wishing to teach computing has addressed some of the challenges in delivering the compulsory coding in the new curriculum.
However, Morgan admitted that the government needs to remain focused on the better use of technology in the education sector, and find ways to "change the education landscape".
One example could be the use of big data to track school performance, aid accountability in the system and improve the clarity of league tables. Another is improving processes such as marking and lesson planning.
Several major technology firms are soon to be directly involved in the education system, and it would appear that the government is succeeding in encouraging the technology industry to help resolve the digital skills gap.
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