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Australian universities launch wireless learning research with HP technology grants

  • 23 September, 2004 17:57

<p>PERTH, Australia, 23 September 2004 – Curtin University of Technology will spearhead research into how mobile technology can advance student learning, thanks to Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) Mobile Technology for Teaching Grant Initiative.</p>
<p>Perth-based Curtin University of Technology, and RMIT University, in Melbourne, were among seven universities throughout the Asia Pacific region to be presented with $136,000 in HP’s wireless Tablet PCs and iPAQ handheld devices and an additional $14,000 in funds to support their mobility projects.</p>
<p>Business and engineering students from Curtin University of Technology operations in Malaysia, Africa and Australia will use HP iPAQ Pocket PCs to communicate with local and virtual “study buddies” in a qualitative and quantitative study project that aims to assess students’ potential to improve their confidence and ability to communicate through the experience and adoption of mobile, wireless technology.</p>
<p>Curtin Vice Chancellor Lance Twomey was presented with a certificate and mobile technology at a ceremony today in Perth.</p>
<p>“Curtin’s operations across the globe already provide great opportunities to the University community, but this technology will help further bridge the gap between nations,” said Professor Twomey.</p>
<p>“I expect students taking part in this project will form long standing and meaningful relationships with their colleagues from other countries and cultural backgrounds, even if they don’t have the chance to meet in person.”</p>
<p>Up to 25 leading universities across the Asia Pacific region were invited to submit proposals, each having established a vision for mobile computing and with specific research projects to implement.</p>
<p>The Curtin research program is called “writing better by writing more” and involves staff working with first year students using HP iPAQ Pocket PCs at its Australian and international campuses and partner universities. Researchers will look at whether the use of the Handheld PCs improves first year students’ communication skills.</p>
<p>Mr Paul Brandling, Vice President and Managing Director, HP South Pacific, said: “University life, with all the demands of academic and professional learning, provides an ideal research environment where the flexibility, connectivity and new learning mediums inherent in mobile technology can be tested.</p>
<p>“This is the second year HP has announced these grants and the results so far seem to indicate a proven expansion of the students’ learning experiences. I look forward to seeing the results of this cross-cultural research project.</p>
<p>“The fusion of technology into educational practices continues to transform the way students approach their studies and HP is committed to contributing to Australian education.”</p>
<p>At RMIT University in Melbourne, first year students in the Bachelor of Design (Multimedia Systems) stream will pilot the Tablet PCs. Postgraduate Software Engineering students will also be involved in designing online tools and services that will allow other faculties across the University to benefit from the learning gained.</p>
<p>In 2003, the first Australian winners were the University of Melbourne and Charles Darwin University (Northern Territory).</p>
<p>About Curtin University of Technology
Curtin University of Technology is Western Australia's largest university with over 31,000 students, with nearly 11,000 offshore and onshore international students. Curtin’s main campus is situated in Perth. Curtin has two additional metropolitan campuses and several regional campuses. Curtin officially opened its first offshore campus in 2002 in Miri, in the state of Sarawak, Malaysia.</p>
<p>Curtin offers over 850 undergraduate and postgraduate courses in business, engineering, health sciences, humanities, science, mining and agriculture.</p>
<p>About HP
Hewlett-Packard (HP) is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended 31 July 2004, HP revenue totalled $78.4 billion. More information about HP is available at</p>
<p>Editorial contacts:
Stephen Ries
02 9022 1079
0401 718 335</p>
<p>Anastasia Jones
02 9928 1529
0438 956 637</p>
3 Richardson Place
North Ryde, Australia</p>

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