Actualité HP: 09. septembre 2009

HP Innovation in Education: Technology to transform teaching and learning

Technology can create entirely new teaching and learning experiences. That is why HP, as a leading technology company, is in a strong position to support education at universities and schools. IT is not only a subject in its own right; it is also an essential tool for learning and teaching all other subjects.

But it takes more than just technology to raise test scores and inspire students. What really spurs progress is an understanding of how to use technology to improve the quality of education. Through its Innovation in Education programme, HP is an active partner in the creation of new models of teaching and learning.

"Innovation in education is vital to developing the next generation of high-tech innovators," explains Gabriele Zedlmayer, vice president of Corporate Marketing and Global Citizenship, HP Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

HP is promoting some of the most innovative student projects at secondary schools and universities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The focus is on science, technology, engineering and mathematics - disciplines that are important to HP's business.

The grants given to secondary schools aim to improve student achievement by using technology to redesign the learning experience, while for universities, the aim is to specifically enhance the engineering, computer science and IT degree programmes. All institutions are invited to join a network of educators around the world who are working to design the future of high tech education.

For HP, Innovation in Education Grant Initiative is an opportunity to explore new concepts for technology in education and research. Something that is useful for teachers and students could become a product or application one day, outside of the classroom.

Mobilising minds

The 50 schools and universities that won 2009 Innovation in Education Grants each receive mobile technology in the form of Tablet PCs, laptops, printers, access points, and a cash donation valued at approximately 100,000 USD HP list price (approximately 75,500 EUR).

The secondary schools and universities chosen for grants this year are in Bulgaria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Kenya, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey and the UK.

Among the winners, the University of Cambridge gets some help for scientists working in teams to build nano-structures on the scale of a billionth of a metre. "A key way for researchers to think is through diagrams, annotations, graphs and sketches, hence our use of Tablet PCs," explains Professor Dr. Jeremy J. Baumberg. He says the HP technology grant will help create "an easily adaptable virtual research environment that allows people to collectively work on creative and brainstorming activities in both real time and in sporadic time."

A Kenyan University will use its grant to implement an eLearning platform and distribute digital content for secondary school students and teachers living in remote areas. All participating University students will be required to invest time in the development of digital content and to mentor secondary school students.

A Russian school was selected for its commitment to making practical use of scientific knowledge as well as motivating students to focus in-depth on natural sciences. The project will develop professional tests for students interested in engineering and ecology. It also aims to teach disabled children to use modern computer technologies.

No more "dead mathematics"

Since 2003, HP grants to schools and universities in the EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) have allowed professors and their students to go mobile.

At the University of Stuttgart, a previous grant winner, HP mobile technology helped to bring "dead mathematics" alive for students, according to Hans-Joachim Bungartz, their professor at the time. The students equipped with HP Tablet PCs, he says, "were visibly more committed than other groups" as they grappled with simulation - one of the key technologies in practically all fields of science and engineering.

"HP Tablet PCs motivate students", he adds, "to help voluntarily in the design of the course materials, bringing in a lot of ideas of their own. We found that the equipment was very helpful to remove the 'glass wall' in the classrooms between teaching staff and students."

The Informatiky Institute in the Czech Republic, another previous grant winner, set out to be an example to other schools by taking a leading position and integrating mobile learning into its entire curriculum. "The Tablet PC is the perfect complement to technical education," explains Deputy Director, Dasa Vladykova, "because of the ability to share notes, drawings and equations with other learners. In the future, we are planning to equip the school with mobile PCs."

Beyond the grants

Some grant winners have expanded upon the projects they began with help from HP. Biomedical engineers at the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, for example, worked with health care students to create a Hospital Information System for HP iPAQs. The system is used to record, track and retrieve patient data at the patient's bedside or other remote locations. The university also went on to create a Masters degree in e-teaching for its faculty, based on the Tablet PC.  

At the Ecole Centrale in Lyon, France, 50 teachers and 1000 students have used HP Tablet PCs in courses, labwork and team projects since 2004. A 2006 grant gave engineering students a "dose of reality," replicating as closely as possible the conditions that engineers encounter when working in the field. A 2007 project prepared future engineers for careers in the global economy. The lessons learned were shared with 120,000 students on French and Chinese campus networks.

Building a community

HP is building a community of interest around grant recipients, past and present, by holding conferences and organising online sessions with grant winners and education experts.

The grants have led to demonstrations, presentations and publication opportunities for academic leaders on the use of mobile technology in education. The grants have enabled students to become familiar with mobile technologies in multiple learning situations.

Advancing innovation in education is part of HP's Social Investment strategy. HP has supported more than 1000 schools and higher education institutions around the world in their use of mobile technology to redesign the experience of learning.

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