The University of Western Sydney (UWS) in New South Wales will provide 11,000 free iPads for students and staff in the New Year – making this one of the largest roll-outs on campus.
This service supports “blended learning” for students that enrol to study in the New Year. Up to 9, 500 free iPads are being provided for students that start study in 2013.
The university’s contingent of 1500 full-time staff also get an iPad each – enabling recipients to download educational resources on campus, at home, or off-site.
The University of Western Sydney caters for nearly 40,000 students, covering broad-ranging subjects. These include liberal arts, science, business, health, technology, and financial management.
Six campuses are geographically spread across the expansive region of Greater Western Sydney. Each of these campuses offers free wireless internet to students. The iPad initiative ensures that new students can connect with the university using Wi-Fi at any time of day.
Professor Kerri-Lee Krause, UWS Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education, says digital technology is revolutionising how people connect and interact with the world.
“This initiative will not only readily equip our students and academic staff with mobile tools to enhance learning, it will also help them to engage with an ever-increasing on-line world.”
The iPad initiative supports more flexible study options, and a “blended learning model” for all degrees starting in 2013.
“Over the next couple of years, UWS will challenge some of the traditional lecture-style presentations by including more of the interactive learning that students value so much,” notes Professor Krause.
Mobile technologies are a key part of this strategy. “We want to support our academic staff to make the most of iPads and custom-designed apps in class so that, even in the largest lecture theatre, students have access to just-for-me, just-in-time interactive learning experiences.”
The iPads are being supplied by Apple Australia – an industry partner with the University of Western Sydney.