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Award-Winning Technology Spells Bright Future for Education

300px MonashUni Caulfield H building1 Award Winning Technology Spells Bright Future for Education
Monash University embraces new technology linking students and teachers.
Monash University embraces new technology linking students and teachers.. Image via Wikipedia

Earlier this month, an Australian university received a 2010 eLearning Industry Association Award for its technology-based teaching programme.

The tablet-based learning tool, described by competition judges as a great example of an appropriate use of new technology, could prove to be a modern alternative to the ‘chalk and talk’ teaching methods currently used worldwide.

Students at Monash University in Melbourne have been using the ‘mylearningspace’ in-house software since the university relaxed its views on technology in an educational environment. The change has seen the number of students bringing digital devices to classes increase to 79 per cent – forcing the facility to alter its approach to student education.

Dr Katharina Franke, Head of Research at the eEducation Centre, described the programme as ‘phenomenal’ – with over 1,200 students and teachers are now participating after a successful trial release earlier this year.

Dr Franke explained that 89% of the students reported the classes to be far more interesting and the majority found that their improved motivation and understanding.

Dr Franke also admitted that university personnel were reflecting about new approaches to their own teaching methods.

The programme allows students to connect with each other and with teachers through tablet-style PCs, along with in-house software. Professor Shoemaker, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the university, described the exciting technology as an educational equivalent to familiar technology that students and lecturers would use outside a learning environment.

Another Melbourne-based educational facility, Box Hill Institute, celebrated success at the e-Learning awards after making similar advances into a technology-based learning programme.

The award-winning online tool, created to inform students about sustainability and its importance for the future, allows them to create an avatar which exists in a virtual 3D world in real time and interacts with other students and teachers.

Pauline Farrell, the project director at the institute has expressed her excitement at these changes. The future of education is being moulded with projects such as these. Not just in the subject matter being taught but the methods of teaching and the new ways technology is being used. Such changes are seen by the institute as imperative to the economic success of the next generation.

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