This education news from the Microsoft News Centre was good to see:
Western Sydney University will provide 5,000 Microsoft Surface 3 devices to commencing students this year, as it continues to provide innovative and highly engaging learning opportunities and cements its reputation as one of Australia’s most progressive educational institutions.
On Wednesday, students who received an early offer from the University received a Surface 3 device as part of the University’s ‘Connect and Collect Day’ held at the Parramatta campus. Students receiving the Surface 3 device are studying a range of courses from across the School of Science and Health, Social Sciences and Psychology, and School of Nursing and Midwifery.
Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Denise Kirkpatrick said it’s central to Western Sydney University’s wider strategy that fosters innovation and industry alignment. And the University is working in conjunction with Microsoft and other partners to create more opportunities for students to learn by using contemporary technologies in ways that provide them with greater flexibility. As Denise Kirkpatrick said:
Several years ago Western Sydney University became one of the first universities to provide devices to students as part of its flexible learning program. The 2016 program takes that a step further as the University works with industry leading technology partners such as Microsoft, to determine the most suitable device for each of our courses.
Our students are the leaders of tomorrow and as we prepare them for their future careers, we believe it’s essential that we empower their learning with the necessary support and leading edge technology to maximise learning outcomes and deepen their engagement in learning.
Of course, Pip Marlow, our Managing Director in Australia, is pretty happy too:
Microsoft is delighted to be working closely with the progressive Western Sydney University. We see the role of technology as a driver of change in the way students learn the 21st century skills they need to become our future leaders,” said Pip Marlow, Managing Director, Microsoft Australia.
Ms Marlow said the close relationship between Microsoft and the University came as a result of a shared belief in the value of education and the part that technology can play in redefining the educational experience for students and faculty.
But just how important is a laptop or tablet (or, even better, a Surface 3 which is two-in-one!) to students? We did a global uni student survey, and more students declared that they couldn’t live without their laptop or tablet than live without their significant other!
Nearly two thirds of students are still taking notes by hand, compared to a quarter who take notes on their laptop, and one in ten who take notes on their tablet - so hopefully the combination of Surface 3’s ability to take typed notes and handwritten notes on the same device will make life easier for every student who’s lucky enough to be given one this academic year!