Over 2,000 second and third year undergraduate students at the University of Westminster’s Faculty of Science and Technology have been provided with iPads at the start of the academic year this September for use until graduation. Two hundred and fifty staff have already received their devices and have embarked on training for the new approach.
The devices are being gradually embedded into all educational practices across the Faculty, which will eventually lead to teaching practices becoming paperless. Providing students with iPads will allow them to interact more closely with lecturers, learning through collaboration and using applications with greater connectivity. Students and staff will be able to share content more easily across the tools available on the iPad, and to interact through the use of video and audio content through a single platform. This project is a pilot for the rest of the University and demonstrates its commitment to innovating in learning and teaching in the future across all faculties.
The project forms part of the University’s Learning Futures Project, a dynamic new programme which has been set up to develop new forms of learning and teaching at the University. The programme includes a new curriculum framework and follows the University’s commitment to transform learning and teaching, including working more closely with students on knowledge creation.
The iPad deployment project is being funded by the University. Following a formal procurement process, Academia, an Apple solutions expert which specialises in the supply of software, hardware, training and services to the education sector, was selected to supply and deploy the iPads, deliver a transformational training programme and provide a managed service for the iPads to students and staff. 4C Strategies, an independent ICT consultancy, is providing the project management wrap for the project.
Training is being provided to staff and students, enabling them to benefit from the new improved interactive learning methods. Dedicated staff Digital Leaders and student Digital Ambassadors have been appointed and are receiving additional training from the Apple Distinguished Educator programme. This will enable them to actively support the transformational change of the learning process both inside and outside of the classroom using the iPad as a learning device.
Professor Jane Lewis, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology said:
“Students today require a more technologically focused student experience that enables them to learn anywhere, anytime and at the University of Westminster we are committed to providing this dynamic learning environment. Mobile learning has been a core part of our existing strategic plans to improve student learning experiences and their interaction and collaboration with staff. It reflects our commitment to advancing our teaching methods and ensuring that we are at the forefront of developing and implementing cutting-edge learning through the use of technology. Being one of the first UK Universities to launch such a wide scale push for mobile learning is a testament to our focus on enhancing the learning experience for students and making it relevant in a rapidly changing digital landscape.”