Duke Wins HP Technology Grant

DURHAM, NC - Duke University was selected as one of 31 colleges and universities nationwide to receive the 2005 HP Technology for Teaching grant, which is designed to transform and improve learning in the classroom through innovative uses of technology. Duke University will receive an award package of Hewlett-Packard products and a faculty stipend valued at more than $74,000.

Each of the HP Technology for Teaching grant recipients will use HP wireless technology to enhance learning in engineering, math, science or business courses. The grant will provide Tablet PCs to students taking Fundamentals of ECE (ECE 27), the cornerstone of the newly redesigned Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) curriculum. The ECE department plans to engage students by emphasizing hands-on, integrative activities. Tablet PCs will positively impact student learning by using wireless technology to integrate theoretical engineering concepts with applications and examples.

“A fundamental and frequent problem in engineering education is the disconnect between theoretical lecture material and practical laboratory applications,” said assistant professor of the practice Lisa Huettel, principal investigator for the grant. “The Tablet PCs and other equipment provided by HP will be a means for bridging this gap, both physically and intellectually, in order to link abstract concepts learned in lectures with hands-on applications pursued in laboratories.”

The HP grant enables ECE to: 1) to incorporate active learning techniques into the classroom, 2) to obtain more frequent feedback on student understanding of material, 3) to provide in-class demonstrations and simulations of theoretical material, and 4) to more closely integrate lecture and laboratory material.

One anticipated outcome is that students will be more motivated and engaged by the material, Huettel explains. This is especially important for first-year students in a challenging discipline like engineering. To reward students’ curiosity, we will encourage them to use the Tablet PCs to bring results from the laboratory to the classroom for discussion, she said.

A second expected outcome will be increased learning and retention of material, due to active involvement during lecture and to concept reinforcement provided by increased integration between the classroom and laboratory environments. Finally, the ability to solicit regular feedback from students will enable instructors to better gauge student understanding and to tailor the content and pacing of their lectures to student needs.

The 2005 HP Technology for Teaching grant program is awarding grants totaling $8.5 million to 174 kindergarten through 12th grade public schools and 31 two- and four- year colleges and universities in the US and Puerto Rico. HP has committed $25 million to the three-year program, which supports HP’s broader education goal of transforming teaching and learning through the integration of technology. More than 400 schools worldwide have received grants since the program’s inception last year.

“Technology has the power to positively transform the learning process for both educators and students,” said Bess Stephens, vice president, Philanthropy and Education, HP. “By integrating technology into their teaching, educators can engage students in new and innovative ways to increase achievement, and ultimately to prepare them for greater success in the classroom and beyond.”

More information about 2005 HP Technology for Teaching program and grant recipients is available at www.hp.com/go/hpteach.