UWS to deploy 11,000 iPads to staff and students

UWS to deploy 11,000 iPads to staff and students

Summary: Academic staff and newly enrolled students at the University of Western Sydney will be getting fourth-generation iPads as part of a new education strategy.


The University of Western Sydney (UWS) will be rolling out 11,000 Apple 16GB iPads to all academic staff and newly enrolled students in 2013.

The rollout marks the start of the university's four-year Blended Learning strategy to help students interact with the university via the internet, and will complement face-to-face teaching, according to UWS. The offer is only available to all new domestic undergraduate students and ongoing academic staff.

"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 online world," UWS vice-chancellor professor Kerri-Lee Krause said in a statement.

Under the create@UWS banner, students and staff members will work together to make the teaching and learning experience more interactive.

"Mobile technology will be a key part of this strategy," Krause said. "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."

While current students of UWS have missed out on the iPad deal, they can make themselves feel better with an AU$50 textbook subsidy offered by the university.

iPad Collection Day for students will be held on 16 January at the UWS campus in Parramatta.

Topics: iPad, Apple, Australia, Education

Spandas Lui

About Spandas Lui

Spandas forayed into tech journalism in 2009 as a fresh university graduate spurring her passion for all things tech. Based in Australia, Spandas covers enterprise and business IT.

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  • So some IT department geek chose this on behalf of 11,000 people?

    We keep getting told that this is a BAD thing when some IT department geek chooses Windows on behalf of employees. We are told that those sales don't "count" because the employees did not get to choose. We are told that forcing IT department geek decisions onto other people isn't fair. We are told this is bad.

    Therefore, this is bad. Or have the rules changed for some reason? Talk back and let us know.
    • IT recommend tablet?

      This is clearly not something any IT department would recommend. It does not make any sense why any organization would give out tablet these days.

      If someone does not have a tablet whether it is iOS, Android or Windows then they just clearly do not want one. Anyone out there can afford a used or new tablet, it just does not make any sense.
    • I guess we'll see when/if the lines form for these devices to be picked up

      If the staff line up with smiles on their faces to receive their devices then perhaps this is something different...more apples and oranges...rather than a rule change. It's really for the employees to determine rather than commenters on ZDNet...however well intentioned.
  • Who told you?

    Who told yiou this?
    • Go back and read some posts from earlier blogs

      where a company chose MS over Apple or Google, and you'd be surprised at the (same) people that cried up and down that some IT department geek chose Windows because it was all he knew, he was a plant, kickbacks, whatever, and not because it was the best choice for the job.

      Then you'd also see that this geek didn't do what's best for their employees by chosing MS over the others.

      It's a pretty standard response - you know, where "MS makse the worst, most disfunctional, unusable stuff ever created, and some idiot in IT forced suffering on the companies employees by chosing it instead of [place competing product here].
      William Farrel
      • Word, Words., Yad, Yada, claim(s)...................................

        “Go back and read some posts from earlier blogs” -William

        Blogs change by the minute, the hour, day, blog link(s)....
        If you want to write about so and so said this/that it is just that yada yada . Its simply post who/they/them/us/those/you as in yada de yada said.....
  • Not enuff Money

    Universites are whinging not enuff students are enrolling and hence less money to make and here they are ready to invest half a million $$$$ on ipads. Where are they getting money from?????
  • Wow - free iPad or $50 dollars off a text book.

    I certainly hope that a $50 PER textbook subsidy, or I'd be a bit ticked.
    William Farrel
  • Id really like

    To see the presentation they showed the school. My boys were given ipads from the school. The teachers don't use them to teach they sit at home until the boys get home then its game time. Wait they do some research on them at times. Guess that's why we have a new school board...
    • I agree.. but...

      This is a university not a grade school, so the theory is that they'll have more use for it during their studies... and I would imagine part of the goal is to make textbooks and course material available on their tablets.

      My complaint is that they're picking the tablet for the students, rather than building a platform agnostic infrastructure.
    • Have a look here...

      ...to see how iPads have been successfully integrated into school life and teaching.
      Your school board needs a butt kick if they are under utilising the investment they made. Teachers are failing if they make kids find a use for technology. The school needs to up its game.
    • The real question

      is why are your children still at that school?

      You clearly have a move-ahead school staffed with dinosaur teachers. Why would you allow you kids to remain at that school?
  • Apparently they denied

    That they were offering them to increase enrollment's.
    Which usually means that's why they are doing it. I think it's pretty pointless really, will help some no doubt but for others it will be a toy.
    I would never buy an iPad, but if some game it too me for free I wouldn't say no. lol
  • Learning on Tablets

    Has anyone tried learning from a 600 page textbook that been loaded as a PDF on a tablet? Doesn't work.
  • Many of you are missing the point!

    The iPads aren't going to become the only learning tool. The University stated that they are using the tablets as part of their "blended learning" strategy. Blended learning is where multiple forms of learning are used in order to engage the students more and teach using various learning techniques (aimed at connecting with visual, audio & tactile learners). They would do this via videos, eLearning programs, specific learning/tutorial apps (as mentioned in the article), standard documentation (prited or electronic), etc. Blended learning is a far more effective teaching technique than the way most of us adults grew up learning and think learning should still be done that way. As a trainer and eLearning developer, I applaud the university's forward thinking and hope/pray they impliment these "tools" effectively in the classroom so that the devices will enhance the learning experience - afterall they should be demonstrating the pinnicle of teaching techniques.
    As my son has enrolled with UWS for the first time this year and will be receiving his iPad soon, I look forward to seeing how they will use tablets in the classroom, and maybe I'll try to emulate some of their techniques in my own training.

    ps. I can understand the university choosing a single tablet device to pilot this from as the technical issues would be huge trying to manage various content over multiple devices. maybe the tablet choices will widen as they perfect their materials & delivery methods.