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Project studies mobile digital publishing in education

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Abilene Christian University, Cambridge University Press and Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs have embarked on a three-year joint research project into transforming education through digital publishing and mobile devices.

With the advent of converged mobile technologies (such as Apple's iPhone and iPod touch and most recently by the introduction of Apple’s iPad mobile digital device), the three organisations have been analysing what it means to read, write, and publish in the learning space in the digital age.

The three parties are developing a core set of software prototypes that they say will add a new dimension to the learning experience. They will stimulate insight by presenting users with a diverse range of content – images, text, audio, and video – all on the same device, engaging users with serendipitous access to information. These tools will support a level of personalisation and customisation necessary for effective learning.

As part of the project, Bell Labs will conduct technical research and develop the prototypes. Cambridge University Press will provide content, detail service requirements and validate integration. Abilene Christian University will evaluate user requirements, conduct technical experiments and validate usage patterns and results with a base of on-campus users.

'At the heart of all of our work together ...[is] helping students and faculty participate more richly in the creation, development, and publication of information,’ said George Saltsman, executive director of the Adams Center for Teaching and Learning at ACU.‘We know that increased access is going to change how and even where we teach and learn, and we're working to understand that.’