AUSTIN, Texas—Going online without the need for ethernet or telephone wires soon will become possible for students and faculty members in the College of Engineering complex at The University of Texas at Austin, thanks to a donation by Hewlett Packard Co. (HP).
Whether they are in a classroom or on a park bench, in a lab or a library, students and professors within the engineering complex will be able to get online quickly and easily using state-of-the-art mobile wireless technology donated by Hewlett Packard Co.
HP has awarded $264,204 to equip students and professors with the wireless technology, wireless notebook PCs and specialized Internet-based applications. The gift is part of the college’s technology-enhanced learning program, which HP has supported with more than $1.5 million the last five years. To be able to use the new technology on their personal computers, students and faculty members need computers that come equipped with a wireless card or must have such a card installed in their computers.
The most recent gift includes the wireless local area network technology, 65 hand-held PCs and 23 laptop PCs. The college will use the new technology to create classrooms without walls in all six engineering buildings on campus and to establish a wireless cyber-cafe at the J. J. Pickle Research Center in North Austin.
“UT’s creative proposal to establish a wireless environment for its students was very appealing to HP,” said HP’s liaison to The University of Texas at Austin, Dan Marcek. “With UT’s reputation for offering an exceptional engineering program, HP envisioned great potential for success in making this breakthrough in engineering education. Added to our successful track record with UT in philanthropic partnerships, the company saw this as a great opportunity.”
Students with properly equipped laptops will go online without wires and never lose connection while moving within and around the six engineering buildings at The University of Texas at Austin. The antennas and other equipment provided by HP will make online research and interaction more accessible and flexible than ever.
“HP’s contribution of mobile, wireless and e-service technologies allows us to create an innovative new learning experience for students and faculty," said Ben G. Streetman, dean of the university’s College of Engineering. “They are an outstanding partner in our ongoing effort to use all available tools to help our students learn.”
The technology-enhanced learning environment innovates three key areas: the classroom setting for enhanced student/faculty interaction, the campus community with an emphasis on ubiquitous access and a college-wide wireless network infrastructure. HP’s latest gift makes the college-wide wireless network a reality.
Since becoming a partner in technology-enhanced learning, HP has donated hardware for two state-of-the-art studio classrooms and a unique Faculty Innovation Center Studio.
Each HP classroom is equipped with 23 student workstations connected to the campus ethernet. The classrooms integrate lecture, demonstration and lab, promote interactions among students and between students and faculty, and encourage hands-on, computer-based instruction.
Built upon the success of the studio classrooms, the Faculty Innovation Center inspires innovative teaching through the selective and sensible integration of technology into instruction. In the Faculty Innovation Center, faculty can find expert help in instructional design and media development, guidance and resources in the use of instructional technology.