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May 2, 2005

UCSC receives Technology for Teaching grant from Hewlett-Packard

By Tim Stephens

Hewlett-Packard has selected UCSC to receive a 2005 HP Technology for Teaching grant, designed to transform and improve learning in the classroom through innovative uses of technology.

UCSC's Jack Baskin School of Engineering will receive an award package of HP products and a faculty stipend valued at more than $74,000.

UCSC is one of 31 colleges and universities nationwide to receive the grant, which includes HP wireless equipment for use by students and faculty in the classroom. The equipment includes wireless HP tablet PCs, a portable digital projector, and associated equipment. The tablet PCs are lightweight laptop computers that allow pen-based input, so that, for example, an instructor can write notes by hand on the tablet and project them onto a screen.

"It's like having an infinite blackboard," said Ira Pohl, professor and chair of computer science. "We have faculty who are already using this type of interface in their teaching, and we'd like to combine that with ways for students to communicate with the instructor."

For example, in a classroom where both students and instructor have tablet PCs, the students could write answers to questions on their tablets and the instructor could see what the students are writing, then put a student's answer up on the screen where the whole class could see it. The handwritten input can also be used in combination with sound recording to record lectures, Pohl said.

"The exciting thing is that the tablet PC is such a flexible platform. This will enable us to do some truly innovative teaching, taking the classroom into the 21st century," he said.

UCSC's Baskin School of Engineering, founded in 1997, offers undergraduate degree programs in bioinformatics, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, and information systems management, as well as graduate programs in bioinformatics, computer engineering, computer science, and electrical engineering. The school serves the needs of the greater Silicon Valley region and the state of California by creating and spreading knowledge through research and teaching, and by offering curricula that nurture creative thinking and prepare students for productive careers at industrial and academic settings in rapidly evolving areas of science and engineering.

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 United States 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 for philanthropy and education at HP. "By integrating technology into their teaching, educators can engage students in new and innovative ways to increase achievement, and ultimately prepare them for greater success in the classroom and beyond."

More information about the 2005 HP Technology for Teaching program and grant recipients is available at

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