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A new collaborative partnership between Deakin University and Central China Normal University will help both teachers and students to better realise the educational potential of cutting-edge technologies.
The Information Technology for Future Education Joint Research Lab, located at Deakin's Melbourne Burwood Campus, was officially opened on Wednesday 18 July by Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander and Central China Normal University (CCNU) President Professor Yang Zongkai (pictured). Also speaking at the opening ceremony were City of Melbourne Councillor Brian Shanahan OAM and Dr Sun Hongzhi, Consul (Education) of the Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Melbourne.
Following the official opening, guests were treated to a number of presentations and demonstrations. These included the use of interactive whiteboards donated to Deakin by CCNU to show how traditional board-based teaching techniques could be enhanced using cutting-edge software currently under development by CCNU. Another feature was a display of group robot tai chi from Deakin, which illustrated the use of robots as a way for students to learn skills in interactive programming.
In his presentation, Professor Wanlei Zhou, Head of Deakin's School of IT, noted that a key advantage provided by technological advances is that the world's best specialists in a given research field can now collaborate closely together despite constraints of location and time. In this case, two groups of researchers on two different continents will be able to work in tandem, and use their combined expertise to jointly apply for research grants. Future outcomes of this Deakin-CCNU partnership may also include the provision of joint courses available to students at either institution, and perhaps the expansion of such a program to include institutions in other parts of the world.
This collaboration will also serve to further strengthen the ties between Deakin and China. China has been the source of many of Deakin's innovative research collaborations, renowned academic staff and high-performing students.