Digital Aquarium set to improve teaching and learning at Swinburne

Thursday 11 September 2014

The square Swinburne logo on the west side of the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre building in Hawthorn.

Victoria’s Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Nick Wakeling, has officially launched Swinburne University of Technology’s new Digital Aquarium, which is set to enhance teaching and learning at the university.

“The Digital Aquarium will significantly enhance opportunities for teachers and students by offering the latest technology for use across the university,” Mr Wakeling said.

"This will support Swinburne to provide the most modern and innovative teaching methods, while harnessing opportunities that are at the forefront of higher education research.

"Swinburne should be congratulated for recognising the significant benefits of investing in new technologies."

Swinburne has partnered with Adobe, Blackboard, Cisco, Microsoft and Samsung Electronics Australia to launch the Digital Aquarium, an innovation lab for staff to explore and learn how to incorporate new technology into their learning and teaching to improve student learning outcomes.

Swinburne’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Linda Kristjanson, said the Digital Aquarium aims to, through these new partnerships, offer the latest technology for academic and support staff to experiment with.

“Technology is already a large part of the learning and teaching process. But every day brings a new innovation that may also be an opportunity for higher education and we want to be at the forefront of those possibilities,” Professor Kristjanson said.

“The purpose of Swinburne’s Digital Aquarium is to provide a physical and online space for academic and support staff across the university to experiment with new technology in order to enhance their teaching and engage with students.

“It is also a place for the exchange of ideas to support educators and administrators, and encourage collaborative research projects.”

Swinburne’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning Transformations, Professor Gilly Salmon, said to make technology more accessible, the Digital Aquarium will hold monthly events with guest speakers that showcase emerging trends in educational technology and provide an opportunity for involvement in further research.

“The initiative has also set up support services for academic staff who wish to implement new technology into the classroom after testing the technology in the Digital Aquarium,” Professor Salmon said.

“We are making innovation in learning and teaching more accessible by not only creating a place for experimentation, but also putting the right systems in place so that what is learnt in the Digital Aquarium can be put into practice.”

The partnership also allows Swinburne’s staff and students to purchase Samsung equipment as part of a general collaboration with the electronics company.