Mobile Learning Leaders to Transform Education Through Digital Publishing

April 12, 2010

PARIS, CAMBRIDGE, England and ABILENE, Texas, April 12, 2010
/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Abilene Christian University, Cambridge University
Press and Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs have embarked on a joint research project
whose intent is to set out a new path towards the future of publishing – from
creation through distribution – by putting tools that enhance education in
the hands of individuals.

For hundreds of years, educators have relied on static, standardised
textbooks to deliver information to students. A new generation of mobile
devices is changing the education landscape, offering students opportunities
for dynamic, individualised learning. With the advent of converged mobile
technologies (epitomised first by Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch mobile
digital devices and most recently by the introduction of Apple’s iPad tablet
computer) the three organisations have been analysing what it means to read,
write, and publish in the learning space in the digital age. The three-year
research project extends collaboration that has been underway for almost a
full year as all sides worked to understand the impact of new technologies.

These tools will be based on a core set of software prototypes the three
parties are developing that 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

‘Our work with digital publishing and media is a natural outgrowth of our
work in mobile learning,’ says Dr William Rankin, ACU’s director of
educational innovation. ‘Imagine not just having “a thousand songs in your
pocket,” but a thousand libraries. This represents not just a change in the
transmission and consumption of information, but also a change in culture.’
Abilene Christian University, the first academic institution in the world to
announce a university-wide learning initiative that leverages a new
generation of mobile devices, to offer students and faculty opportunities to
experiment with emerging forms of social, informational, and media access.

Cambridge University Press did not become one of the world’s most
respected publishers by standing still. We are committed to finding new ways
to deliver our content and engage students and faculty,’ says Eric Baber,
Innovations Director of the Press’s New Directions Group. ‘Just as the advent
of printing transformed education, this new generation of digital devices and
the access they enable will also be transformative. We welcome the new
capabilities that the iPad affords learners and researchers around the world.
All of our journals and over 6,000 books are already available in electronic
format, including on handheld devices, and we believe that new multimedia
capabilities add a layer of information and engagement not previously

‘Together with our partners, we have the opportunity today to create the
future of publishing and media for learning and education. As books move
increasingly into the digital world, Bell Labs is inventing new technologies
that will enhance the relationship between students, teachers, writers and
publishers. Adding social communications to eBooks will create a new
generation of social media,’ notes Bruno Aidan, Head of Bell Labs
Applications Research. ‘Bell Labs’ contribution to this project represents a
significant step forward for Alcatel-Lucent’s Applications Enablement
strategy whose intent is to enhance the value of network assets for
applications providers,” he adds.

In developing the program, the three parties will play complementary
roles: 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 — both what we’ve already done
and what we’re committed to doing over the next few years — goes toward
helping students and faculty participate more richly in the creation,
development, and publication of information,’ says 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.’ Although the partners agree that the
changes will be disruptive, they are convinced there is no cause for fear.
‘When printing was first introduced, many worried about the impact it would
have on education, but the influx of new participants and the invention that
followed changed the world for the better,’ Rankin adds. ‘We’re convinced
these new approaches are going to create a similar wave of creativity.’

Notes for Editors

About Abilene Christian University

After a decade of considering what it means to read, write, publish,
teach, and learn in the new digital epoch, Abilene Christian University
launched a first-in-the-world mobile learning initiative in 2008. The
initiative creates opportunities for students and faculty to experiment with
new forms of social, informational, and media access on next-generation
digital platforms including the iPad, on which The Optimist, ACU’s
student-run newspaper is scheduled to be available in early April.

ACU is the co-creator of the Consortium for Innovation & Research in
Converged Learning (CIRCL) a free community-supported network of researchers,
professors, teachers and other education professionals who are engaged in
mobile and converged learning practice and research.

In 2009, the New Media Consortium named ACU a Center of Excellence for
its mobile-learning program. Also in 2009, Forbes magazine rated ACU in the
top seven percent of colleges and universities in the USA. Some 4,800
students attend ACU, including 900 graduate students, generally from 49
states and provinces, and about 40 nations. For more information, visit

About Cambridge University Press

Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University
of Cambridge
, one of the world’s leading research institutions. It is the
oldest publisher and printer in the world, having been operating continuously
since 1584. The Press’s mission is to further through publication and
printing the University’s objective of advancing learning, knowledge and
research worldwide. Today, this mission is realised through not only
publishing excellent materials, but also by committing to innovation and
enterprise. To help the Press develop its leadership in digital publishing
and new forms of learning, a new department was established in 2008 called
the New Directions Group. The group is made up of a team of education
technology experts and their remit is to ensure that the Press remains at the
forefront of technological advances, and to lead development of innovative
products and applications. For further information about the Press, go to

iPhone, iPod touch and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc.

About Alcatel-Lucent

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is the trusted
transformation partner of service providers, enterprises, strategic
industries such as defense, energy, healthcare, transportation, and
governments worldwide, providing solutions to deliver voice, data and video
communication services to end-users. A leader in fixed, mobile and converged
broadband networking, IP technologies, applications and services,
Alcatel-Lucent leverages the unrivalled technical and scientific expertise of

Bell Labs, one of the largest innovation powerhouses in the communications
industry. With operations in more than 130 countries and the most experienced
global services organization in the industry, Alcatel-Lucent is a local
partner with a global reach. Alcatel-Lucent achieved revenues of Euro 15.2
in 2009 and is incorporated in France, with executive offices located
in Paris. For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on the Internet:

SOURCE Alcatel-Lucent

Source: newswire

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