Over the past two weeks, students living in the University’s eight on-campus residences have had a chance to test their paper-folding and aeronautical engineering skills in the series of after-dinner Skype Launch competitions that has seen paper planes soaring across the dining halls of each college. Competition entrants paid one gold coin per throw, and the money raised will go charities supported by each of the colleges. A ninth competition was organised for town students.
The roll-out of Skype meets an important milestone of the University’s “Project 2012″ suite of projects. It allows daily free and unlimited Internet downloading across UNE’s improved wireless network from 8 pm to 8 am. Skype not only allows students to stay in touch with family and friends across the globe (with many already “skyping” home within Australia and as far afield as Italy, Iraq, the UK, France and Canada), but also allows face-to-face contact with other students and – potentially – UNE staff members. This brings UNE one step closer to being able to offer a study experience to students when and where they want.
UNE’s Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Graham Webb, is Executive Sponsor for “Project 2012: UNE Flexible and Online”. “It’s absolutely fantastic to see students embracing new technologies like Skype and entering into the spirit of change in such an innovative and open way,” Professor Webb said. “We’re really pleased that the project is making students a prime focus for all new developments being released.”
The winners of each of the Skype Launch competitions (and the competitors in next Tuesday’s Grand Finale) are: Austin College – Ben Bahsen; Earle Page College – James Douglas; Drummond & Smith College – Ash Bailey; Duval College – Ally George; St Albert’s College – Andrew Dickson; Mary White College – Anthony Cook; Wright Village – Matthew Nairn; Robb College – Andy Turbayne; town students – Nicholas Evans. Each winner (i.e., the student whose paper plane flew the farthest) was rewarded with a state-of-the-art 16-Gb iPad with 3-G accessibility.
It was the team from the University’s “Project 2012: UNE Flexible and Online” project that organised the Skype Launch competitions, and members of the team were on hand to tell the students about coming developments, and give advice on how to use iPads for a more integrated on-campus and online experience.
Next Tuesday’s Grand Finale will be followed by a sausage sizzle.