Duke's Pratt School Wins Second Hewlett-Packard Technology for Teaching Leadership Grant

July 19, 2006

Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering has won a second Technology for Teaching Leadership grant from Hewlett-Packard (HP). This project, led by Assistant Professor of the Practice Lisa Huettel, will provide 40 tablet computers and supporting equipment for use in courses across Pratt.

The grant, valued at more than $120,000, was one of 10 awarded to two- and four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. Another 15 grants were awarded to K-12 schools across the country.

Recipients were selected for reinvestment based on their previous success integrating HP technology into their classroom curriculum, demonstration of positive results on student achievement, and innovative plans to expand their programs to have a broader impact on student success, according to HP.

Tablet computers provided by an earlier grant played an integral role in the new pilot course ECE 27: Fundamentals of Electrical and Computer Engineering taught by Huettel last spring semester. ECE 27 is the first in a series of new courses under development as part of a revision of the ECE curriculum spearheaded by Associate Professor of ECE Leslie Collins.

The tablet computers assigned to each student on the first day of that class facilitated participation during lecture and laboratory sessions. A program called Classroom Presenter allowed students to follow along, to take notes directly on PowerPoint slides, and to send in anonymous answers to problem questions.

“One goal for the new Fundamentals course is to integrate active learning throughout the entire course, so that students develop problem solving and critical thinking skills,” Huettel said. “The tablet computers not only facilitated active learning, but also provided a bridge between lecture and laboratory components of the course.”

The new grant will allow the incorporation of tablet computers into other engineering courses, including those within other Pratt departments, beginning next Fall semester.

“HP is offering this additional equipment and training so the excellent work already demonstrated by these educators can be expanded,” said Bess Stephens, vice president, Philanthropy and Education, HP, in a news release. “We are delighted to make these reinvestment grants so that even more educators and students can benefit from innovative applications of technology to improve teaching and learning.”