Published: 15 July 2008
Knowledge democrat to head Australia’s first CEIT of learning
A leader of new media who helped build global e-learning will father Australia's first centre of leadership in educational innovation at The University of Queensland.
Dr Phil Long, currently at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will be the first chair and director of UQ's Centre for Educational Innovation and Technology (CEIT), where he will make the latest research on technology-assisted teaching and learning freely available.
Dr Long was Director of Learning Outreach for MIT's iCampus, which received USD $25 million from Microsoft Research Laboratories.
He is currently Associate Director of MIT's Office of Education Innovation and Technology and will hold a visiting researcher position at MIT after he begins at UQ in October.
He brings deep connections to technology and innovation through engagements with many professional communities, such as the New Media Consortium, where he is both a member of the advisory board and past chair.
UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning), Professor Deborah Terry, said Dr Long would bring to Australasia new levels of awareness of how innovative information and communications technology can benefit the community, particularly through teaching and learning in universities and schools.
“Dr Long's approach is anchored in one of the first principles of the web, that access to knowledge should be open and free,” Professor Terry said.
“He has a passion for distributing scholarly knowledge with no strings attached.
“UQ is delighted he has accepted the appointment at the new centre, because he will uphold the University's objective of giving all communities the benefits of knowledge derived from rigorous research.
“Schools, tertiary institutions, community groups, industry, government and anyone with an interest in applying research to raise standards of teaching and learning will have free access to the work that comes out of the CEIT.”
Dr Long said he looked forward to collaborating with students and staff throughout UQ, in Queensland, nationally and globally.
“Australia has been a creative source of ideas applying new media to learning," he said.
"I'm looking forward to being a part of this community and mixing emerging technologies with insightful ideas to extend scholarship and learning opportunities.
“Digital tools give people enormously powerful ways of problem solving. One project that CEIT will continue through ongoing collaboration with MIT is iLabs, which brings access to research equipment to students via the web.
"‘If you can't get to the experiment, the experiment can come to you', is the way my colleague, MIT's Professor Jesus del Alamo, likes to describe the iLabs project.
"But it's more than just access, important as that can be. It's extending our ability to ask questions and interpret what nature tells creative minds in high school & university.
“I'm fortunate to have had good colleagues here and in the US who lifted me up and helped me see where exciting opportunities for innovation and learning were happening."
Media: Fiona Kennedy (+61 7 3365 1384 or +61 413 380 012)
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