Robots, virtual reality, collaborative touch screens and 3D printing are on show at a new facility launched by Australia's Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove yesterday at The University of Western Australia.
The new Futures Observatory houses the latest emerging technologies to inspire academic staff across the University to create new educational experiences for students.
Professor Gilly Salmon, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education Innovation) said the Futures Observatory provided a stimulating meeting space for enabling 'futures thinking' about learning at UWA.
"The Futures Observatory is about embracing future opportunities and providing UWA students with a more engaging and exciting learning environment," Professor Salmon said.
"With science, technology and innovation set to play an even greater role in our economic future and prosperity, UWA understands it has a key role to play to support students for this new world.
"Scholarships are also available to staff to support their research and development into education with consumer technologies, and the Observatory will also develop partnerships with selected technology and industry organisations."
Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove congratulated the University for developing an observatory that would enable technological advancement and forward-thinking.
"It will be an example to other educational institutions across Australia of a centre that applies the way we teach and learn with the imagination and genius of those who use it," Sir Peter said.
UWA Chancellor Dr Michael Chaney said the Futures Observatory would help provide an interactive and hands-on learning environment to meet the needs of a fast-changing society.
"The University must embrace new teaching technologies to maintain and improve our place in the top one per cent of universities in the world," Dr Chaney said.
"The Futures Observatory will help UWA meet the expectations of students, who are increasingly tech-savvy and want the latest technologies in the classroom and online to support their learning experience."