TORONTO, ON, ATHABASCA, AB – As part of Xerox Corporation’s global commitment to science and education, Xerox Canada has partnered with Athabasca University to develop a research program focused on advancing mobile learning and e-learning for students living in remote or rural areas of Canada.

Xerox has awarded Athabasca $250,000 to develop technologies for distance education programs and to support a research chair in learning technologies. The award aligns with the company’s model of open, collaborative innovation that supports the academic community while advancing the frontiers of knowledge.

“It’s a natural partnership,” says Dr. Frits Pannekoek, Athabasca University’s president. “Xerox is recognized internationally as a leader in developing innovative business systems and Athabasca University is a recognized world leader in distance education. The strategic alliance will let both organizations grow and learn from each other.”

The research will focus on ways to use small, portable devices such as MP3 players and PDAs to deliver courses and instructional material. Similar research has led to the development of technologies that allow nursing students living in northern Canada to use technology originally developed for playing music videos to study heart monitor read-outs generated in teaching hospitals in southern Canada.

“Athabasca has been a trusted partner and customer for more than 15 years,” says Kevin Warren, president and CEO, Xerox Canada. “This project demonstrates how these types of long-term partnerships help build community, as well as the future of our country.”

Secondary School support

As part of the project, Xerox will also fund research for mobile and e-learning applications for elementary and secondary school students participating in the Northern Alberta rural education research project. The project was created to help rural school districts facing declining enrollment and small, decentralized schools that are having trouble supporting a traditional educational model.

The funding of the mobile learning and e-learning project at Athabasca University is part of Xerox’s overall efforts to conduct joint research with some of the world’s leading academic institutions. In 2006 alone, Xerox Corporation made 42 grants to 31 university science programs and in the last ten years has donated more than $15 million to over 150 different universities around the world.

Athabasca University – Canada’s Leader in Distance Education

Athabasca University is one of the world’s foremost and fastest growing distance and E-learning post-secondary institutions. The university serves over 37,000 graduate and undergraduate students and offers more than 700 courses in 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees, diploma and certificate programs. For more information about Athabasca University, visit www.athabascau.ca.

Xerox innovation at work

Xerox Corporation is the world's leading document management, technology and services enterprise, providing the industry's broadest portfolio of colour and black-and-white document processing systems and related supplies, as well as document management consulting and outsourcing services. This past year Xerox was awarded the National Medal of Technology, the highest technology award in the United States. For more information, visit www.xerox.com/innovation.

Media Contacts:

Laura Mergelas, Xerox Canada, 416-733-6216, laura.mergelas@xerox.com

John O’Brien, Athabasca University, 403-298-2931, jobrien@athabascau.ca

Note Editors: For more information on Xerox, visit www.xerox.com or www.xerox.com/news. For open commentary and industry perspectives, visit www.xerox.com/blogs or www.xerox.com/podcasts.