The Ohio State University has announced a plan to build an innovative, forward-looking learning environment that will enhance teaching and student learning. The plan, called Digital First, will expand classroom technology, foster a 21st century mobile learning environment with technology including iPads, and enhance digital learning content through tools such as iTunes U and iBooks Author. The effort was born, in part, from the transformational spirit that began two years ago when faculty started redesigning the curriculum as part of the university’s transition from quarters to semesters.
An increasing number of students, faculty, and staff are expecting the integration of technology and learning in today’s world. As part of Digital First, Ohio State will create and provide faculty, staff, and students with online and classroom education to develop engaging digital learning. In addition, the university will expand classroom wireless capacity in key academic buildings and develop easy access to a shared set of recommended educational applications and resources.
“By all indications, the modes of learning in higher education continue to evolve,” said Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee. “In order to prepare our students for a fully wired digital world, we must integrate leading-edge technologies throughout our college campus – from the classroom to the operating room. To be sure, it is our obligation to remain relevant.”
“With this initiative, we have the exciting opportunity to chart new territory in education and research,” said Ohio State provost Joe Alutto. “We see far-reaching benefits throughout the university – including research, administration and patient care.”
Digital First will expand upon numerous mobile technology programs in progress throughout the university.
• In the College of Social Work, iPads have been provided to faculty and staff to enhance teaching and help bring technology to the communities and agencies they serve.
• The university’s office of Student-Athlete Support Services, led by Assistant Provost David Graham, is developing iBooks to provide more user-friendly access to athletic department resources, digital course materials and tools to enable mobile coursework.
• Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center is piloting a program using iPads as a tool for physicians and students.
• Within Ohio State's chemistry department, Matt Stoltzfus is incorporating the “flipped classroom model" delivered via iTunes U (http://itunes.apple.com/us/course/general-chemistry/id529130214). Students can view lectures outside of class, opening up opportunities for better dialogue and collaborative problem solving during class.
“Our faculty welcomes this opportunity as they know the positive results that can come from integrating technology and teaching,” said Joseph Steinmetz, executive dean and vice provost of Arts and Sciences. “I look forward to seeing the creative projects that will result to enhance our teaching and learning.”
Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 56,000 students enrolled at its Columbus campus, 14 colleges and 175 majors, the university offers its students exceptional breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.
More information about Ohio State’s Digital First effort, including a video, can be found at digitalfirst.osu.edu.