Creating a Digital University with Technology for Teaching and Learning
By Phil Ventimiglia
At Georgia State University, we are working to create a “Digital University.”
This does not mean simply offering courses online or adding mobile content to courses. It means using technology to enrich the entire student experience. Two key components of this digital transformation are re-examining how and what we teach.
As we re-examine how we teach, Georgia State is using technology to enable new methods of instruction that can enhance learning moments in and out of class. Digital learning materials are beginning to replace textbooks and lectures with more interactive and individualized experiences.
We are implementing Adaptive Learning Courseware, which personalizes independent study by presenting content at each student’s distinct learning pace. By tracking how students are doing in real-time and providing automated alerts when students struggle with coursework, these materials aim to extend Georgia State’s use of data to help students complete their studies.
Our classrooms are also increasingly equipped with flexible configurations and technology tools, such as large-screen displays and wireless presentation capabilities, so faculty can make optimal use of class time by having students work collaboratively and apply knowledge with interactive and project-focused work.
This summer, we will open a “makerspace” that provides digital-creation tools such as 3D printers, virtual reality headsets and circuit boards to students from all majors to encourage them to explore complex problems cooperatively and increase their digital competencies through creation.
The world is experiencing a technological revolution that affects every area of society, from banking to retail to education. Students must be digitally literate to be prepared. Therefore, we are reexamining what we teach by incorporating digital literacy throughout our curriculum.
True digital literacy requires that students solve problems digitally, encourages students to become self-directed learners and provides opportunities for students to demonstrate professional knowledge. At Georgia State, we are integrating digital competencies throughout core courses, ranging from math to science to English. For example, during our pilot, students learned to write and format blogs using web scripting in an English composition course and learned to create visualizations showing the impact of an event on varying demographics in history class. This program is providing the basis for a growing community of digitally experimental faculty and an expanding array of digitally enabled courses.
By leveraging technology to inform how and what we teach, we are preparing students to be ready to succeed in the digital 21st century.
Phil Ventimiglia is the Chief Innovation Officer at Georgia State University.