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Digital First at Ohio State

January 07, 2013

Digital First is transforming the Ohio State community, from the way professors design courses to how students perform fieldwork.

Digital First at Ohio State

Ohio State students come to campus with the latest technology in their backpacks. The question: How can those high-tech devices help them learn? Ohio State is blazing a trail with Digital First, created to support faculty, staff, and students in using mobile technology.

Says President E. Gordon Gee: "Ohio State is creating a classroom environment that is changing the nature of higher education. We are, quite simply, revolutionizing teaching and learning for the 21st century."

The Faculty View

Lecturer Cynthia Dassler's organismal diversity course uses iPads to document plant species. Professor Holly Dabelko-Schoeny hosts FaceTime videoconferences between students and professional social workers. And lecturer Matthew Stoltzfus posts his chemistry lectures online for students, so classroom time can be devoted to hands-on activities. (His iTunes U course enrolled more than 100,000 students the first year it was offered.) All across campus, Digital First is putting the best tools in faculty hands, helping them continue to engage students--and discover practical value in using technology.

The Student Perspective

For students at Ohio State, a classroom or study space can be anywhere--a table at the Wexner Center Café or a bench on the Oval--so long as there's access to a laptop or a tablet. With a constantly changing digital landscape, students are preparing for the future by embracing technology today.

The International Stage

Digital First isn't confined to campus; recently, students used iPads to create the first city map of the Offinso North District of Ghana. Professor Charisma Acey took her City and Regional Planning students to the area, where they used GPS to create the map, assessed the area's housing, and addressed critical developmental needs. The magic formula: Ohio State students’ can-do spirit, plus access to digital technology.