Ohio State Pushes For More Classroom Technology

More than just laptops, OSU is going after being an all-around more technological school.

Ohio State has always looked for people to refer to them as THE Ohio State University (did you know this is its official name?), but now the school is looking to be THE school for technology, with a planned revamp of classroom technology capabilities to meet students’ growing demand, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The school is putting together a two-year initiative called Digital First that will look to transform how the campus works, according to Michael Hofherr, senior director for learning technology at OSU.

Students will be able to use their own laptops, smartphones, tablets and more to access a variety of digital learning resources being developed, according to the news source. It seems like it could be a decent idea, seeing as it’s a hard task to find a student these days who isn’t clutching an iPhone.

“This is about education, research, enhancing a mindset and setting our campus up for the future,”Hoffher said, according to the Dispatch. “What we hope we’re providing is a response to a groundswell of students who want this mobile environment and are ready for it.

One chemistry teacher at OSU, Matthew Stoltzfus, told the news source that he now posts lectures online and incorporates more technology into class. As a result, students have started texting and tweeting responses during class for a more engaging and comfortable experience. People who may be too shy to raise their hands can now just hashtag an answer in, something that is fairly unique for any live setting.

“Since putting lectures online, I’ve actually seen an increase in attendance in my classes,” Stoltzfus said. “I don’t look at these materials as a replacement for a classroom setting. I look at them as an enhancement for what’s going on in the classroom.”

Other schools have been striving for a new way to look at technology and classroom management, including Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The university’s strategic plan for technology aims to promote best practices, innovate new ways to combine technology and education, and develop funding models for timely decisions on technology. Many other schools are starting to plan for their technological future as well.

What do you think about the technological revolution at universities across the country? What kind of changes do you think could help? Let’s discuss it in the comments section!

Scott Cornell

When he’s not knee deep in blogging and all things tech, Scott spends his free time playing ultimate Frisbee and watching foreign films. An expert in emerging tech trends, Scott always has his ear to ground for breaking news related to IT security.