Digital Central Academy Overview


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Mobile Technologies, including smart phones, tablets, and laptop computers, are being used increasingly in educational settings. As the availability of these devices increases, educators are finding new classroom uses, both face-to-face and at a distance. Mobile technologies are seen to increase the interest of students and allow students to learn anytime, anywhere. Students using mobile technologies can now take their learning outside the classroom, gaining access to information or classroom requirements in context where the skills and theories are actually being used. However, increased access to information does not constitute the whole of mobile learning.

The dynamic, anywhere learning that becomes possible with the use of mobile devices provides new challenges to educators. Many educators do not have the knowledge and training necessary to effectively implement mobile learning strategies in the classroom. In response to these unique professional development challenges, the Technology Resource Center at the University of Central Oklahoma has developed the Digital Central Academy, a year-long program designed to equip, inspire, enable, and assist faculty in innovatively and collaboratively discovering best practices for mobile technologies in education.

The Digital Central Academy goes far beyond simply providing faculty with mobile devices. Acceptance to the program involves a competitive, blind peer-review application process. Participants must also commit to a series of participation expectations including an intense 3-day hands-on workshop, and continuing throughout the academic year with ongoing collaboration both online and face-to-face.  A key program activity is the development by each participant of an Mobile Technologies Implementation Plan that identifies specific instructional and productivity goals that will be enhanced through tablet use, as well as identifying how the success of the plan will be evaluated.

The focus of the 3-day workshop will be on implementing mobile strategies in the classroom through the use of tablet technology. The TRC will partner with various groups across campus to present a variety of mobile learning strategies for both face-to-face and distance education courses.