Anderson University is a national leader in higher education in its use of technology to support and enhance all aspects of its core function - teaching and learning, which has led to the institution being recognized as an Apple Distinguished School since 2014. Through Anderson's Digital Learning Initiative, Anderson has provided all of its residential undergraduate students and select graduate program students with an iPad Air and Apple Pencil. The mission of transforming learning experiences and preparing students to serve their communities and careers in the twenty-first century is enhanced through mobile devices developed by Apple.
From linear algebra to clinical experiences in nursing, Anderson University campus is finding innovative ways to integrate iPads, apps, and active classroom spaces to expand student learning while making the learning experience more engaging. This commitment to Innovation and Digital Learning at Anderson, has placed the university squarely at the forefront of high-tech teaching, creating distinctive learning environments that have earned rave reviews from students and professors alike.
The vision for innovation in teaching and learning is evident throughout the institution’s leadership and organizational structure. Anderson’s vision statement found within its strategic plan states that the University will “further build upon its emerging identity as a leading innovator of educational improvement through cutting-edge technology and collaborative learning.” That vision and commitment extends to the Digital Learning Initiative (DLI) where iPad Air and Apple Pencil are distributed to traditional undergraduate students, select programs in graduate studies, faculty, and staff. The student learning experience with iPad Air and Apple Pencil is supported and strengthened by the intentional design and development of traditional, hybrid, and online courses, and through the enhancement of facilities across campus to meet current and future needs in digital learning environments.
Anderson firmly believes that learning is a personalized experience that should promote inquiry, engagement, and personal growth. At its core, the vision for the DLI and technology infused teaching and learning is straightforward – enhance and extend the learning experience for students at Anderson University. To meet that goal, Anderson has used a targeted approach to make the use of iPad Air, Apple Pencil, and AppleTV ubiquitous in teaching and learning. Through professional development opportunities, faculty members are enabled with the ability to integrate Apple devices with their classroom and course work.
The widespread adoption of mobile devices and learning technologies by faculty and students has allowed Anderson to expand the capacity of IT infrastructure on campus This expansion allows mobile devices and other learning technologies to be an integral part of the learning environment. Anderson students are empowered to take ownership of their learning, find their voice, and develop 21st century skills. Students actively use iPad Air and Apple Pencil in classroom activities, course work, extracurricular activities, and personal use. The use of mobile devices is commonplace and an expected part of normal campus life where students actively develop skill sets associated with teamwork, communication, creativity, and critical thinking.
Anderson assesses its Digital Learning initiative to further enhance and extend educational opportunities, evaluate and integrate new learning technologies, and support faculty professional development to create a modern learning environment. Additionally, Anderson analyzes institutional data and design assessments that measure the impact of: the DLI, use of Apple devices, course design and development, and conduct research.
Anderson has seen clear internal results as evidenced by the continually increasing student outcomes reported for the DLI, its growth in faculty development and instructional design participation, the development of new programs that build on the university’s strengths in innovation and technology integration as well as expanding upon community outreach through lifelong and professional learning opportunities.
The transformative work produced by the Digital Learning Initiative and the partnership with Apple has benefited the university, the public, and the higher education community at large in ways that could not have been predicted when this endeavor began in 2011.
In recent program development, iPad Air and Apple Pencil will be used in a new Doctorate of Education (EdD) program. Leaders in curriculum development across the state of South Carolina will have access to Apple devices, content specific apps, and implement mobile learning strategies focused upon diverse student populations found throughout the state.
Anderson will continue to improve upon course delivery options, develop open educational resources, establish equitable access to course material, and build new traditional and online programs of study.