Fairfield University Introduces Major Technological Advances Across Campus
FAIRFIELD, CT – With a new school year comes new innovative technology initiatives for Fairfield University faculty and students. The university delivered over 200 iPads to faculty in an effort to better facilitate enhanced teaching and learning through the use of technology. Additionally, a Steelcase Grant, given to only 12 schools out of over 500 applicants in the country, supported the creation of a unique environment for active learning through the use of a fully responsive and adaptive classroom. Meanwhile, by the end of September 60 additional classrooms (or 65 percent of all general use classrooms) will have been completely overhauled with updated technology for students and faculty.
“As a university, it is important that we continue to support innovative pedagogies for teaching and learning using the best tools possible,” says Lynn Babington, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “These advancements reiterate the dedication we have to providing our students with the best, most efficient, and motivating ways to learn.”
The distribution of the iPads was part of a larger initiative on the part of Fairfield’s strategic plan to put next-generation computing devices into the hands of instructors and to make classroom technology, relatable to students, easier to use and more accessible to all. The tablets followed a year of upgrades that simplified the technology installed in the classrooms and made it less complicated and more reliable. In addition, the university added wireless projection capabilities to many classrooms as they continue to be updated, setting the stage for this move to mobile teaching and learning.
“Fairfield University's current technology drive is a one-of-a-kind initiative that places us on a path to excellence,” says Paige Francis, chief information officer for Fairfield University. “We aren't simply handing over gadgets. We are driving a culture for innovation and backing this effort with continuous learning opportunities. It's an exciting time.”
As the only private university awarded the Steelcase Grant, beginning in the summer of 2015, a Steelcase Education learning environment was installed in Fairfield University’s Canisius Hall by Red Thread Spaces out of Milford, CT. Ready for fall 2015, the Verb classroom positively impacts teaching, learning and supports active pedagogies for students eager to return to classes. The Verb classroom is an integrated system of furniture designed to support a variety of learning and teaching styles, allowing for fluid transitions between modes. This learning environment encourages dynamic movement, engagement and interaction between students, content and the instructor.
Fairfield also launched digital signage across campus as part of their continuing effort to be environmentally conscious. The digital boards, installed in academic buildings, the athletic building and the campus center, highlight a rotating list of events and programs on campus and will decrease the number of printed posters by an estimated 80 percent. Additionally, the university has installed eight mobile device-charging stations in strategically located areas across campus.