Image of 4CAST conference attendees at a technology demonstration.

Each year on the Thursday before the start of spring classes, the Center for Teaching hosts the 4CAST conference (Campus Academic Strategies & Technologies) to provide UI faculty and lecturers an opportunity to share and explore new and effective teaching technologies. This year’s event, co-sponsored by Digital Bridges for Humanistic Inquiry, focused on new ways to implement digital tools into teaching across disciplinary boundaries. Brandeis University Vice Provost and University Librarian John Unsworth kicked off the day with a keynote address, “Bridging Art & Science:  STEAM Education in a Digital World.”

During the 4CAST lunch break, participants were entranced by the virtual reality experience created by 3-D viewers and smart phones. Modeled on Google Cardboard, the viewers were created by OTLT staff members with the help of a laser cutter provided by the College of Engineering. The Center for Teaching has purchased five “official” Google Cardboard viewers which are now available for checkout from the Center for Teaching lending library, 2070 University Capitol Centre.

Afternoon breakout sessions offered an array of new digital technologies that UI faculty and staff are infusing into their classroom teaching, including the 3-D publishing/presentation platform VSim; a collaboration between visual artists and engineers that uses miscues by 3-D scanners to help create ceramic art; and the creative intersection of science, technology, art, engineering and math through the use of mobile maker spaces.

Digital Bridges for Humanistic Inquiry is a collaborative effort to translate creative approaches to humanities scholarship and teaching into dynamic, collective, public forms made possible by digital media. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is providing funding for faculty involved in this multi-year project.

Join us on Friday Feb. 19, 12:00-1:00 in the Center for Teaching, 2070E, to see examples of Digital Bridges projects, learn about funding opportunities, and to meet the primary investigators. Please register.