Over the past two decades, information technology has revolutionized our world and our work, as small, fast, cheap and interconnected digital devices make previously unimagined innovations possible. What was once intractable and unthinkable is now commonplace and can be done in the palm of the hand. Computers and information technology now play an indispensable role in every aspect of our lives.
This is no less true in higher education. The transformation of knowledge into bits and bytes, the harnessing of computational power and the development of digital communication networks and devices that link every corner of the world affects every aspect of our mission at the University of Kentucky. Research across our university is being revolutionized by the ability to collect, produce, analyze, and collaborate around data on a scale never before possible. Digital technologies open new doors to the wealth of human knowledge in teaching, and new forms of publication and communication allow us to serve the Commonwealth and the nation as never before.
A revolution is well underway in the College of Arts and Sciences. Our faculty members are using the most advanced computer tools to ask the big research questions. We are mapping the genome of species, developing new molecules and compounds, exploring the origins of our universe, and developing models to predict earthquakes. We are critically examining cultures across the world and across time with tools never before available.
Our teachers are pioneering new pedagogical techniques to engage students in critical thinking and analysis. We are teaching classes in IT IQ to empower our students in this new age and our first-year residential college, A&S Wired, is pioneering the future of engaged learning in this digital age. Our College is using new digital communication tools to reach out across the state. Our Digital Distillery is helping to make Kentucky’s cultural heritage available to all.
The national media has a tendency to get focused on the latest new thing, be they MOOCs or on-line degrees, but the real story of higher education in the digital age is one of pervasive transformation. At A&S, we have built a new web portal to show off the breadth and depth of change. Momentum.as.uky.edu is a place to showcase the inspired and inspiring digital project across the college. Here you’ll find links to everything from Wired, our digitally connected living learning community, to the New Maps Collaboratory, which is exploring new ways to map ‘big data’ and user generated content. You can also find out more about the Hive, our information technology and creative support team and the cyber-infrastructure that they are building for the College. Please explore, contemplate, and contribute your thoughts on the digital revolution and our role in it.