Buckeyes Set Standard for Teaching with Tech

Sept. 29, 2014
Audra Metzler and Abigail Secker  and

In an effort to bridge the digital divide and save students money, Ohio State University professors are leading the charge across academia to incorporate technology in the classroom.

Liv Gjestvang, associate vice president of Learning Technology at The Ohio State University’s Office of Distance Education and eLearning, said that Ohio State is ahead of such schools as Harvard, Yale and MIT in implementing tech on campus.

“Students increasingly are coming to campus with technology, and we have the opportunity to create really exciting ways for students to learn and collaborate and engage around digital content,” said Gjestvang.

ODEE publishes ebooks and iTunesU courses, working with professors to tailor these interactive learning tools to their OSU classes.

Dr. Brian Lower, an environmental science professor, uses iTunesU as a way to make his lecture videos and powerpoint slides available to his students without the added expense of pricey textbooks, while giving people across the globe access to a college education. Lower says that incorporating technology into the classroom falls on the professor and can take months to set up

“We all have at Ohio State a responsibility to allow students to get a really good education without going into complete debt when you graduate,” Lower said.

Lower has noticed on average a letter grade increase along with better attitudes in students since using iTunesU to digitize course materials for his classes in 2012.

“If you see your professor saving you money you’re probably going to have a more positive attitude in class, and that is probably going to then help you learn better,” said Lower.

Joshua Hampl, a third year in microbiology, said he benefitted from technology while taking Chemistry 1210 with Dr. Matthew Stoltzfus. Stoltzfus uses a flipped classroom setup where he records his lectures and posts them on YouTube for students to review outside of class in addition to his iTunesU course.

“I think (iTunesU) was effective for that type of class because (the professor) went over the material outside of class,” said Hampl. “In class it was more like a recitation.”

Stolzfus’ Chemistry 1210 class is one of 64 Ohio State courses available on iTunesU today.


Liv Gjestvang
Associate Vice President, Learning Technology
Office of Distance Education and eLearning
The Ohio State University
@livgjestvang |
614. 247. 6457

Ashley Miller
Program Manager, Affordability and Access
The Ohio State University
Office of Distance Education and eLearning
244E Mount Hall, 1050 Carmack Rd., Columbus, OH 43210
614-292-3698 Office

Dr. Brian H. Lower, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Joshua Hampl

Buckeyes Set Standard for Teaching with Tech (Article Reflection)

This article first came about when Abby and I were sent out of the classroom by our professor Nicole Kraft, and told to “go find a story”. We ended up at the SBX bookstore on High Street, with the idea to report on high book costs and how they were affecting students at OSU who are already burdened by rising tuition payments. When we shared our idea with Nicole, she loved where we were coming from but thought that we could narrow our focus. Together we decided that our story would be about how professors are using technology in the classroom to not only help students academically, but financially as well.

In order to get started, we needed sources. I made a Facebook status asking my friends if any of them had taken a class where they used iTunes U, or if they knew of anyone who had done so. I got an overwhelming amount of comments with great information, as well as professors to contact.

The first place we got in touch with was the Office of Distance Education and E-Learning at OSU where we were able to have a phone interview with Liv Gjestvang, Associate Vice President of Learning Technology, and Ashley Miller, Program Manager of Affordability and Access. The interview was really eye opening, and I learned so much about how this department is a huge asset in advancing technology in classrooms here at OSU. Next, we interviewed a student who had used iTunes U in the flipped classroom he had with Dr. Fus, a Chemistry 121o professor. He provided a great inside look at how this technological approach really helps engage students, and benefits them educationally as well as financially. Finally, we had our last interview over the phone with Dr. Brian Lower, an Environmental Science professor who also utilizes iTunes U in his classroom. Getting to talk to a professor about how these digital additions have benefitted his teaching experience was definitely enlightening, and brought the story home for me. His passion for this technological approach to learning was evident, and he provided some great quotes for us to use.

With my first story under my belt, I can now say I feel exponentially more comfortable with the article writing process, and I can’t wait to dive head first into my next news writing adventure.



1. NYC

2. Syria

3. Sullivant

4. The superintendant wants to remove healthcare from the teachers plans, so they will have to pay for it themselves

5. Knife (wrong)

6. Hannah Graham


Kasich’s OSU visit (Audra and Adam)

-The structure is reversed and does not follow the inverted pyramid style, so we would put the information about Kasich working with the University president to reduce tuition at the beginning instead of the end. – We would add more information about why Kasich is talking with Gordon Gee and his involvement with OSU tuition

-we would try to find more sources like students or faculty in order to obtain more opinions about his visit