Dear TC Community:
I am excited to announce the launch of the Teachers College Digital Futures Institute (DFI), an interdisciplinary and research-driven endeavor that will strengthen research and pedagogy across the College while magnifying TC’s impact on educational, health, and psychological outcomes worldwide.
For decades, Teachers College has steadily expanded its digital infrastructure in order to meet the needs of our community and to stay current with emergent advances in teaching, learning, research, and practice. Since 2004, our Gottesman Libraries have been a major catalyst of that work, serving as an incubator for development of innovative new curricula, technologies and – with the opening several years ago of the state-of-the-art Smith Learning Theater – learning spaces. The need for such a commitment was made even more apparent as TC braced for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted the delivery of education as we had known it.
Over the past 18 months we have been working to build ever greater tech capacity and expertise at TC while positioning the College for leadership in digital innovation. DFI marks a major milestone in this effort. More specifically, by integrating and mobilizing our talent, resources, and intellectual firepower, DFI will develop and execute a comprehensive and coordinated strategy for streamlining media and technology services, pursuing a robust research agenda related to digital futures, and strengthening TC’s impact locally and globally. The Institute also will enable the College to integrate and incorporate cutting-edge research findings and insights from our centers, labs, and institutes into our college-wide efforts in technology and media services.
DFI brings together the best of TC’s talent in digital scholarship, expertise, and service, beginning with an exceptional leadership team of Lalitha Vasudevan, who will serve as the DFI’s Managing Director and Vice Dean for Digital Innovation, and Charles Lang, who will become DFI’s Senior Executive Director. Together with a strong team, including Veronica Thomas, Debbie Beaudry, Rochelle Thomas, and Malik Muftau, the Digital Futures Institute will provide a single point of entry for inquiries about technology and media related to research, pedagogy, and public engagement. Further, DFI will also offer:
- the capacity to support media production needs for prototyping and translational research projects that can support and strengthen grant submissions;
- workshops and other learning opportunities for anyone seeking to integrate digital tools and media into their research and teaching; and
- opportunities for our other labs, centers, and institutes to join as affiliates and contribute to shaping and realizing the vision of digital innovation at the college.
These services, along with other services, resources, and updates about DFI’s emergent research agenda and activities, will be included on the DFI website in January 2021. (In the meantime, our outstanding digital resources and services will continue to be available as we conclude the fall semester and prepare for a successful start to the spring semester.)
By integrating and harnessing our collective firepower in digital pedagogy and research, DFI positions Teachers College not only to better serve the needs of our students and faculty, but also to lead the way in driving digital innovation throughout higher education.
President, Teachers College