The Digital Flagship initiative brought a new level of technology to Ohio State classrooms in the fall and will soon expand to a mobile lab.
Credit: Courtesy of Grace Buchholz, OCIO

Cory Tressler, director of learning programs and Digital Flagship, has envisioned placing a design mobile lab onto a 35-foot bus since Digital Flagship began as a comprehensive, universitywide digital learning initiative in October 2017.

In March, his vision will become reality.

Next month, the students and faculty of the Ohio State community will have the opportunity to build their skills in coding and digital design with the use of a new state-of-the-art mobile lab that will open as a part of the Digital Flagship initiative.

Through this creation, Tressler said Ohio State is accomplishing its goal of educating the main campus in Columbus as well as all regional campuses.

“The big goal is to have an outreach vehicle that can reach more and more people,” Tressler said.

Tressler said that when the initiative for Digital Flagship first launched, those on the team gathered feedback from the community and learned that the target was larger than the main Columbus campus.

“When we got to the design lab side of the feedback, we heard from the regional campuses that they wanted a lab as well,” Tressler said.

The mobile lab that is opening in March will act as a classroom that can be taken across Ohio in support of teaching people how to create an app, Tressler said.

“We really want to create an environment where any student, faculty and staff can come and engage in various types of programming,” Tressler said.

Student employees who have been trained by Digital Flagship will be traveling with the bus in order to host educational events that showcase digital design and coding. They have been trained in Swift coding, which will be the foundational language in which the coding is done.

Swift is code used for Apple app development meant for anyone who wants to create an app, Andrew Kuhar, assistant director of learning environments, said.

Along with the mobile lab, a physical location has been determined in Columbus, and building this lab has already begun, Tressler said.

In the future, Digital Flagship hopes to continue to improve upon its vision and reach as many people as possible.

“As we go into the next academic year, we can really work on assessing how our programming is going and continue to refine it,” Tressler said.