The intersection of my backgrounds in engineering design, manufacturing and STEM education has given rise to a transdisciplinary way of thinking. Manufacturing is going through a transformation that is sometimes referred to as Industry 4.0, which applies digital transformation technologies (AI/ML, data and data analytics, IoT, and cloud computing) to the design and manufacturing process.
For about two years, I have been thinking that education needs a similar transformation — a metamorphosis that can be accomplished by applying digital transformation technologies to teaching and learning. I have titled this effort “Higher Ed 4.0,” and it is the next logical extension of our college’s transformation efforts. There is growing interest in the application of AI and data analytics to teaching and learning, there are possible avenues for funding on the horizon, and our college is positioned to be a leader in this next phase of education transformation.
I urge all our faculty, staff and students to start thinking about what we can do to improve teaching and learning so we are ready to seize these emerging opportunities and continue our efforts to lead Purdue in undergraduate education and lead the nation in technical education.