I am a graduate student at the University of Northern Colorado and have been observing how one program on our campus tackles the challenge of teaching in a connected world at the undergraduate level. Namely, this tech focus exposes a new divide for students to cross with access to technology. While some have the latest and greatest, of which I am a member, members of my student staff have devices that are either many years past their prime, damaged, or not a smart phone. Therefore, much of their technology use is limited and the techniques they could learn have little practical value. Here, is where the Stryker Institute for Leadership Development comes in. It is a program that is available to women from uunder-represented groups to explore leadership in relation to social justice through the various manisfestations of leadership. The program itself includes training, a mentoring component, and even a leadership capstone that the student creates themselves.
The real kicker though, is that they learn these skills alongside a technological component. Stryker provides a scholarship that not only helps pay for classes for these women, but also provides them with an iPad. For many of the women chosen for this program, it is their first up-to-date device they’ve owned. As a program, Stryker does a great job at not just relying on technology as they host multiple workshops. However, I think it is a great dimension they add by providing these women with the tools they need to navigate the ever popular “smart classroom” everybody is sprinting towards.