Beyond a List of Links: Introducing Students to the World of Vital, Free, & Loanable University Tech

Wednesday, October 27 | 12:15PM–1:00PM ET
Viewing Location: Online
Session Type: Breakout Session
Delivery Format: Presentation/Panel Session
How do you inform incoming students about the vast number of technological benefits available to them at a state university, when their own high school may have been working with vastly different resources? Spanning this “digital divide” was only one obstacle in the creation of Penn State’s Tech Academy, a Canvas-based mini-course that is the collaborative effort of a working group composed of employees from the University Libraries, and Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT). Other challenges included sharing information across 15+ campuses and designing assignments that required active student engagement. Opportunities that helped the program launch after an eight-week prep window included communication with a standing committee of various locations and administrative levels, leveraging existing initiatives, and the willingness of volunteer facilitators. Facilitator orientations and debriefings, paired with student assessments, have strengthened this program and allowed the potential to expand to additional campuses and first-year students. Current Tech Academy topics include one-time interactions like signing up for campus alerts and social media, tech etiquette, lending of audio/visual equipment, and free access to Microsoft and Adobe products. The Tech Academy also offers students their first introduction to the learning management system and its multiple methods of communication and sharing of documents.


  • Cori Biddle

    Student Outreach and Engagement Librarian, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Bonnie Brubaker Imler

    Library Director, Penn State Altoona & Penn State, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Angie Dick

    Manager, Learning Design, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Jessie Driver

    Instructional Designer, The Pennsylvania State University