campus partner(s)

Washington and Lee University






Fresh Thinking

award date


project director

Howard Dobin

Washington and Lee University

Grant Summary

$80,000 over 18 months. Washington and Lee University will convene a group of colleges and universities in a Teagle Foundation Working Group focused on the issue of technology fluency and its place in liberal education. Despite the pervasive nature of digital technology in our world and the breathtaking pace of innovation, most of the nation's best colleges and universities have not directly faced the challenge of first deciding what level of familiarity or competency our students must attain and how to deliver that knowledge, and second integrating technology as a topic of inquiry within a broader liberal arts education with emphases on values, personal enrichment, career preparation, and civic life. The working group will explore questions such as: How do we define what constitutes technological fluency? What is the responsibility of higher education to prepare our students as informed consumers and producers of that technology? How should the goal of technology fluency best be accomplished in the context of a liberal arts curriculum? How do we assess the success and value of such instruction?

Faculty and IT professionals representing Dartmouth, Drew, Lafayette, Maryland, Penn, Princeton, Rutgers, Stanford, Swarthmore, Yale, and Washington and Lee will meet twice between fall 2005 and summer 2006 with the goal of producing a white paper, articulating a consensus on goals and priorities, for dissemination by the Foundation. In addition, each institution will have an internal working group to develop institution-specific responses and concrete curricular and initiatives.