Westminster College Revolutionizes Student Learning with Launch of Digital Blue

Westminster College is at the technological forefront in higher education. The College launched an innovative, campus-wide learning experience this week — called Digital Blue — in which every student and faculty member is issued a 9.7″ Apple iPad tablet along with an iPad charger and Apple pencil.

All students receive their devices at Digital Blue Check-In from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday in the Coulter Science Center Atrium in Coulter Science Center.

Westminster is one of only a handful of colleges in the state of Missouri to undertake a campus-wide technological initiative of this scope. In preparation for the profound change in educational delivery, throughout the summer most classrooms throughout campus were outfitted with Apple devices that connect to professors’ iPads, helping them teach in a profoundly new way.

Dr. Barri Bumgarner, Associate Professor of Education and Digital Blue Coordinator, has led the Digital Blue initiative for the past five years. Read more about her here.

“The sky is the limit with Digital Blue,” explains Associate Professor of Education Dr. Barri Bumgarner, who has led the Digital Blue initiative. “I can teach outside. I can teach at the Berlin Wall. I can use video. I can use interactive materials on my device which allows students to respond. Digital Blue allows our students to receive the most relevant education possible.”

While the iPad is a customized Westminster device that students will use in their studies, students are encouraged to use it in their personal lives, installing apps and customizing the device to their preferences.

“Digital Blue will totally change the way we interact with students in a positive way,” says Dr. David Roebuck, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty. “They can track their future.”

Although the iPad is being provided to the students as a part of their Westminster education, students will still purchase textbooks when a digital version is not available for their iPad.

Samantha Henderson ‘21 from Louisiana, MO, says she believes Digital Blue will help students stay organized, because professors can airdrop assignments and syllabi immediately, bypassing local wifi.

Bumgarner adds that an additional perk of Digital Blue is that students can keep their devices when they graduate. She also sees great potential in the program for English Language Learning programs, teaching students with learning disabilities, and distance learning.

“Our Digital Blue experience will inspire creativity, productivity and relevant lifelong learning and connect our students and faculty with authentic tools to elevate the Blue Jay Nation and help students see the power in their purpose,” she says.

For more information on Digital Blue, go here.







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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is a Media and Content Strategist at Westminster College in Fulton, MO. A 1992 graduate of the College, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communication in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.