The College of Sciences (CoS) is excited to announce a pilot program in classroom instruction beginning Spring 2020.    

The college is seeking faculty volunteers to participate in launching a pilot program called “Digital21”, which incorporates the use of iPads and Zoom.  In spring 2020, we will begin with training and professional development workshops.  Therefore, if you are interested in pioneering the Digital21 program in AY2020-2021, please submit your application no later than Monday, January 20 to participate in the training  and professional development workshops.  

Description of Digital21 

The goal of Digital21 is to provide a more equitable teaching experience and facilitate classroom collaboration for instructors who have a mix of students from both the Brownsville and Edinburg campuses in their classes.  In this setting, teaching will be synchronous, and all students and instructor will connect via Zoom for scheduled class meetings.  Each instructor and student will be provided with a loaned iPad (at no cost to the student) and will meet in their respective classrooms while the instructor will teach from his/her office and will conduct lecture and active learning activities thru the iPad and Zoom.  Instructors will be encouraged to provide collaborative activities for students, who can then share their individual/group work with the class via the iPad and Zoom.  

Only upper-level (3000-level courses and above) or graduate courses with a mix of students from Edinburg and Brownsville will be considered for this pilot program.  The pilot program will run for three years, beginning fall 2020 thru the end of spring 2023. Surveys and other assessment instruments will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the digital approach. If the pilot program is successful, it will be expanded to cover all the courses that cannot be offered in a face2face modality in a single campus upon which we anticipate that the cost of the iPads will be part of the financial aid package of the COS students after spring 2023.

To support participating faculty, a digital platform will be created for faculty to share their experiences with the Digital21 method. It will be used as a forum to discuss new applications, methods that can enhance teaching, etc.

Training and Professional Development workshops

Training and PD workshops will be provided during the spring 2020 semester thru Apple representatives and Dr. Art Brownlow, UTRGV Faculty Fellow for Academic Innovation and 2015 Apple Distinguished Educator.  Participating faculty will be loaned an iPad and an Apple Pencil during the pilot program implementation and will receive a $500 stipend at the end of spring 2020. 

Faculty Participants

Faculty seeking to participate in the pilot program must commit to:

  1. Attending all the training workshops in spring 2020; 

  2. Redesigning one or more courses using the iPad approach; and

  3. Working with the Department Chair/School Director to ensure they are assigned a class that qualifies for the Digital21 approach at least once a year during each of the three years of the pilot program, fall 2020-spring 2023.

Application—extended to Monday, January 20th

Download application

If you are interested, please complete the application and email it to Dr. Cristina Villalobos ( no later than Monday, January 20th, 5pm. We expect to inform faculty no later than Monday, January 27th of their participation.