A key programmatic element of the Ferguson Center for Technology-Aided Teaching & Learning is the development of the Digital Liberal Arts at Albion College. Digital Liberal Arts is an array of research and pedagogical practices that explore a universe in which print is no longer the only, or even the primary medium, in which knowledge is produced or disseminated. Digital tools, techniques, and media are expanding traditional concepts of knowledge in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. With this expansion the boundary lines among the humanities, the social sciences, the arts, and the natural sciences are being redrawn; there is “Humanities” and “Digital Humanities,” instead of STEM we have STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math), in addition to physical archives there are digital archives. Redrawing, and in many cases blurring traditional discipline boundaries has the potential to:
- develop new forms of inquiry and knowledge production while reinvigorating old ones,
- develop practices that expand the scope, enhance the quality, and increase the visibility of humanistic research,
- expand the audience and social impact of scholarship,
- and to train new scholars through hands-on, project-based learning as a complement to classic classroom-based learning.
Digital Liberal Arts is the convergence of the opportunities and challenges that arise from the conjunction of “digital” with the “liberal arts”.