“...For a young man like me, the invention of the Internet was the invention of space travel”
- Ta-Nehisi Coates
As this sentence suggests, the creation of the Internet, which led to the digital age, had as much an impact on human innovation as space travel. The digital age began in the 1990s with the introduction of new advanced technologies to public consumption. This era is extremely significant in Ursinus' history because of the immense change. The Digital Age forced college students and faculty to craft a new set of skills pertaining to computers and software. In so doing, students adapted to a new education that relied on digital screens rather than pen and paper exclusively. The era also created a different type of college graduate, one with the power of the internet beneath their fingertips.
This research project seeks to answer the following question: How did the implementation of digital technologies affect Ursinus students both positively and negatively? To investigate this question, our team visited the Ursinus archives and digital commons for critical primary sources. We also consulted with secondary sources like Cathy N. Davidson's New Education to help gain insight into the convergence of academia and technology.
We discovered that the Digital Age, including the birth of the internet, cultivated new educational and social experiences that affected Ursinus students both positively and negatively. On the one hand, the age enabled different clubs, academic studies, and valuable skills to flourish among the student body. It also gave Ursinus students new opportunities in academia, increased their digital interconnection with communities on and off-campus, and geared graduates with highly demanded digital technology skills. On the other hand, problems stemming from the internet's harsh reality caused students to face self-esteem issues, invasion of privacy and bullying from anonymous classmates.
By Ayoub Cherradi, Michael Kates, Jason Cayetano, and Sarah Haughton