The Global Learning Center, previously known as the Baby Mabee, was officially dedicated on Nov. 9 following chapel. The event began with worship and an address from President William M. Wilson, conveying a powerful vision and mission to the attendees. Several international students representing six different countries spoke after Chair of the Board of Trustees, Robert Hoskins, prayed over the dedication ceremony. The vision for the GLC is to reach into the “bounds of the earth” that are in need of state of the art education for success. The center was created in 2014, as part of the 50th anniversary comprehensive campaign for globalization initiatives.
Chief Information Officer Michael Mathews was present at the dedication and gave additional information on ORU’s position in furthering the mission and the vision of the Learning Center to the world. Mathews began work at the university in 2014, and has overseen the entire project.
The GLC specializes in technology that exceeds the known and increases the universities ability to globally impact the world of education.
“Take everything from the smallest digital electron around the world, and create something to send around the world. Only ORU has mastered that,” said Mathews.
Augmented reality is a live direct or indirect view of a real world environment shown through projected sound, video, or GPS data. ORU has created and partnered with software companies to allow students the opportunity to experience virtual augmented reality teaching methods in GLC classrooms.
Reality platforms have already impacted the world significantly. PokemonGO reached billions of people in an estimated 35 days. The telephone took 75 years to reach the world. Television took 38 years, the internet took seven years and Facebook took three years. Mathews and his partner John Anderson believe this technology has the capability to exceed all of these.
The GLC’s augmented reality works with smartphones, too.
“ORU is the only one who owns the collective good that we see in the Global Learning Center,” said Mathews.
Three floors of the center hold a number of identical classrooms and offices for faculty from every part of the university. Each room has the capability to record and follow professors’ material, and then place it online for the world to use.
The second and third floors are dedicated to virtual and augmented reality creation and application. Programmers will be able to work to create this specific ORU whole person software.
“In January there will be an opening for 20 students to actually come and be a part of a Virtual l Reality training program for the GLC and the whole world,” Mathews said. “The cost for this was $140 per square foot, nobody can build a building of this size for that amount,” said Anderson.
The building cost $8 million in total, and was completed with no debt. “Nobody has mastered how to send these electrons around the world, except for ORU,” said Mathews. “Multisensory [learning] for a multicultural world. We don’t want to brag, but we do want to show the world God has favored us for a specific time.”
The Global Learning Center plans to continue its mission into its launch in 2017. The center will be available for student use and classes on Jan. 11 when classes resume for the spring semester.
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