Innovation and Research
DISCOVER — EXPLORE — TRANSFORM
The Innovation and Research unit within Information Technology is on mission to lead, coordinate, and facilitate the discovery and exploration of emerging technologies and innovative solutions that lead to digital transformation (DX) across Information Technology at Grand Valley State University.
Collaborating with key stakeholders, the team will endeavor to catalyze transformation, serve as a change agent, and build a robust portfolio of solutions, services, and resources that are purposefully designed to:
- Further academic and research initiatives
- Facilitate quality digital education
- Enhance the learner experience
- Encourage a culture of innovation
- Build the next generation of teaching and learning spaces
- Support the University’s mission and strategic priorities
Our goal is to develop and nurture strong working relationships across the GVSU community, including partnerships with business leaders and technology experts across the University, state, and nation through a rich "Innovation and Research Ecosystem" to help shape the future of education.
Our focus is to:
- Generate enthusiasm for new, emerging, and innovative technologies.
- Build confidence and generate adoption of new ideas and models powered by technology by facilitating experimentation, increasing early adoption participation, promoting influencers, and celebrating successes.
- Scale up deployment through awareness, collaboration, and generating communities of practice, laying the foundation for digital transformation.
Navigating the complexities of continuous change requires dedication, agility, and experimentation to forge new paths as we adapt, discover big ideas, create new value streams, and bring them to scale. Facilitating the work in the area of innovation and research, is an ecosystem that includes the following elements in the landscape:
- Monitor and track evolving trends, collect and curate targeted research, wicked problem identification, innovative investigation, ideation, design thinking, and novel solution generation.
- Space designed to accelerate and incubate ideas, explore future experimental faculty/student-focused technologies, and encourage exploration and experimentation in the design of the next generation of transformational teaching and learning environments. (X = eXplore, eXperience, eXperiment)
- Future planned space, designed to generate prototypes, and to invent the future, featuring fabrication, design, and digital production.
- Space to interact, discover, learn, and share how technology can transform teaching, learning, and research. The focus of the showcase is to encourage exploration of emerging technologies through exhibits.
- Events, summits, popups, meetups, hack-a-thons, make-a-thons, learn-a-thons, bootcamps, summer camps, startup weekends, are intended to engage, convene, inspire, influence, and ignite large audiences around theme/trend-based "Digital-EDU" activities, including collaboration with internal and external partnerships.
- Connecting current students, faculty, staff, alumni, K-12, community, organizations, as well as local business and industry memberships and partnerships.
- Current Memberships: Info-Tech Research Group, ETOM (Educational Technology Organization of Michigan), EDUCAUSE
Add your Voice to the Community of Innovation and Research
- Interested in sharing an idea to: eXplore, eXperience, or eXperiment?
- Excited about lowering the barriers for exponential impact?
- Focused on accelerating change and creating a future-ready campus?
- Wanting to get plugged into the innovation pipeline?
- Desiring to explore an idea to add value and transform the university yet need a catalyst?
- Looking for opportunities to reduce friction, remove inefficiencies, solve challenges, and improve the education journey at GVSU?
Don't venture forward alone, join us! Reach out to Eric Kunnen, Senior Director, IT Innovation and Research, and let's partner together in a journey to imagine, reach higher, and create the next-generation of education.
Senior Director, IT Innovation & Research
Innovation and Research - In the News
- 2022 - Eric Kunnen, Senior Director, IT Innovation and Research, facilitated a presentation with Chris Bilski, GVSU Esports Coordinator, along with presenters from Northern Michigan College and Mott Community College on the topic: “Introduction to Collegiate ESports” at an ETOM Meet Up, held on January 19, 2022.
- 2021 - Eric Kunnen, Senior Director, IT Innovation and Research, contributed to an article in HigherEdAV Media entitled: "Learning Spaces Lessons Learned", highlighting GVSU's work in creating the next generation of learning spaces through active learning on December 17, 2021.
- 2021 - Eric Kunnen, Senior Director, IT Innovation and Research, and Hunter Bridwell, Emerging Technologies Coordinator toured the FabLab at Lake Michigan College and Muskegon Community College, along with participation in Lawrence Technological University's TechDRIVE event.
- 2021 - Eric Kunnen, Senior Director, IT Innovation and Research, presented with Kim Kenward, Director eLearning Technologies, on the topic: “Active Learning and Next Generation Classrooms” an ETOM Meet Up, held on November 17, 2021.
- 2021 - Eric Kunnen, Senior Director, IT Innovation and Research, presented with Kelley Senkowski, Instructional Technology Project Specialist, on the topic: “Best Practices in Quality Online Teaching and Course Evaluation” at the ETOM Fall 2021 Virtual Conference, held on November 5, 2021.
- 2021 - Eric Kunnen, Senior Director, IT Innovation and Research, contributed to an article in HigherEdAV Media entitled: "The Sport behind Esports | FLEXspace", highlighting GVSU's emerging Esports program on October 6, 2021.
- 2021 - Eric Kunnen, Senior Director, IT Innovation and Research, published an article in CIOReview entitled: "Pioneering the Future Through Technology Innovation" in April, 2021.
- 2021 - Lily Snyder, GVSU Alumnus and former virtual reality software COO, highlighted the Technology Showcase and the Emerging Technology Fund in a “Let’s talk about college.” post on LinkedIn.
- 2019 - Eric Kunnen authored an article in Education Technology Insights entitled: "Technology as a Catalyst in Shaping the Educational Experience".
- 2019 - An interview of Eric Kunnen featured an article in EdTech Magazine: "Active-Learning Buildings Showcase New Teaching Philosophies".
- 2018 - Eric Kunnen contributed to an article posted on September 17, 2018, entitled: "Mary Idema Pew Library celebrates five years of innovative education" for the Grand Valley Lanthorn at GVSU.
- 2018 - Eric Kunnen contributed to an article posted on September 12, 2018, entitled: "Technology Showcase to celebrate five-year anniversary" for GVNext at GVSU.
- 2018 - Eric Kunnen authored an article in E-Learn Magazine entitled: "Keeping Students Engaged: the Role of Faculty in Student Retention".
- 2018 - Eric Kunnen, Matt Roberts, and Szymon Machajewski (Affiliate Professor) co-organized the first ever 'hackathon' hackGVSU event at GVSU.
- 2017 - The Technology Showcase was highlighted on the Ultimaker Libraries blog in a post entitled: "Atomic Object Technology Showcase - A spotlight for 3D printing and emerging technologies"
- 2017 - The Technology Showcase was featured in a Blackboard Blog post about the custom Amazon Alexa skill that was created by GVSU Professor, Szymon Machajewski.
- 2017 - Article in Rapid Growth featured the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team and Technology Showcase "From Virtual Reality to Online Libraries, How Technology is Revolutionizing Education in GR".
- 2017 - The Technology Showcase was highlighted in a press release entitled: "Modular, dynamic lighting system lends an artistic quality to GVSU's Technology Center".
- 2016 - The Technology Showcase participated in the Grand Rapids Mini Maker Faire.
- 2016 - The Technology Showcase was highlighted on the My College Planning Team Blog.
- 2016 - The Technology Showcase participated in "Making as Learning: A Three Day Workshop" that was sponsored by the University of Michigan.
- 2016 - Eric Kunnen presented "Serendipitous Learning Potential through Intentionally Designed Learning Spaces" for the Michigan State University Hub for Innovation, Learning, and Technology.
- 2016 - The Technology Showcase participated in the New Media Consortium Horizon Report Video Competition.
- 2015 - Eric Kunnen was cited in a conference proceedings book regarding the GVSU Atomic Object Technology Showcase. The proceedings book was entitled: "Where Do We Go from Here?: Charleston Conference Proceedings 2015 - Google Books"
- 2015 - Campus Technology Magazine highlighted the Technology Showcase in an article: "Technology Showcase Explores 'Serendipitous Learning Opportunities"
- 2015 - "Emerging Technologies to Enhance Teaching and Enable Active Learning" article in EDUCAUSE Review featured the Technology Showcase.
- 2015 - The Technology Showcase was highlighted in an EDUCAUSE session entitled: "Working with Emerging Technologies to Promote Engaging Learning".
- 2015 - The Technology Showcase went on the road to Indy for the Crowe Horwath Learning Matters Now Conference.
- 2015 - A GVSU article in GVNext highlighted the "Lightboard one of many innovations available to faculty", where the Technology Showcase 3D printing was featured.
- 2015 - Eric Kunnen presented a session entitled: "Leveraging Emerging Technologies to Enhance Teaching and to Enable Active Learning", Michigan Library Association Applied Technology and Trends Workshop in Allendale, MI.
- 2014 - An interview of Eric Kunnen was featured an article in EdTech Magazine: "Colleges Offer Hands-On Tech Engagement" about the Technology Showcase.
- 2014 - Eric Kunnen facilitated an online webinar through the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI 2014 Online Fall Focus Session: Re-Imaging Learning Spaces: Design, Technology, and Assessment) with Dean Lee Van Orsdel. The session was entitled: "Radically Student-Center Design and the New Learning Commons".
- 2014 - Michigan Radio highlight featured Eric Kunnen and the Technology Showcase in a segment entitled: "GVSU tries to bring new technologies into the classroom"
- 2014 - Eric Kunnen facilitated a preconference seminar entitled: "Wireless Presentation Systems: Ad hoc and Enterprise Solutions for the Interactive Classroom" at the EDUCAUSE Conference in Orlando, FL.
- 2014 - Case study featured on Swivl.com about how GVSU is leveraging Swivl (exhibited in the Technology Showcase) in education: "How Grand Valley State University made online teacher training a possibility with Swivl"
Transforming education through innovation...