Education technology proponent recognised as a 'digital champion'

Published:09 May 2018

Dr Michael Cowling pictured during a ceremony recognising the Advance Queensland Community Digital Champions.

CQUniversity researcher Dr Michael Cowling has been named in the first round of Advance Queensland Community Digital Champions for 2018.

He was among 27 people welcomed to the Community Digital Champions Network during a ceremony in Logan this week.

"It's great to be recognised for improving the digital capabilities of Queenslanders," he said.

Dr Cowling is passionate about helping teachers innovate with technology in their classrooms.

He founded the CREATE lab at CQUniversity, which focuses on collaborative research and engagement around technology and education.

"The lab aims to develop the digital competency of students using augmented and virtual reality as well as robotic teaching assistive technology," Dr Cowling says.

His innovative approach was recognised with an Australian Government Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning in 2016.

Dr Cowling recently hosted a workshop called ‘Weaving Technology into the Fabric of the Classroom’ which was attended by 40 teachers from across South East Queensland.

Participants learned how to use mixed reality technology such as Microsoft HoloLens and Oculus Rift in the classroom, how to use Nao and Sphero Robots to improve student motivation and learning outcomes, how to select the right technology for individual needs, and how to leverage digital technology to improve the overall education process.

Dr Cowling was a speaker at the 2017 National Future Schools Conference and is a regular contributor to online academic commentary media channel ‘The Conversation’.

As a Community Digital Champion, Dr Cowling will expand his educational technology workshops across the state, with four workshops planned in partnership with universities in Central Queensland, North Queensland and the Gold Coast.