Since joining the College of Education (COE) at Georgia Southern University in 2014, Dr. Mete Akcaoglu has been engaged in work with our K-12 school partners. His initial work was with colleagues Drs. Antonio Gutierrez de Blume and Chuck Hodges in an afterschool gaming club at the STEM Academy in Savannah, and he later continued this work at William James Middle and Nevils Elementary Schools in Bulloch County. Dr. Akcaoglu co-founded the Innovation Studio on the Statesboro Campus in 2015 as a makerspace for teachers, students, faculty, staff, youth, and local community members to foster a culture of innovation and prepare future leaders to learn, make, and play with cutting edge technologies, while they seek solutions to real world problems.
Today he partners with COE’s Dr. Lucas Jensen to offer technology-rich learning experiences in the Studio. Dr. Akcaoglu’s knowledge and skills have been instrumental in supporting teachers and students as they develop their skills with instructional technology. Prior to COVID requiring us to move to virtual learning, Dr. Akcaoglu was working with teachers at DeRenne Middle School to help science and social studies teachers develop relevant and meaningful technology-based instruction for their students. He expanded to offering this type of support, along with colleague Dr. Jackie Kim, to 30 educators and administrators in Savannah-Chatham, Bulloch and Liberty Counties as they returned to virtual instruction this fall. Most recently he and colleagues Drs. Hodges and Selcuk Dogan, received a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (Grant #2027948) in which they will be working with six teachers at Metter Middle, the Statesboro STEAM Academy, Screven Middle and DeRenne Middle Schools to develop a computer science curriculum based on digital game design.