5 Technology Trends Every CIO in Higher Education Is Focused on in 2018

June 5, 2018  |  by: Ed McDermott
Higher Ed Tech

Universities are actively relying on various advancements in technology to reform the higher education experience as we know it. While student success remains the main driving force of technological change, it’s hardly the only one. Universities are using large amounts of data to improve decision-making, implementing new and advanced strategies to keep that data secure, and leveraging the IT sector to help them attract just the right prospects and help prevent bullying. Here are five education technology trends every CIO should be focusing on in 2018.

Data-driven decisions

Data analytics has become an integral part of the modern decision-making process and universities are starting to realize that strategies for data-management are no longer considered a luxury, but rather a practical necessity. Making an effort to unify data standardization, results in an improved educational system. Universities are starting to assess the way they collect, sift through and store their data.

Data storage and management is one thing but using that data to improve retention and drive student success is a different ball game. For example, data can also be used to create better educational plans, to determine and enhance campus space utilization and efficiently plan for any further changes in regards to campus construction.

Digital assignments and course materials

With a whopping billion hours of educational videos being watched on YouTube each day, the platform is the primary source of information for modern-day students. However, the sheer amount of educational material has created some challenges for universities, ranging from finding the appropriate content, creating new ones and knowing what can be reused for practical and time-saving purposes. Academic semesters can be pretty busy, and faculty members rarely have the time or the energy needed to sift through all the videos, find the perfect one and proceed to clip and curate it.

As the need for instructional videos increase, so do the issues regarding the accessibility of said videos, especially for students whose range of needs widens as universities become increasingly diverse. Skimming over text materials is fast and easy, but educators need similar tools to work with video content related to higher education. Textual content can be adapted, paraphrased and quoted, so it’s only natural that we started using similar tools and practices with video content.

Mobile-oriented learning experience

Higher education work is becoming geographically dispersed, increasingly mobile and virtualized. This environment allows us to be readily available, as well as far more collaborative and effective than ever before. Instant gratification provided by mobile technology might be present outside the classroom, but it offers new and exciting opportunities to higher education experience. Relying on mobile devices to find out how, when and where students consume and learn information can help universities learn more about them and help both students and their educators leverage their smartphones to improve the overall learning experience.

Anti-bullying tech

Regrettably, the world in which we live is where anyone can create an online profile and use it to promote their agenda, regardless of how disruptive it may be for others. Online bullying has become increasingly widespread, namely due to the highly prolific nature of various social media platforms and their intrinsic connection to mobile devices.

While technology can be used to enable abusive behavior, it can also be used to provide solutions to fight this issue in 2018. Educational technologies can provide teachers data such as browsing history and search term tracking, apps for remote viewing of student devices or be used to monitor their voice tone and flag specific keywords, providing insight into the moods and tribulations of the average student.    

Increase in IT

The IT sector can and needs to play a more significant role in the higher education infrastructure and help the universities fulfill their mission plan and improve their strategies in doing so. IT can help the academic side by streamlining the process of recruitment and enrollment, while at the same time help students graduate more smoothly and improve retention rates. Administration can also benefit from IT, namely by relying on it to automate repetitive administrative tasks and improve workflow over various departments.

Tech can be used to transform the dull old notion of a college classroom into a collaborative space capable of bringing the best out of the brightest minds by effortlessly providing them with just the information they need and allowing them to work on that information using the devices they already have at their disposal.

Conclusion

IT has the unique capability of becoming the university’s digital circulatory system and in doing so, attracts more students who are prone to universities who invest their time and resources into tech-oriented solutions and use them innovatively across the student campus. It’s only natural for higher education to become intertwined with technology and delegate the role of IT to help manage the necessary organizational change and reshape our institutions to provide their students, staff, and faculty with what they want when they want it.  

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