About Higher Education: Technology Profiles in Success - Spring
Over the past two years, colleges and universities have had to accelerate their technology usage and investments to better engage students, ensure accessibility for all, and to more effectively assess knowledge and student progress, while keeping its data secure. Higher education is now pushing the boundaries and embracing digital transformation by adopting artificial intelligence, the latest wireless and bandwidth capabilities, and doubling down on data security as cyber threats loom. The half-day virtual event will showcase how many institutions are successfully incorporating and upgrading their technology capabilities to better serve their students and faculty.
KEYNOTE: TECHNOLOGY TAKES CENTER STAGE IN THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS
All universities and college are looking to evolve and make sure they are prepared if another catastrophic event hits like COVID. With pandemic funding relief no longer available, higher education institutions are back to depending on their operations and business model to fund new programs and strategies in order to compete in a very tight market challenged by a shrinking high school graduating class and inflation. Technology investments are more important than ever and incorporating digital transformation in the Student Information System to alow students to transact 24 x 7, 365 days. How has this changed the business model, budgeting process and investment priorities?
CONNECTIVITY IS KING: PROVIDING ALL ACCESS, ALL THE TIME
Despite all the investments made by colleges and universities in upgrading their WiFi and networking access during the past 2 years, there is still a gap at many institutions regarding what students and faculty need to access the materials needed as well as connect with one another seamlessly. As part of their digital transformation push, next generation network strategies from Private Wireless Networks with LTE or 5G technology to boost bandwidth speeds is perhaps the most critical technology decision an institution can make. As blended learning continues to be engrained in the curriculum, all universities and colleges need to ensure students and faculty have seamless and secure access wherever they are.
ASSESSING ASSESSMENT: EVALUATING LEARNING WHILE MAINTAINING INTEGRITY
Colleges and universities have had to re-evaluate their student assessment process in this new blended learning environment. The challenge is to create an authentic assessment process to measure student knowledge while preserving academic integrity. Faculty and instructors are having to rethink their courseware design to include different ways to monitor and assess a student’s progress and in an online or hybrid learning situation. This may include more weekly engagement mechanisms and less of a focus on bigger exams. The old ways of assessing courseware progress are no longer effective and social media apps, chats and assessment tools are now needed to better measure a student’s understanding of the material.
CYBER CRACKDOWN: KEEPING STUDENT/UNIVERSITY DATA SAFE
Higher education has been targeted by cyber hackers in the last two years because many institutions have accelerated technology rollouts without full security protocols. From weak endpoint security measures to vulnerable network access, colleges and universities are struggling with incorporating new technology tools and greater accessibility while keeping all of its data secure. Most university CIOS agree that there is a huge funding gap between what institutions need to combat cyber security threats and what they can afford. There is no quick fix here as the bad threat actors are becoming more efficient and more sophisticated but there are security steps that need to be taken.
OPEN DISCUSSION: ZOOM ROUNDTABLE