Educational technology often takes center stage when we discuss the potential disruption of learning both online and on college campuses. From flipped classrooms to adaptive learning, nearly all educators and administrators are actively designing and testing new ways to improve student outcomes with the help of technology. Yet there remains ample opportunity for real disruption to service models in higher education.
The role of IT leaders in higher education has never been more important. In a recent survey published by Educause, CIOs report that they are responsible for nearly all information technology on campus. This not only makes campus IT chiefs indispensable but also uniquely positioned to advocate for technology-fueled change that impacts student success campus-wide.
Educause’s top priorities for IT leaders identified key issues that CIOs will face in the next year, which include keeping information secure, enabling student success, improving affordability, scaling technology solutions, and improving data-informed decision making throughout campus. As IT leaders look to shape future outcomes beyond the coming year — and really disrupt learning — we expect them to find unique solutions to the following challenges.
5 Innovation Challenges Ed Tech Leaders Are Working To Solve
- Enable customized learning experiences and personalized pathways: Technology can allow students to create more personalized learning experiences that work best for them, and that in turn can have a major impact on student success. Campus IT leaders and faculty frequently work together on this challenge, testing new technologies and evaluating results.
- Optimize student success with educational technologies: Whether for cost, availability, or any of dozens of other reasons, some educational technologies will yield benefits when used with a small number of students, but will struggle with either performance or affordability when offered to the entire school.When leaders identify scalable technologies that optimize the student learning experience, they get their school closer to true innovation that reduces costs and improves outcomes.
- Leverage vital data: Higher ed CIOs are poised to shape data management and analysis at the institutional level by implementing the right systems. Clean and organized data can be critical to meeting campus objectives and growth goals, and it will be the CIO’s duty to ensure relevant systems are able to properly provide that information.
- Automate efficient and effective processes: Achieving operational efficiency allows colleges and universities to do more with less. When leaders implement data-driven decisions and scale systems that work, both colleges and students win big. Selecting software with the ability to integrate with other tools and deploying effective systems campus-wide is a top priority for many CIOs, as it reduces costs and maximizes impact.
- Advocate for change as a leader and a partner: Campus CIOs become change agents when they can successfully earn trust and reduce fear among campus partners. Communication and building relationships with both administrators and faculty is as important as the technology systems themselves. Mastering these skills can help you tackle many key IT issues on campus including funding and inspiring structured, holistic change.
While technology can support innovation in higher education, it’s the people that make change happen. Most educational technologies and systems are not one-size-fits-all, so it is up to campus CIOs and IT leaders to help identify the right systems to support and enhance the student learning experience in their institutions.
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