As students and administrators seek anytime, anywhere access to the cloud, higher ed IT teams must face their fears and get to work.
To say that technology is an important topic in higher education is an understatement. Technology is a broad subject, with different implications for students, professors, administrators and IT teams. Educators like to discuss the bells and whistles of classroom technology — tablets, digital textbooks, gamification and student response systems. But without the vital infrastructure, such as servers, access points and bandwidth, classroom technology would lack the components necessary for successful implementation.
And don’t forget about policy. As everyone in education knows, the devil is in the details. A bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program, for example, requires an understanding of the rules and relies on communication between faculty, students and the IT staff.
Technology is complicated, so educators need to be flexible as they tackle new initiatives and draft new policies. But staying on the cutting edge while investing in an infrastructure that must last for many years can be difficult. Jason Vaden addresses that challenge and highlights the importance of technology in his research paper A Model Assessment Tool for Classroom Technology Infrastructure in Higher Education:
Educators must be prepared to both understand and use classroom technologies to the fullest. Okojie and Olinzock (2006, 39) describe technology as a “nerve center” of our modern lifestyle. They (Okojie and Olinzock, 2006, 39) maintain that due to this, “we must make sure that teachers who have the responsibility of training our children to be productive members of this society are consciously aware of various technologies as they emerge and are also able to demonstrate their different uses to their students.” Hence, it is imperative that the benefits provided by technology are recognized and utilized to the fullest.
The infographic below highlights some of the areas of technology that educators should examine before moving part or all of their curriculums to a digital platform.