We have all heard the term digital transformation and, in some way or another, been affected by the utilisation of technology in our personal and professional lives. One sector that has been significantly impacted by this is the higher education sector. Educational technologies are innovating learning and teaching experiences, helping drive academic success by staying relevant and sustainable in this dynamic and unpredictable industry. Let’s look at how technology is affecting this sector and why technological innovations are so critical to creating higher education institutions of the future.
What effect has technology made on education today?
In recent years the learning environment has become more dynamic than ever before. Learners are learning in new ways that differ from the traditional education system. Technological innovations have been a catalyst for this and have opened up a world of educational accessibility and learning opportunities for students globally. Technology has almost remodelled and redefined what education is, especially considering the move towards remote learning and access. Technology is allowing higher education institutions to evolve and meet the changing needs of students and education. Students want more access, freedom and flexibility – educational technologies provide this.
Why innovation and strategic thinking are critical for universities in the long-term
The increase in the use of educational technology has come with a focus on innovation and strategic thinking. Universities and higher education institutions need to look to future trends and strategically think about how their institutions will measure up to these trends. For example, in many countries, higher education has become extremely expensive, meaning not all students can reach their full potential and enrol in their dream courses. Digital technology is changing this and has become instrumental in providing accessibility to students who cannot afford the full university experience.
For this kind of solution to be effective, institutions need to examine their business models and service offerings and adapt these to remain relevant to their communities and the economic situation facing many students.
Students are the bread and butter of an institution; therefore, it is essential for the institution’s success that students be recruited and are offered learning experiences that meet their unique needs.
This is a challenge for many institutions that are often stuck in their traditional education views, which is why it is essential to think outside the box, cultivate new ideas, encourage collaboration, and promote inclusion.
How will innovation impact the University of the Future?
Innovation, especially in terms of technology for students, can have a significant impact on creating universities of the future and ones that meet the needs mentioned above. But to do that, certain elements should be considered. These include:
- Changing the nature of faculty – looking at ways to enhance inclusion and diversity through the use of technology such as remote learning. Also utilising technology to strengthen administrative and registration elements across departments to improve efficiency and overall productivity.
- Changing revenue sources for institution funding – focus on providing students with access to education even if they do not have the funds through various fundraising activities.
- Use of data analytics – gain insight into the different elements that could impact student experience, productivity and the institution’s overall success through innovative software solutions.
- Virtual And Augmented Reality – look at ways of using these new technologies to enhance the learning experience, collaboration and communication. When used correctly, this technology can assist in creating a personal learning experience even if the students are working remotely.
- New kinds of certification and degrees – look at the economy and what jobs are in high demand and develop and create new certifications and degrees to ensure that students can find employment when leaving university.
5 Reasons Why Technological Innovation is a Priority for Higher Education
From the above, it is clear that technologies in education are essential for creating higher education institutions of the future. This innovation extends far beyond the institution and rather encompasses the whole higher education sector in the following ways:
1. Helps connect students to the real world – technology allows institutions to remove the physical barriers of a lecture hall. It will enable the student to connect with their course work in a real and unique way that enhances the student experience. For example, students studying art history can take virtual tours of many museums globally.
2. Prepares students for the workforce – in today’s professional work life, knowledge of technology is key to success in the workplace. If this is already implemented while studying, students will have the technological know-how to compete in the workplace.
3. Encourages collaboration – technological tools like Zoom, Skype, Google Meet and other platforms offer a way for students to connect over course work, even when not physically together in a classroom.
4. Supports different types of learners – these are various types of software solutions that will allow an educator to assess the learning styles of different students to improve their educational experience and course understanding.
5. Access information more efficiently – technology allows access to information from digital libraries, educational videos or other educational learning tools.
The advantages of innovative education technology
From the above, it is clear that the inclusion of educational technology and technology development in an education system can significantly impact the institution’s success as well as the capabilities of students and their experiences. In this way, the use of technology within this sector can be used to provide:
- A more engaging learning environment for students
- Students with the skills necessary to ensure success in their future professions
- A way to connect, engage and interact more effectively with students during the learning process
- Boost collaboration across the institution as a whole as well as among students
The development of technology is set to change the education sector for the better by enhancing overall learning experiences. For a higher education institution to ensure this, they need to look at implementing technology in a new and strategic way to meet the changing needs of students and the sector. The benefits are endless when this kind of technological innovation is implemented correctly within an institution. Download the Innovation in Higher Education Whitepaper for more on how technological innovations impact higher education.