Innovation is a term we often hear and is something that many businesses and sectors strive for. Innovation, as it stands, differs from one industry to another. The field of education looks at incorporating different tools to enhance the learning and teaching experience, especially across higher education institutions. We deep dive into what innovation in education looks like and how this is impacting higher education institutions below.
What is innovation in the field of education?
Innovation means many things to many people, but it generally encourages trying to find new and better ways of doing things. In terms of education systems, this encourages both students, teachers, and the institution to look at new, often digital tools that will enhance the learning, teaching and operational performance within the institution.
Innovation challenges the status quo looks at the changing needs of students and problems that the institution is experiencing that could be hampering its success, and puts in new and different processes, technologies or tools to solve these. When a school or higher education institution is ahead of the innovation curve, they are more agile and flexible in changing their business models and processes to meet the changing needs of the market and its students.
For example, if you look at the effect, COVID-19 had on these institutions and the education sector in general, those who were well equipped and had the foresight to plan and move with the digital times were able to pivot. They changed their learning and teaching models and had the technology in place to answer the need for remote learning and still assist students in finishing their courses using digital tools that included video, Zoom and other online platforms for teaching and learning.
Digital technology and digital transformation are changing every aspect of educational innovation, from the back office to the classroom, driving change within this sector.
Barriers to innovation in educational systems and how to break remove them.
Although many different institutions strive for innovation, there are always going to be various barriers that impact this. One of which is a lack of shared vision, purpose and strategy. To make innovation possible, there needs to be a shared vision for how the institution should be run and what objectives need to be met. Only when this has been defined can an effective strategy and implementation plan be put in place. This also requires long-term thinking and looking to other innovation leaders within the field of education.
Many institutions’ main barriers include the lack of time, funds and resources. You may have many innovative ideas that could significantly impact how your institution is run, but if there are no resources to fund it or ensure it is executed correctly, you will not be able to effectively put in the required measures, processes, and software solutions etc. in place.
So how do we combat these education innovation barriers? In many cases, this starts with leadership and communication. Management and all staff need to be on the same page in terms of what the end goal is for the institution. There needs to be integration across departments where communication flows freely and ideas, issues, problems and solutions are shared. You need to have accredited service providers who can assure that the measures or solutions chosen will offer your institution the best possible results. Your staff also need the knowledge, insight and training required to ensure that they can work with whatever solution is put in place.
The role educational technology is playing in innovation
One of the key elements related to innovation at the moment is digital technology. We have all heard of the buzzword digital transformation and how this is enhancing operational and processes across industries, and the education sector is no different. These new and emerging technologies are making it possible for higher education institutions to remove several barriers to innovation. You may be asking how, and the answer lies in integration and efficiency.
A higher education institution has many stakeholders and moving parts, and managing this is nothing short of complex. With digital technology, all operations across departments can be integrated, providing you with a complete birds-eye view of how your institution functions. This technology, through cloud computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, also enables you to streamline operations, automate processes and ultimately enhance the overall productivity of the institution. This translates into more flexible business models that are agile enough to adapt to the changing needs of students, parents, and the industry.
What is an example of an innovative education product?
A great example of this kind of innovative education technology is ITS Integrator. This innovative software solution aims to remove obstacles through streamlined applications.
It is an enabled integrated back-office, as well as self-service functions for students and staff. The primary benefit of ITS Integrator is an integrated solution combining all business units into one comprehensive system, enhancing the administration of students and providing lecturer self-service functionality, improved or even total automation of administrative tasks, better reporting capabilities and superior record keeping.
This digital technology software solution streamlines and simplifies complicated, time-consuming processes to decrease costs and ensure a smooth and satisfactory student and parent experience.
Its value lies in its ability to simplify the complexity of managing a higher education institution while creating an agile and dynamic way for institutions to connect and communicate with all stakeholders to enhance operational efficiency and improve how the institution functions.
Innovation means many things across sectors, but within the educational sector, it means looking for new ways to enhance stakeholder experience and overall operational efficiency. Innovation challenges higher education institutions to move past what they have always done and use the tools, such as ITS Integrator, to improve and create an institution of the future focused on integration and efficiency.