5 Higher Ed Tech Trends To Watch in 2011 (Outside Indonesia)
Three higher ed tech experts discuss technology trends for the year ahead,
citing increased mobile and wireless access and cloud computing among
them. But are campuses also in for a little bit of a return to the
"basics" in the coming year?
* By Bridget McCrea
Technology that was unimaginable a decade or so ago is commonplace on
today's campuses. In 2010 American colleges and universities responded to
the ever-advancing IT requirements of their students and faculty with
mobile pilot programs, investments in online learning, massive network
overhauls, and initiatives designed to offset some of the increases in
energy use brought on by all these new technologies, among other novel
What will 2011 bring? Campus Technology spoke with a handful of higher
education technology experts to get their take. We've compiled their top 5
1. The Cloud Computing Movement Will Continue.
Investing in purchase-and-install software is falling by the wayside as
institutions catch onto the value of using "cloud" applications that are
housed (and accessed) online. Not only are these options more affordable
and easier to implement, but they also include vast storage capacity that
can be used for, say, portfolio assessments. "Using cloud computing,
schools can create large collections of loosely-sorted data (such as
school records, written documents and even video recordings)," said Bob
Spielvogel, CTO at EDC, a Newton, MA-based nonprofit that creates programs
to address educational challenges, "and then utilize that information to
track project activity and conduct portfolio assessments across the
student's entire college career." With these and other uses gaining ground
in the higher education space, expect cloud computing's popularity to grow
2. More Work Will Be Done Without Wires.
Being tethered to an outlet or Ethernet connection is so passé for college
students, teachers, and administrators. With more and more of these
individuals using mobile devices to connect to the Internet, the wireless
wave is sure to grow in 2011.
"We're seeing a continued migration towards tablets and other mobile
computers beyond just the Ipad," said Spielvogel. "As more technology
vendors introduce lower-cost devices, and as these types of computers
become more economically feasible, we'll see even more WiFi introduced to
support their use."
3. Mobile Technologies Will Continue to Proliferate in the Classroom.
There's no doubt that students have become more mobile in terms of the
technology they're using, and colleges seem determined to keep up with
that trend. David Stoloff, a professor in Eastern Connecticut State
University's education department, said the Willimantic, CT school has
embraced the notion of "laptops and mobile devices in class" to the point
where it's implemented interactive portfolio assessment technology to help
maximize the trend.
"We're not quite at the point of every student using a laptop in class,
but we're definitely getting there," said Stoloff, who added he expects
the mobile trend to take an even stronger hold on higher education in
2011. "It provides a great way to supplement classroom instruction in a
4. Online Education will even Further Displace Seat Time.
Stoloff, who attended the most recent Sloan-C Conference on Online
Learning, said 2011 will find more colleges integrating online learning
into their curriculums as core offerings, and not just adjuncts to
"New high school graduates have less and less patience for sitting and
listening to long lectures in college," Stoloff said. "They want to be
more active, and that means getting their hands on computers."
Looking out even further, Stoloff painted a future picture where colleges
are less focused on "seat time" and more on validating learning regardless
of where it takes place (be it overseas, in the community, or in a
traditional classroom). "Engagement will become the central issue for
education in the future," said Stoloff, "and learning won't necessarily be
defined by how much 'seat time' a student has put in."
5. A Retreat from Technology Overload is Imminent.
As the Master of Arts in Teaching and Technology program director for the
Marlboro College Graduate School in Marlboro, VT, Caleb Clark uses blended
learning, e-portfolios, WordPress, and other Web media tools in the
classroom. And while he doesn't dispute the value of these and the
multitude of other technology innovations being used in higher education
right now, he does expect a slight pullback on the technology hype in 2011
as people get back to basic communications and human interactions (outside
of Facebook and Twitter).
"We're in an over-adoption stage right now," said Clark. "To get through
it, we're going to need to get students to close their laptops and get
back in touch with the other side of their desks--the one that doesn't
face their computers."
About the Author
Bridget McCrea is a business and technology writer in Clearwater, FL. She
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What we will have in Indonesia? Wait for my next article..