It can be credibly argued that over the last 50 years no area has benefited as much from technology as education. With each iteration of IT, computers and automation completely altered everything from teacher preparation to student resources, administrative management to educational aids. Cutting edge technology trends in higher education continue through our present day; here are a few examples.
Storing documents, databases, internet research, spreadsheets, photos, applications and much more used to take place on a PC, laptop or portable storage device. Today, just about all that stuff can now be put on the cloud and accessed when needed. This not only helped individual PC and laptop management, it allowed for greater collaboration on projects, research and studying. Plus, the cloud provides more robust storage capabilities and is more dependable than most traditional computing devices.
Real-Time Progress Reports
Students used to have to schedule a meeting with a professor and have a prolonged discussion regarding their course performance. Today, those grades a professor would have to organize before a meeting are all available online, updated according to the speed the professor wants to update them. Technology rendered that type of process obsolete. Students and professors can now enter a meeting fully informed about the student’s progress, parents can track student progress throughout a course and students can see where they are and what they have to do to get where they want to be.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
The concept of using your own electronic devices to do work took off in business a few years ago. With increasing frequency, it is becoming the norm in academia as well. More and more, students at all levels are being given permission, and in some cases, asked to use their own devices to do their schoolwork. The purpose of this is two-fold: It allows students to complete homework and in some small measure makes meeting academic budgets a little easier. Expectations are that this practice will only expand across educational platforms.
Adult Learning and Flipped Classroom
As more and more adults have pursued online academic opportunities, the concept of “flipped classroom,” has taken off. Flipped classroom merges traditional learning with independent learning and peer shared learning projects to allow for student development extraneous to the classroom. It has been used with introductory courses for some time and gradually has been introduced to more major specific classes.
IT has always played a major role in academia, dating back to the earliest time periods; the rock that did the first cave inscriptions was cutting edge technology at some point. As IT has become more mobile, use in and out of classrooms have created several emerging and expanded upon technology trends in higher education; those trends will continue for the foreseeable future.