College IT officials: Show us the money … please

Campus IT departments’ ability to adapt to new technologies made the list of top-10 concerns, ranking seventh overall.

Students’ growing use of internet-ready phones such as the iPhone or BlackBerry, and the acceptance of cloud computing-based services such as Google’s Gmail and Microsoft’s Live@edu—a trend largely borne from colleges’ declining technology funds, and the desire to outsource the management and upkeep of large systems—are two developments IT officials hope their institutions can adapt to.

New technologies taking root among students and faculty members “not only impact traditional IT support models but also challenge deeply rooted institutional policies, business processes, and operational practices,” according to the report.

IT decision makers have reason to worry about higher education’s ability to adapt to changing technology. Fewer than half of students who responded to a national survey from 2009 said their professors are using instructional technology.

The study also revealed a jump in the percentage of students who use technology to prepare for college classes. Eighty-one percent said they used computers, social networking, and other tools to study, marking an 18-point increase from 2008, according to CDW-G’s “21st Century Campus Report,” which was released last fall.

Forty-five percent of students said technology was “fully integrated into their curriculum,” a 9-percent decrease from last year.

Only three out of 10 students and two of 10 faculty members surveyed said colleges and universities were “preparing students to successfully use technology when they enter the workforce.”

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