10 technology hallmarks for every campus

[Listed in no particular order]

1. High-speed wireless broadband.

According to the Center for Digital Education’s recent “2013 Yearbook: Technology Innovation in Education,” over 80 percent of education institutions surveyed said that wireless broadband was their “top priority for IT investment.”

This is due not only to the recent influx of multiple student- and faculty-owned devices, but also due to the wealth of resources available on the internet that require anytime access, anywhere, as part of modern culture.

2. 24/7 IT support.

Even just 5 years ago, it was still okay to have an IT support desk with set hours during the day for students and faculty who may have trouble figuring out how to connect a router, but with today’s technology-enabled campus, students and faculty need to be able to reach support, or at the very least speak with an emergency contact, anytime.

“We have a very precise system set up when someone needs IT support, and that doesn’t end at 5 p.m.,” said an IT specialist at Georgetown University. “We have 24/7 support for emergencies and much of our staff, just like at a hospital, are on call. That’s not a perk for the campus, it’s a necessity.”

3. The cloud.

83 percent of campuses polled in the 2013 Yearbook are using the cloud or have plans to implement a cloud solution. Not only can the cloud help to accommodate the increase in mobile device dependency, it can help store large amounts of data that’s easily accessible.

The cloud can also: acquire and implement the latest software and application updates; streamline enrollment and admissions processes; and turn to subscriptions that are scalable and provide options, says Edudemic.

4. Digital textbooks.

Numerous studies over the last year have shown that students are tired of paying hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for printed textbooks for classes. At the same time, basic versions of e-readers are now available for little cost, and multiple websites now offer students e-book shopping made easy.

Planning for digital textbooks means not only boosting mobile device capabilities on campus, but helping faculty learn to implement digital resources into their course.

5. 21st Century PD for faculty and admin.

According to the 2013 Yearbook, 55 percent of surveyed universities planned to invest in professional development.

Besides offering faculty PD on how to develop an online or blended learning course, integrate digital resources, and cater to students tired of all-lectures, campuses should offer PD in multiple delivery methods, as well.

From offering a MOOC on classroom management online solutions, to hosting a PD session on Twitter, campus admin should offer multiple options for PD delivery, just like how faculty should offer students multiple options for learning–there’s no better way to teach something than to model it first!

(Next page: Technologies 6-10)

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