The 2018 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference is October 30 through November 2 in Denver, Colorado, and the edtech showcase promises to be both robust and inspiring. In a recent survey, our members told us they wanted to see more on emerging technologies and EDUCAUSE is thrilled to welcome 47 companies this year―our largest number yet―to Start-Up Alley.
Start-Up Alley is the premier showcase for young companies that use technology in innovative ways to address key issues in higher education. Conference participants can watch these start-ups “pitch” their innovative solutions and business models in front of a panel of judges comprised of business thought leaders and entrepreneurs in the Under the Ed Radar Pitch Competition.
This year’s Exhibit Hall will also sport some fun activities that get attendees more “hands on” with today’s emerging tech. For example, participants can experience the power of real-time analytics by taking part in a basketball competition at the back of the Exhibit Hall (no sneakers required). They’ll see how Google uses data science and predictive analytics based on the data captured while shooting baskets. Not only will they be part of the data-creation process; they’ll also receive performance data for their own analysis.
While the higher education IT community is busy focusing on the latest technologies at EDUCAUSE 2018, it’s also a good time to step back and take in the bigger picture of digital transformation (Dx) and how it will shape our future. Dx is a cultural, workforce, and technological shift that is currently happening on a large scale―and right under our noses. To innovate at scale entails not only a rethinking and restructuring of institutional strategic aims, but the essential partnership of IT in this overall re-articulation.
Dx is a key theme EDUCAUSE is committed to exploring in 2019, but the annual conference this year provides a good jumping-off point. For those wondering how Dx will impact their professional roles today as well as tomorrow, “Digital Transformation and Changing Demographics,” with Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, and “Digital Transformation in Higher Ed: What It Means for You,” hosted by the EDUCAUSE Digital Transformation Task Force, are two critical sessions that will provide a taste of what’s to come.
The Dx shift is something all of higher education IT should be a part of, and several additional sessions will address workforce roles and how they should adapt:
- Evolving Academic Technology Organizations
- A Leader’s Framework for Higher Ed Innovation
- Technology in Higher Education: Shaping the Future Workforce
- Services for the Next-Generation IT Organization
- Preparing IT for the Next Generation Research Enterprise
- Sustainable Innovation + Faculty Choice + Student-Centered Design = NGDLE
EDUCAUSE 2018 is geared up for the emerging technologies that will be on display at the conference, but we’re also keeping a sharp eye on what’s coming over the horizon. Stay tuned!