A long road with 2019, 2020, 2021 and beyond

Here’s how to future-proof your college campus

Leaders must focus on transforming academics, securing data, improving student services, and modernizing IT to support future innovation on campus

Higher ed is in the middle of a critical–yet often invisible–technological transformation.

Technologies such as augmented reality and artificial intelligence are hyped daily for their future impact, but higher-ed leaders must first prepare their campuses for these technological revolutions.

According to a report from the Center for Digital Education (CDE), college and university leaders are focusing on transforming academics, securing students and data, improving student services, and modernizing IT. These for core areas, they believe, will establish a solid foundation to support future innovation on campus.

Within those four core areas, higher-ed leaders are focusing on 10 top priorities that will help them lay the groundwork for future transformation:
1. In-classroom technologies
2. Digital content and curriculum
3. Cybersecurity
4. Online services/portal/mobile
5. Faculty/IT training
6. Budget/cost control
7. IT infrastructure
8. Campus security
9. Personalized online learning environments
10. Recruitment and retention of IT personnel

CDE surveyed 169 academic and IT leaders from two- and four-year institutions to learn how these leaders are focusing their efforts to bring their campuses into the future.

How to future-proof your campus

Transforming academics

Seventy percent of respondents in the CDE survey say improving student learning outcomes is their top challenge, and faculty know significant changes are needed to meet that challenge. New classroom technologies changing in order to better integrate with learning environments and help educators better understand how students learn. Focus is on not just in-person and blended classroom experiences, but also on improving online learning experiences. Digital content and curriculum–and the professional development necessary to help educators use them–have their place in evolving classrooms, too. Participants in the CDE survey say just 50 percent of faculty members can effectively incorporate technology into teaching.

Up next: Personalized learning environments and more individualized learning experiences will be made possible with new technologies, including virtual reality and the Internet of Things. Digital content and curriculum, classroom technology, and faculty training are all necessary to cultivate a personalized learning environment.

Related: Beyond disruption: The future of higher education

Laura Ascione
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