EDUCAUSE 2022 offered a look at some of the latest developments in higher-ed tech and IT, with a little something for everyone.

28 must-know developments in higher-ed tech and innovation

EDUCAUSE 2022 offered a look at some of the latest developments in higher-ed IT

At EDUCAUSE 2022, higher-ed IT leaders and technology providers convened in Denver to discuss some of their biggest challenges and opportunities for growth and innovation.

With a focus on digital change, a sit-down chat with former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and a number of innovative solutions and paths forward out of the pandemic, the annual conference had something to offer every attendee.

Here’s a quick look at some of the latest and most innovative announcements:

Adobe‘s range of Creative Cloud apps helps students prepare to be competitive in the workforce. The higher education landscape is changing, and institutions are adopting new forms of student-centered education through hybrid and blended learning models. Learners need skills, knowledge, and mindsets that will enable them to thrive in an increasingly digital world. By integrating Adobe products across the whole curriculum, faculty can transform their approach to teaching and help students develop creativity and digital literacy — the skills they need to thrive in the modern economy.

Anthology, a provider of education solutions that support the entire learner lifecycle, announced that the Maine Community College System (MCCS) will deploy two of Anthology’s flagship solutions – Anthology Student and Anthology Reach – and a host of Anthology’s Alumni and Advancement, Enrollment and Retention, Enterprise Resources and Career Development products. Together, Anthology’s broad, flexible technology ecosystem will help drive a consistent and efficient experience for learners, faculty and staff at every college. The company also showcased Anthology Intelligent Experiences (iX), the company’s vision for a connected ecosystem of products and services that use data to power meaningful interactions both in and outside the classroom. The Anthology iX approach will create interactive moments by breaking down data silos and combining insights across critical systems to inform more relevant engagement between staff, faculty and learners. 

Apogee, a managed technology services provider focused solely on higher education, joined other industry thought leaders to discuss their discoveries, grow professionally, and explore technology solutions to continuing higher-ed challenges. The Apogee portfolio of managed technology services includes Managed Campus, ResNet, and Professional Services. Apogee CIO David Hinson served as a panelist in the session IT Leadership and Beyond the CIO Role.

Appspace recently launched Appspace for Google, which makes it easier for higher education institutions operating in the Google ecosystem to simultaneously send information, like campus closings, to faculty and staff, across Chrome devices and digital signage in buildings. For hybrid faculty members, Appspace for Google will help them find and reserve desks/offices and see when other faculty members will be on campus, which may help build collaboration. The company works with universities like Yale and the University of Northampton (UON) in the U.K. to help them with digital signage strategies. UON is using digital signage to support the university’s “changemaker” mission and reach various stakeholders, including students, staff, visitors, and residents in the surrounding communities. The university used its Power Tower to recognize COVID heroes during the pandemic. 

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, revealed that a significant, rapidly growing number of educational institutions – in both K-12 and higher education – are upgrading their network infrastructures with Wi-Fi 6E to enable the next generation of digital classrooms and campuses. The increased capacity, higher performance, and greater support for client and IoT device density made possible with Wi-Fi 6E, combined with specific innovations in Aruba’s access points (APs), are allowing these institutions to deliver extraordinary campus and classroom experiences for their students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Cisco, recognizing how the higher education system is grappling with the impending enrollment cliff, low student engagement, increased student drop-out rates, and challenges toward attracting new and non-traditional learners, is observing a post-pandemic trend of universities leveraging hybrid learning options to further attract and engage diverse students and employees. Leah Kraus, CIO of North Carolina Central University (NCCU), discussed how NCCU has embraced hybrid “living” not only to enhance student experience at their HBCU but to further build community and empower staff.

Class Technologies kicked off EDUCAUSE with a workshop hosted by CEO and Founder Michael Chasen on Meeting the 21st Century Distance Education Guidelines. The evening concluded with a reception celebrating the strides in virtual, hybrid, and HyFlex learning. You may have also spotted the Class team during our breakout session with Dr. Erasmus Addae on Reinventing Community Colleges With Online Learning, at our co-hosted reception with the Zoom team, or tried your luck at winning a prize at pick-a-lock between group demos at our booth.

Collegis Education, a higher education managed services provider, announced a new partnership with Google Cloud to help colleges and universities leverage data to make informed decisions, create a more unified student experience, and enable student success. Combining Collegis’ more than 25 years of experience providing hundreds of schools with comprehensive technology and enrollment services and Google Cloud’s Student Success Services, the two leaders will build new offerings to support colleges and universities as they collect, connect, and activate data to improve performance.

CYPHER LEARNING executives and CYPHER user Inclusive Higher Education Solutions (IHES), part of the Metropolitan State University of Denver, shared strategies for improving learning outcomes and driving equitable learning experiences. Strategies included scaling up institutional readiness with learning analytics maturity model implementation and designing meaningful online learning spaces that inspire professionals to unite.

D2L announced that Bisk has joined the D2L Wave platform. The first online program management company to join D2L Wave’s education partner network, Bisk brings a diverse program portfolio from leading institutions across the United States that will enable working professionals to access quality upskilling and reskilling education courses through their company’s professional development programs. Bisk is a pioneer in online education, maintaining long-standing partnerships with well-regarded names in higher education: Villanova University, Michigan State University, University of South Florida, Florida Institute of Technology, Emory University, Southern Methodist University, Florida A&M University, and Columbia Law School. Bisk facilitates access to exceptional educational experiences offered by its partner schools, with expertise in online program management to help universities market, recruit, enroll and retain students into online degree and certificate programs. 

Dell Technologies and its education partner Midwest Higher Education Compact (MHEC) are excited to announce a contract expansion to deliver a better digital experience for MHEC’s 1,000+ member schools across 12 states in the region. In a post-pandemic world, colleges and universities face mounting pressure to modernize their IT infrastructures to support new technologies for in-person or remote learning and working in a fast, agile and secure manner. The expanded commitment with Dell will help alleviate this pressure and provide access to a wide range of APEX as-a-Service solutions, allowing MHEC members to acquire IT solutions that build digital resilience within the institution while optimizing cost and accelerating innovation.

Ellucian announced a new global strategic partnership with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a global IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization. TCS will be the first Global Systems Integrator partnering with Ellucian and this partnership will enhance Ellucian’s professional services expertise and provide global scale to meet higher education’s needs. As part of this collaboration, TCS will leverage its expertise as a growth and transformation partner in support of Ellucian’s efforts to transition its customers to its SaaS product platform and solutions Additionally, Ellucian and TCS will collaborate on initiatives to build knowledge and capabilities across their global teams.

Examity demonstrated its proctoring solutions. The Live Proctoring solution provides the best level of security for high-stakes exams. With both Live Authentication+Audit and Live Proctoring options, instructors can be sure to find the right solution. It also offers two types of Automated Proctoring, providing greater flexibility and cost savings. Privacy, security, and trust have always been at the forefront of Examity’s core values. Examity complies with international privacy regulations and laws, meaning you can feel secure that our practices meet the highest standards for online proctoring.

Executives from Explorance, a machine learning-based SaaS platform that helps institutions support students throughout their complete academic lifecycle with consistent feedback, continuous listening strategies, and decision support capabilities, discussed the latest trends and insights around student retention and engagement, along with showcasing their People Insight solutions. The company works with 25 percent of the top higher education institutions – like The University of Michigan; Penn; The University of California, Berkeley; Northwestern University; and more – including 8 of the world’s top 10 business schools. 

Google demonstrated how Google Cloud helps all aspects of higher education. Students can get comfortable with the digital tools, collaborative processes, and data-driven strategies needed for a career in any industry. What they learn now can open new possibilities for what they can do in the future. Faculty can ignite new ideas for teaching students or boosting research. Higher-ed leaders can take advantage of Google Cloud solutions for student success, secure infrastructure, and breakthrough research.

Instructure, the maker of Canvas, has partnered with Thunderbird School of Global Management (Thunderbird) at Arizona State University (ASU), to provide a platform for the Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative. This ambitious program is powered by the Canvas Learning Management System and aims to offer quality online education from world-class accredited institutions in 40 languages to learners across the globe. The courses will be provided at no cost to the learner with women and girls accounting for 70 percent of enrollment worldwide. The company also an updated strategy for rolling out its New Quizzes product, part of the Canvas Learning Management System. New Quizzes, which is used by educators to create online quizzes and surveys, is now the company’s top development priority.

K16 Solutions showcased its innovative and proprietary technology that powers everything it does–system migration, content replacement, and student data archiving. It integrates with leading LMS platforms including Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, Brightspace, Open LMS and Sakai. K16 Solutions has helped dozens of institutions solve their biggest LMS challenges. SystemMigration helps users migrate courses content in real time, capturing all details such as quizzes, tests, question pools, and more. ContentReplace assists users in updating or replacing their course content, such as links and embed codes, across an entire catalog of courses.

LinkedIn hosted sessions to help attendees harness the power of LinkedIn, discovering insights and solutions that can fuel student success, support development, and attract top diverse talent from its network of professionals. It also highlighted how campus leaders can spearhead an effective IT recruiting transformation with key learnings and best practices from LinkedIn pilot program partners.

LinkedIn Learning helped attendees envision how they might partner to solve a number of institution-wide challenges, including: helping students stand out as they seek their first employment out of college, keeping students and staff current on job and workforce skills, providing a modern learning experience, and working with limited resources as they strive to offer flexible learning options.

While at the EDUCAUSE 2022 conference, Muzzy Lane CEO Dave McCool provided a sneak peak into its upcoming skills-based courseware solution for employers and higher education institutions as well as learners. Their simulation programs are meant to provide a full ecosystem to address the credentialing gap. For over 39 million adults who have attended college but do not have a college degree, the company recognizes that credentials are the currency for advancement in education and the workforce. For students, the courses are available directly from Muzzy Lane. Through LTI integration, two- or four-year colleges can add modules to any of their courses in their normal programs of study. Employers can create individualized programs that access durable skills needed for the workforce. 

NetApp demonstrated the solutions that are aligned with higher education’s top priorities–cybersecurity, data protection, governance, GDPR, and the cloud. With NetApp, higher-ed IT leaders can control the performance and use of cloud workloads and take advantage of ONTAP essentials for storage. Data governance is first and foremost about knowing what data you own and where every piece is–NetApp Cloud Data Sense allows IT leaders to automate discover, classification, and labeling.

Open LMS, a Moodle™-based LMS platforms provider, demonstrated how it leverages open-source software to deliver a highly-effective, customized, and engaging learning experience. Wyoming’s rural landscape creates significant barriers in making education equitable and accessible. Recently, Casper College needed to find a way to create multiple access points for students to complete coursework and communicate with faculty. Open LMS guided the institution on implementing and using Open LMS’s mobile application to better reach students where they are and help them achieve their learning goals.

Promethean displayed its ActivPanel 9 Premium. This next-generation interactive panel delivers Promethean’s most robust, seamless, and secure user experience yet. Its features respond to the unique needs of teachers, IT administrators, and institution leaders. The panel offers easy authentication and secure sign-in options, streamlined connection to content, flexible lesson delivery systems, and myriad ways to personalize the user experience.

Spectrum Enterprise connected attendees with resources and tools to ensure every part of the campus experience for faculty, staff, and students is high-speed and next-generation. From dorms to labs and everywhere else on campus, students, faculty and staff demand always-on connectivity. To deliver exceptional experiences critical to recruitment and retention efforts, you need a digital infrastructure that is flexible, scalable and secure. Blended and online learning allow students to engage with materials outside the traditional classroom. It’s critical to ensure your network can provide on-demand access to coursework and anytime, anywhere access to critical information. Network and physical security are top concerns in higher education–a private network layered with security solutions can protect against cyber threats and help you comply with regulations.

Veeam demonstrated its modern backup for educational institutions. Data availability is vital for today’s educational institutions. More than ever, they must provide compelling educational experiences that are in keeping with modern user experiences. Hybrid learning, research opportunities and expanding partnerships all drive higher expectations from students, teachers and staff for uptime and access to resources — anytime, anyplace. Modern Data Protection is critical to ensure data and applications are accessible to all parties, so that they can learn and teach no matter where they are. And when things go wrong, and they often do, it ensures quick and reliable recovery to get students, teachers and staff productive again.

ViewSonic‘s Direct View LED offers several screen sizes that are easy to install and come pre-calibrated for uniform and dazzling colors. The displays deliver a cost-effective, all-in-one video wall solution. ViewSonic’s embedded Signage Platform (VESP) means there’s no need for any external devices to communicate with the server or play digital media. The large screen sizes make a big impression in any lecture hall, student center, or auditorium.

Wacom featured its latest technologies and interactive pen displays, including the Cintiq Pro 27 pen display. With the Wacom Cintiq Pro 27, art and design students receive first-hand experience with the technology used in the film, arts, and gaming industries. This exposure to the technology used by major studios provides students with industry insights and preparation for jobs in their intended field after graduation. Cintiq Pro 27 pen display was defined and developed by members of the global art and design community in conjunction with Wacom’s product teams to deliver the most immersive and stable pen on screen experience to date. Built for creative professionals (2D illustrators, 3D modelers, animators, game developers, virtual production artists, etc.), the Cintiq Pro 27’s large digital canvas offers seamless interaction with creative software applications and provides the comfort and ease of use synonymous with all Wacom devices

Zscaler announced new data protection innovations that build upon a rich heritage of securing data across all cloud apps for data in motion, data at rest, and BYOD assets with unprecedented accuracy and scale. The new advancements accelerate data protection programs from months to hours with zero configuration for data loss prevention (DLP). This mitigates security risks by unifying data protection across all channels, simplifying operations by automating workflows.

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Laura Ascione

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