Technology is part of almost every aspect of our lives. It has become an important tool for business, medicine and education. Mobile technology has made some amazing breakthroughs in the past 10 years, and more higher education institutions are incorporating mobile access in their programs. If you are considering careers in education, you will need to be familiar with the most popular technology trends. Here’s a shortlist of technology trends in higher education.
Mobile Access – As more people access the internet through their mobile devices educators are recognizing the need for mobile applications. These devices include smartphones and laptops. Walk into almost any college classroom and you’ll see students with laptops in use. Instructors and students are using these devices to keep up on their studies, engage in real time chat rooms, and share files. For the online student, mobile access means being more connected to their fellow students and instructors.
Cloud Computing – Cloud computing is a relatively new technology. Imagine storing your files on a remote computer that you can access from anywhere. No longer are you bound to your home PC or have to carry a flash drive. Cloud computing lets students share files on projects, turn in assignments and have access to classroom resources.
Online Learning – Online classes, distance learning and integration of online curriculum in the classroom setting is an important trend to be aware of. More colleges and universities are recognizing the opportunities online learning presents their students and their school. Today’s students are more goal orientated and don’t want to sit in a lecture hall. They want to be hands on and get their degrees quickly. Online learning lets students progress at their own pace and gives them valuable technology skills they can use in the real world.
WiFi On and Off Campus – The demand for wifi access will continue to grow based on the previously mentioned education trends. Students expect to be able to access the internet almost everywhere they go including in their dorms, the library, and off campus. Online students depend on wifi to access their classes away from the home PC. This frees them up to work anywhere like the beach, a coffee shop or at a friend’s house.
eReaders – Many colleges and universities offer e-versions of textbooks, reference books and other media for students to use on their laptops, mobile devices and eReaders. This is a great boon to the online student. Instead of having to visit the campus library, an online student can now access and download almost all of a campus library’s resources online.
As technology evolves and become more accessible to everyone, new technology trends will emerge for the future. It is the blend of technology with standard teaching practices that will create the classroom of the future.