AV and IT managers in higher education are busy and don’t always have time to research the latest AV trends. With everything else going on—especially at the beginning of a school year—keeping up on new tech trends might get put on the back burner.
However, adopting the latest in higher education technology can have a big payoff. For one thing, many students are attracted to high-tech campuses. They want to be able to connect and use their own devices on campus, and over 43 percent of students said in an Educause survey that they are more engaged in courses that use technology.
Learn how Washington University in St. Louis upgraded their technology platforms to support the evolving needs of a growing student body.
Technology doesn’t just improve the learning experience—it improves the teaching experience as well. That is why the latest technologies can help attract and retain top teaching talent. From personalizing lesson plans to more easily creating interactive courses, instructors and professors want the latest in high-tech teaching tools.
Finding an institution with the best educational technology out there is a no-brainer for students and teachers alike, but no college or university has the time or resources to implement every single piece of new technology. Instead, AV and IT managers in higher ed should watch technology trends for those that will make the biggest impact on their campuses.
Technology Trends to Watch in Higher Education
To stay ahead of the competition and ensure that students and professors have the best technology solutions, here are some higher education technology trends to watch:
1. The Internet of Things (IoT)
According to Pew Research Center, 92 percent of Americans ages 18-29 own a smartphone, and they’re used to being connected. By some estimates, IoT will grow to 75 billion devices by 2025. Some colleges and universities are using IoT in innovate ways, but there are more ways all schools can take advantage it.
College campuses can connect students’ personal devices and gadgets to institutional systems, and IT and facilities can track building, room, and equipment data to better manage spaces and technologies. From locking and unlocking doors to alerting campus security when there is a safety incident, there are countless ways IoT can be applied on higher ed campuses.
2. Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual reality devices are expected to increase 85 percent by 2020, and they’re not just for gamers anymore. VR has many possible applications for higher education, especially as virtual and augmented reality devices and headsets become more affordable.
College campuses can use them to develop mixed and augmented reality teaching opportunities such as immersive storytelling, simulations and gaming scenarios for enhanced learning. Hand controllers, interactive content creation platforms, and 360-degree cameras can also enhance the learning environment and create innovative and interactive experiences for students and teachers. Some colleges and universities are even boosting recruitment efforts by offering virtual campus tours.
3. Outdoor AV
While students and teachers spend plenty of time in the classroom, the campus as a whole—including outdoor spaces—is just as much a part of the higher education experience. Equipping outdoor spaces with the latest AV technology can enhance the educational experience for students.
One of the most common outdoor AV applications for higher education is digital signage which can be used for interactive maps, weather warning systems, advertising for student groups and campus organizations, and more. Audio-only systems can be employed in outdoor areas such as lounge spaces, common areas, as well as pools, tracks, and sports courts. They can be used to communicate with students, give warnings, or set a mood with ambient noise or relaxing music.
Maximize Returns with the Right New Technologies
There are other trends that are worth keeping track of as well, including wireless collaboration, active learning, video walls, and self-serve solutions for students that will all impact student and teacher experiences. The most important consideration when evaluating new technologies is that they align with your goal to provide the best experience possible for students and faculty.
Every institution has its own unique strengths, aims, and student body. One technology trend might be right for one school but not for another.
Before you recommend or invest in any emerging technology trend, make sure it meets your institution’s needs and can support you in the ways that are most critical.
Maximizing the return on investment means investing in the right technologies. Learn how Washington University in St. Louis upgraded their technology platforms to support the evolving needs of a growing student body.