It wasn’t that long ago that when your college classmate wanted to see your notes from last week’s lecture, you handed them a sheet of paper and hoped you’d get them back. They would then get out another sheet of paper and copy them. Tediously. With a pen.
Today’s college students take their tablets or laptops to campus in their backpacks, upload notes to the cloud, and use Google Hangouts to discuss research projects.
Professors share presentations and grade “papers” without anyone ever touching actual paper. But it’s the institutions of higher education are not always invested in cutting edge of collaboration technologies—even though the students and instructors would like them to be.
Colleges and universities are supposed to be leaders of research and learning, but they often lag behind what corporations are doing in these areas.
Unfortunately, it’s often the students who miss out. Not only do mobile and collaboration technologies make learning more efficient, but 94 percent of senior IT leaders say that digital technologies significantly impact student learning and outcomes.
A 2015 study by the Educause Center for Analysis and Research discovered that most faculty members also believe mobile technologies improve student learning. They also think IT staff is qualified and supportive of faculty needs. However, 42 percent said they do not believe their institutions fund IT strategically.
Colleges and universities sometimes face a disconnect in where to fund which technologies because there are so many facets to higher education collaboration. Students need to be able to collaborate remotely as well as in the classroom; faculty members need to be able to collaborate remotely as well as in the classroom; there are cross-institutional collaboration considerations; and there are administrative goals and considerations.