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How technology is changing higher education

How technology is changing higher education

In today’s world, things change quickly. People can now socialise, revise and consume information at the touch of a button – or the swipe of a touchscreen – and when they leave education, they’re likely to embark on a career that requires using technology. This raises two key questions for universities: Firstly, are they teaching their students on the platforms they’re best equipped to use? And secondly, are they using these tools to help students get more out of the higher education experience?

For an increasing number of institutions, the answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes. Driven by increased expectations from learners, universities are becoming more connected than ever – and in turn, more flexible in their approach to teaching.

Remote learning

The most obvious changes can be found in universities’ physical elements – or lack thereof. In some cases, entire classes are conducted over the internet, with students signing in from thousands of miles away, or just around the corner. Aside from the obvious benefits for learners, who can stay connected to their lecturers and peers wherever they are, remote classes also empower universities to save costs. Without a physical classroom to pay for, overheads are reduced. This makes collaboration tools like interactive whiteboards and video screens an attractive proposition for both educational institutions, and the resellers who service them.

How technology is changing higher education

Blended learning

Even for universities who are sticking to more traditional on-site learning, communications tools are adding new dimensions to their students’ education. Within classrooms, interactive whiteboards and screens encourage students to share their ideas, debate and critique. What’s more, university portals are growing more and more complex, eradicating the need for learners to take down notes manually while in class. Computer areas are also expanding to meet student demand – allowing institutions to make high-tech use of their remaining available space.

Universities join forces

With cross-university collaboration more prevalent than ever, cutting-edge technology is also enabling schools to share knowledge and resources across traditional institutional boundaries. Primarily, this is achieved through investment in communications and connectivity. The resulting solutions allow students to access new sources of information and opinion, and learn their subjects with greater depth and variety. As well as the benefits for learners, universities are collaborating more often because it’s attractive to potential students, and it can also be effective as a cost-cutting measure.

All educational organisations have a duty to better reflect the world their students live in. And at the highest level, this responsibility is perhaps even greater. With universities beginning to embrace technology in increasing numbers, expect learners to become ever more connected – and ever more empowered to achieve.

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