The 2006 Horizon Report, published by the New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, reports four major emerging trends in technology and communication within higher education.
Collaborative and online communication tools increasing:
Tools for social computing, dynamic knowledge creation and collaborative communication from a distance are more available and easier to use than ever.
Mobile platforms and personal technology delivering services:
Cell phones and MP3 players are nearly ubiquitous among higher education students and are changing delivery content methods, as well as enabling personal broadcasting.
Growing expectations for individualized experiences and open access:
Demand for personalized content and services along with access to media, knowledge, information and learning opportunities will continue to develop and become a means for academic institutions to differentiate themselves.
Knowledge is becoming a community activity:
Collaboration within and with other institutions is critical for many educational activities, as the ways in which researchers, students and teachers can work with each other increases and as knowledge construction becomes a community activity.
COLLEGE TECHNOLOGY TRENDS
In 2006, Market Data Research published its ninth annual College Technology Review for the 2005-2006 academic year, which surveyed IT administrators at more than 5,600 accredited two-and four-year U.S. colleges and universities, examining current technology trends and usage in the higher education market.
2006 PROJECTED TECHNOLOGY SPENDING
The largest area of technology spending remains hardware, which accounts for 50 percent of the total spending.
4%: TECHNOLOGY TRAINING
23%: OUTSIDE SERVICES*
*includes hardware installations, warranties and service contracts
ACADEMIC VS. ADMINISTRATIVE USE
More than half of the projected $6.94 billion in technology spending is devoted to academic uses.
47%: ADMINISTRATIVE USE ($3.26 BILLION)
53%: ACADEMIC USE ($3.68 BILLION)
TOPPING THE PROJECT LIST
According to a study done last December by researcher In-Stat, higher education shares many of the same IT priorities as business. The survey of 85 IT decision-makers named the top five IT projects for 2006:
1. Network security: The challenge is providing open access while maintaining a secure network.
2. Wi-Fi: Forty-four percent of universities plan to roll out wireless, compared with 19 percent of all businesses.
3. Application upgrades: Standardizing desktop applications is a key driver for nearly eight out of 10 institutions.
4. Unified communications: Many schools are integrating voice mail and e-mail.
5. IP telephony and convergence: Part of the unified communications effort includes shifting IP-enabled voice systems or IP-based PBX as an intermediate step.
Source: In-Stat, June 2006