Feb 10 2014

Welcome to the Classrooms of Tomorrow

The technology has arrived. How will colleges capitalize on it?

It’s pretty incredible when we pause to consider the many ways in which technology now enriches higher education. Vast networks enable students and professors to interact on an array of devices while almost anywhere.

Greater mobility — whether achieved through institution-issued or personal devices brought to campus — is among the leading drivers of higher ed’s technological evolution. Mobile applications also are redefining campus networks and learning. For those now looking into app development, Rose Rocchio, chairwoman of EDUCAUSE’s Center for Applied Research Mobile Strategy and Application Development work group, advises to start with the basics. “Keep in mind what the students want,” she says, then work from there.

While mobile tools offer greater freedom, behind the scenes they also require smarter oversight. MDM: The Security Software That Lets Mobile Flourish on Campus details the latest security steps taken at several colleges and universities, where tablet devices, smartphones and other Wi-Fi–enabled devices are multiplying rapidly.

“We are an educational environment, where our users are always testing and doing research. We don’t want to restrict what they can or can’t do,” St. Edward’s ­University User Services Manager Jason ­Arellano says of his philosophy when it comes to mobile. The ­Austin, Texas-based university deployed an enterprise mobility management software suite that includes mobile application management, mobile device management and mobile content management features.

The Next Level

New classroom technologies can also greatly enhance collaboration and instruction. Take, for instance, the anatomy labs renovated recently at the Southern California ­University of Health Sciences. A new camera system delivers close-up ­dissection images throughout classrooms, and new Wyse thin clients help small groups of students to read and interact with supplemental materials. Read more about it, and other campus upgrades, in Colleges Sharpen the Educational Experience with Classroom Technology.

As colleges continue to embrace state-of-the-art tools that enhance their educational missions, EdTech: Focus on Higher Education strives to share their stories. Our goal, always, is to help our readers be better equipped to implement successful solutions on their own campuses.

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