One of the best parts of my job is the opportunity to seek out and highlight individual IT professionals who are doing incredible work at campuses around the country. In this issue, those innovators truly shine.
It’s the nature of the educational technology field, perhaps, to focus on the solutions: the hardware and software that make it possible for IT departments to serve their campuses.
But it’s the IT leaders, network admins, help desk teams and others who look for improvements every day and then set about making them happen — it’s their initiative, ingenuity, expertise and hard work that we celebrate here.
The Value Proposition of Education Technology
Aside from giving kudos where due, why does this matter so much? One reason is the reality that campus budgets are as tight as ever.
Many IT departments continue to struggle with cuts and organizational churn, even as they work to accomplish more, according to The Campus Computing Project’s 2018 survey.
Beyond IT, institutions face tough questions from all sides about the value of a degree, the steep cost of tuition, and the benefits of an on-campus experience versus the convenience of online programs and short-term boot camps.
Increasingly, campus technology is the competitive differentiator. Forward-looking leaders know that each new wave of students expects more from campus IT than those who preceded them.
These teams know how to keep one eye on the day-to-day details — exacting efficiencies and improvements wherever possible — and another on the big picture.
They are steering campuses toward digital transformation initiatives and an exciting future where students truly enjoy a next-generation education.
Campuses may get there with the help of automation and virtualization, as in our “Small Team? No Problem” feature, custom data analytics solutions that increase graduation rates, high-performance computing or even robot librarians.
But whatever path campuses take, you can be sure that leading the charge and executing the details are talented individuals who do more than simply show up to work each day. Instead, they come to campus ready to help their institutions innovate, excel and thrive.