Feb 28 2023

Innovation in Higher Ed IT Means Going Back to Basics

A holistic look at a university’s IT environment can reveal gaps and opportunities.

EdTech often covers innovation and emerging technologies that carry higher education forward, leading to better experiences for students, faculty and staff. But sometimes it’s important for IT leaders to take a step back and return to their roots.

The 2023 EDUCAUSE Top 10 IT Issues list is all about foundation models, building on the fundamentals of higher education IT to improve processes. Embracing new and emerging technologies is important for the evolution of higher ed, but technology itself is nothing without the foundations upon which it is built.

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Innovating in Higher Ed Means Always Evaluating Processes

Colleges and universities are taking the basics of higher ed IT — cybersecuritydata management and student success, for instance — and building on them using emerging technologies. In our roundtable discussion among higher education IT leaders, each of the panelists talked about new and emerging trends in higher ed IT, but they also spoke about the importance of evaluating their current environments to determine what is working and what improvements can be made.

Sometimes, this reflection leads to an overhaul of the status quo. In the cybersecurity realm, institutions like the University of Kentucky find that endpoint detection and response solutions provide further protection for sensitive data. In collegiate esports, Sergio Brack, director of esports at the University of Maryland, explains how the old way of operating doesn’t cut it anymore when it comes to diversity and accessibility in the field.

Schools such as the University of Arizona are building on the conventional library model by updating these spaces with the technology that today’s students need. And community colleges like the College of Lake County are updating traditional manufacturing education for the 21st century and embracing the principles of Industry 4.0.

Technology investments in higher education are vital to keeping ahead of trends in teaching and learning, cybersecurity, data management and more, but stepping back and looking holistically at the IT environment can provide a clearer view into where time, money and innovation can be best applied.


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Ryan Petersen
Editor in Chief

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