In this presentation, I’m going to give and overview of why Higher Education administrators should develop a technology plan, and why it’s important to for administrators to think through the process. I’ll cover how students are using the technology and what the current research shows. I’ll talk about what faculty believe is the future of technology. Finally, I’ll talk about why administrators should plan thoroughly and what administrators can do to make their plans worthwhile.
Students are losing their laptops, they are becoming more mobile especially with the prices dropping for laptops and for netbooks. The result is that students are becoming mobile learners.
Not only are traditional students using social networking more, but usage doubled since 2006 for ages 30-39 and has quadrupled for ages 40+. Students are social and want to express ideas and exchange information.
Students aren’t walking into the library for research, but rather accessing the library’s information online. Instant messaging used to be a predominant way of communication, but with most students having cell phones, texting is now the preferred way of communicating.
Just over 88.5% of students of students say they are currently using or have used a Learning Management System like Moodle, Blackboard, D2L, etc. The biggest increase of technology over the last couple of years is the use of smartphones or hand-held devices. Half of students reported owning a hand-held device and 12% more plan to buy one in the coming year.
Here is what research says about student learning and perception: 1. Research shows that students from online courses learn at least as well as traditional classroom learners. 2. Students expect to learn about the same in an online course as they do in a traditional face to face course. 3. While scores are similar, traditional classroom students report having enjoyed the instructor more. 4. There was no significant difference in how students perceived the effectiveness of instructional materials to be. 5. Most students are comfortable with technology and students like technology associated with classroom activity 6. Students prefer moderate amounts of technology in blended environments 7. Students like a balance of human activity and computer activity
So, students like and expect technology in school, but faculty are the ones that need to make it effective for learning. Here are some perceptions of faculty when it comes to technology: 1. Most Instructors predict online collaboration, case-based learning, and problem-based learning will be the preferred methods of instruction in the next decade this will lead to a student-centered teaching environment.
2. Most Instructors feel that re-usable content object will have a huge impact on instruction. Re-usable content should help instructors organize less and teach more. 3. Instructors think Wireless technologies will become more prevalent. 4. Faculty also think increased bandwidth will have profound effects on the increased use of media, simulations, and learning games. 5. Instructors feel the quality of student learning will equal to, or will increase in the coming years.
It’s important for administrators to understand the mindset of students and faculty when planning technology. It’s equally important to understand technology trends when mapping out an institution’s long term technology goals. As administrators there must be a well thought out strategy that includes stakeholders like faculty and community leaders. Technology should raise certain concerns for faculty: 1. Objectives and criteria for measuring objectives are not clearly defined. The technology must support learning objectives. 2. Key stakeholders are often not given adequate input into technology adoption. Faculty should have an “ownership” in the technology they use. 3. Technology can effect a variety of environments within an institution making it hard to address changes. Technology, once rooted is hard to change, there is resistance. So thought must be given as to how to keep up with technology that is constantly evolving.
Money is a factor, so administrators need to assess for needs and then do prioritization of technology by maximum cost benefit. The problem is all the prioritizing and assessing you can do will not predict what technology is coming out next year. So, here are some things for administrators to keep in mind: 1. Find outcomes that can be achieved in planning for long-term goals Three Examples: The ability to learn more successfully in the real world Better inquiry and research skills Improved ability to work in teams, communities and organizations 2. Choose technology that contributes incrementally and cumulatively over a long period of time. a. Will the new technology make major progress in outcomes or might money be spent more wisely elsewhere? b. Is the technology ready for mass use in the institution and are support structures in place? c. How disruptive will the new technology be to current strategies? d. If the technology ceases to exist by the seller, what will be the losses? 3. Emphasize technology that faculty will adapt, share, and find easy to use. a. Faculty must be able to move forward quickly. 4. Track strategy progress and stay on course. Support and interest in a technology can diminish, tracking progress and evaluation can bring new life to technology. Start evaluation immediately, this will help identify needs for successful implementation. 5. Create coalitions to help insure improved outcomes. “ We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” Benjamin Franklin -1776 Form/join groups inside and outside your organization to strategize proper technology use and help map investments.
Finally, Create coalitions to help insure improved outcomes. What are other administrators doing in like-institutions? What is being talked about in professional organizations? … and like I said earlier, what are your own faculty and students saying to you? Because: “ We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” Benjamin Franklin -1776 Form/join groups inside and outside your organization to strategize proper technology use and help map investments.
Developing a technology plan for Higher Education Technology: -Students use it -Faculty are learning to apply it -Administrators should plan thoroughly -Make it worthwhile Randy Wald