Thursday, July 22, 2010

Technology on College Campuses

On Monday, CDW-G released its 3rd annual 21st-Century Campus Report, an in-depth look at the role of technology in higher education. The report analyzes results of a survey of more than 1,000 college students, faculty, and IT staff members.

The survey found that both current and future college students have high expectations for technology use in education, and their expectations are rising, not falling. 63% of current college students and 93% of high school students said technology offerings were/are important to them in their college selection process, with wireless networks and campus computer labs ranking highest in importance to students.

An important trend noticed through the survey is that students, faculty, and IT staff all place a high value on technology as a learning tool. Technology allows faculty to create a wider variety of learning environments and experiences. One of the most popular and in-demand examples is online classes that offer flexibility to working students. Digital course content also offers cost savings and more convenient access to learning.

From the survey, the following list shows what campus IT staffs view as the most essential campus technologies, in order of importance:

1. Wireless Internet access
2. Digital course content
3. Smart podiums
4. Online collaboration software
5. Virtual learning (also known as online classes)
6. Recorded class lectures
7. HD video conferencing
8. E-reader devices

Ultimately, CDW-G makes a call to action and suggests that campuses “move beyond just having technology to understanding how technology can change the learning process.” With the technology habits of the “Millenial” generation (students about to graduate high school), faculty and IT staff should integrate technology tools into their teaching to improve learning.

Emily Howard, TestOut

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