What would you vote for as the greatest game changer in higher education over the last 10 years? For most of us, technology would surely be on the list, if not at the top. Because of technology, institutions now deliver their missions—teaching and learning—differently.
This week, AGB released a special edition of Trusteeship—available only on AGB’s website and through our Trusteeship app—aggregates some of the most important topics related to technology’s role as a game changer in higher education. It offers a look at higher education’s 2015 trends in IT and thoughts to help boards determine whether their institutions will realize a return on their investments in technology.
For starters, over 5.5 million students take online courses annually, and faculty members are busy weaving technology into pedagogy. Big data is affording faculty members a deeper understanding of students’ learning styles and what can be done to help improve their outcomes.
Technology has also changed recruitment, engagement, and public relations. Websites and email rule over print viewbooks and “snail mail” for recruiting students. Tweeting and blogging have been added to presidential duties.
Technology has also reached into boardrooms. Meeting materials are available through board portals and electronic board books. Skype is facilitating virtual board and committee meetings. And board committees focused on technology are emerging as boards grapple with the increasing costs, challenges, and opportunities it provides.
With the growth of technology comes a host of challenges. Students arrive at college with more than seven devices on average, and providing sufficient bandwidth and help-desk services can be taxing. Data security presents an increasing risk, with the cost of data breaches measured in millions of dollars and damaged reputations. And then there’s the cost of technology and the staffing necessary to support, manage, and plan for it.
All of these issues arrive on the board’s doorstep in the form of budget items, strategic decisions, risk concerns, and educational quality issues.
To address these issues, we invite you to read this special digital-only issue of Trusteeship on your iPad! Through AGB’s complimentary app, you can read the full stories and explore special features.
AGB is grateful to Sonic Foundry, sole sponsor of this special issue of Trusteeship, which is intended to increase board members’ understanding of technology’s central role in higher education’s new normal.