7 IT Trends That Will Power Higher Education in 2021

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Yes, digitalization in education has proven to be efficient, so it will undoubtedly be used further. The only question is - how. In the article, we have tried to find the answers

Raymond Miller

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The global pandemic has accelerated technology usage in many fields, and higher education is no exception. Technology was critical to keep teaching and learning in a new reality. Yes, digitalization in education has proven to be efficient, so it will undoubtedly be used further. The only question is - how. In the article, we have tried to find the answers. 

So, let’s take a look at the top IT trends that will power higher education in the years to come. 

Outdoor Wi-Fi

One of the benefits of learning online is that you can attend your classes from anywhere if you have a stable Internet connection. This leads us to the first trend - outdoor Wi-Fi. Some institutions already provide Internet on the campus territories or parking lots. Most probably, this trend will grow even further. 

Even in post-pandemic times, students will only benefit from the possibility to use the Internet in any spot on campus or beyond. This will allow them to access their learning materials and platforms. For instance, they will be able to enter the do my paper for me by professionals service, Moodle, Trello, or other platforms that require an Internet connection.

Apart from practical use, this trend offers the opportunity to take classes outdoors in spring, for instance. 

Learning Analytics

Data analytics has been used in a wide array of industries for a long time. In higher education, however, this trend is still new. 

Yet, some institutions already use learning analytics to determine complicated study areas. These institutions are, for instance, Dartmouth College, Georgia State University, and Temple University.

With the help of learning analytics, it is possible to learn more about students from various perspectives. You get insights into the learners’ demographics, course success, problematic areas, and more.

Having all this information in mind, we are convinced that learning analytics is here to stay. 

Read also: The Pros and Cons of Attending a Private School in the US

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is widely used in higher education. Grading, student information systems, proctoring - all this is hardly possible without AI now. Moreover, generation Z students got used to technology in all spheres of life. 

Many institutions understand how critical artificial intelligence is and use it to its full potential. For instance, the University of British Columbia uses an AI-enabled avatar for responses to students. 

Sophisticated Video Platforms

The pandemic has shown how critical video platforms actually are in education. COVID-19 crisis has made people drive to Zoom for studies, work, and even family meetings. As a result, the company managed to grow its revenue by 367% in 2020. 

But Zoom had some security issues, so some educational institutions were concerned about using it on a corporate level. So, the niche of a secure, user-friendly platform is still vacant. Also, there is still functionality to add to such a system. The goal is to make the learning experience more collaborative and interactive. 

Augmented and Virtual Reality

Augmented and virtual reality are yet to be used to their full potential in higher education. We genuinely believe that they can transform the learning process as we know it. With the help of AR and VR, it becomes possible to leverage physical infrastructure to provide many learning opportunities. Gamification of the learning process using AR and VR is aimed to engage and immerse students into studying even more. 

Addressing Privacy and Security Risks

While the benefits of leveraging technology in higher education are tempting, there is a range of challenges to address. Before integrating technology on campus, one must mitigate possible privacy and security risks. There is a vast difference between providing personalized answers and demoralizing a student with the amount of private information a university requires. 

Data provides opportunities. However, storing it securely is a pressing problem nowadays. There is a considerable risk of private data being stolen, which leads to reputational losses for an institution, let alone risks for students whose data was exposed. 

This problem has to be addressed on both institutional and governmental levels. There should be a set of rules developed that will determine how to tackle private data, as well as the law on data protection. 

Overcoming Online Learning Difficulties

The number of online students has skyrocketed in recent years. However, we should remember that not all learners have the capability to attend online classes. Yes, there are individuals who combine studies, work, and family life, which makes it difficult to follow a typical academic schedule. Low-income students have to share a single device, which also poses a challenge. There are many examples when online learning is hardly possible. 

So, this problem is yet to be solved. The trend is to figure out how to combine online and offline educational experiences to bring value to all students. 

Wrapping Up

Technology is dynamic: it can bring flexibility and interaction to the learning process. However, higher education institutions are yet to learn how to digitize studying to get maximum benefits. 

Still, we are convinced that outdoor Wi-Fi, learning analytics, artificial intelligence, enhanced video platforms, and AR/VR will transform education in the years to come.

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