Colleges and universities of all sizes are starting to rely more heavily on technology every year. As more and more students come flooding in, administrators find themselves catering thousands of student with exposure to technology and the internet. With almost all of them heavily relying on them personally and educationally, higher ed institutions are forced to stay ahead of everything else!
And due to the many advances and improvements constantly happening in the digital landscape, incorporating IT in higher education can be challenging. However, some IT solutions for higher ed institutions are starting to become more mainstream.
Important Roles IT Services Plays in Institutions of Higher Ed
Universities are spending considerable amount of time and resources in incorporating advanced solutions into their day to day operations. From elevating student experience in the classroom down to expanding distanced learning, there’s so much that IT solutions can address. But mainly, there are three issues higher education solutions often tackle; mobility, information systems and personalized connections!
Modern technology has provided students with a plethora of ways to access information anywhere they may be. They no longer have to sit down on a computer, they can be on their phone or laptops and they can still find what they need.
But of course, this heavily depends on whether what they need is mobile and optimized enough for efficient use. And because a large majority of today’s younger generation have grown accustom to this kind of accessibility, they basically expect it from everyone — including their own schools.
Furthermore, students are not the only ones expecting mobility from universities. Even its own faculty and management will want to access systems when they’re not in campus. At the end of the day everyone within higher ed institutions are bound to benefit from improved mobility!
Improving Information Systems
Student Information Systems are part of every single university or higher ed institution. It provides them with the ability to track every student’s performance, allowing them to identify those who need assistance and those who don’t. Additionally, SISs have been of great help to both students and parents in keeping track of courses!
Higher education solutions often target this issue in hopes of providing administrations with a more cohesive way of managing their data. And with recent technological advancements, universities have the opportunity to sync admission, registration and orientation processes into one system!
Personalizing Student Connections
Colleges and universities admit that retaining students is harder the gaining new ones. So, as an answer to this dilemma, they have been looking for new ways to improve the overall student experience by providing them with the support that they need. Experts believe that if higher ed institutions were able to offer students more value aside of that of higher education, there’s higher chances of retaining enrollees.
More institutions are investing in preventing students from feeling alienated from their classmates by personalizing connections. Others have resorted to allowing distanced learning through solutions such as Schoology. Frankly speaking, it only make sense that higher education start to transition to a student-centric model from the age old institution-centric one.
Aside from these three main issues, there are other concerns that higher education solutions can address!
The primary role of IT in higher education lies in bolstering security on campus and university computers and networks. This includes preventing hackers, protecting student files, and making sure that all activities done on college networks are legal in scope.
Improving Data Privacy
Unfortunately, data can be intercepted by hackers and ill-willed individuals looking to use that information for often nefarious purposes. Modern IT solutions for higher ed institutions allow schools to improve the privacy of student records and all data sent throughout the network. This protects students, faculty, and staff year-round.
Making Classes Accessible
With changing regulations and health concerns popping up at every turn, schools are starting to rely on mobile learning and remote classroom options more heavily than ever before. The role of IT is to help schools create accessible mobile and remote learning opportunities without compromising the quality of the instruction students receive.
Integrating New Devices and Tech
Students are always leaning into the changing landscape of devices and technology. Working with an IT consultant will allow universities to make sure their student information systems can work with the latest technology every year without issue.
Using AI Into Classroom Scenarios
Teaching large classes makes it difficult to give students the individualized attention they need. With the help of artificial intelligence and data analysis, schools are better able to interpret the needs of their students and act on them.
Partnering With Tech Corporations
Corporations are starting to recognize the importance of preparing students for entering the workforce as soon as they graduate. They’re investing in schools and their students by providing them with the latest technological solutions to help bring institutions of higher learning into the modern age.
Streamlining Workflows With Chatbots
Chatbots have become far more complex and useful than they once were. They can answer questions for students and staff, reduce costs to expand or hire additional support staff. Even better, it gives students a way to get the answers they need after-hours, making it possible for them to attain student success.
Utilizing Cloud-Based Storage Solutions
One of the best IT solutions for higher education is cloud-based storage solutions. This can save you time and stress when looking for documents when you need them. Further, cloud-based storage systems are much more secure and don’t rely on a school’s security efforts to keep the information safe.
Using Data Analytics to Understand Student Retention
Students are attracted to different aspects of schools and universities and keeping track of those aspects can make it difficult to boost retention efforts. By using data analytics and combining information from other universities, schools have better student outcomes. They’re able to understand what their students are looking for and what encourages them to stay.
Increasing Budgets for IT Management and Solutions
Traditional IT solutions can be expensive. By outsourcing IT management and working with IT consultants that specialize in higher education, schools can free up money to improve other aspects of the school.
7 Things to Consider When Choosing Your IT Consultant
The rising demand for IT solutions and other cloud-based technology within higher ed institutions led to an increase of providers in the market. Universities and colleges now have a wide variety of choices to go through but how does one ensure that your chosen partner is trustworthy?
Here’s six things you need to think about when choosing your IT solutions provider!
Certain cloud-based technology or digital solution looks great on paper yet fails miserably in practice. So before you decide on anything, think about whether the service being offered to you is something that both your administrative staff and faculty can use! Ultimately, you want to pick an IT solution that comes with intuitive design for streamlining processes.
More and more criminals have become well-versed in hacking, resulting to a growing number of cybercrime among universities and colleges. In order to avoid this, your chosen provider must be able to offer you enterprise-grade security measures that fit your needs. It’s also a good rule of thumb to check whether their solutions have the necessary certifications it needs to be used!
Since your staff and your faculty will be the ones making use of your new technology, it’s only apt that your provider offers adequate resources as well as trainings to them! They should help your team get used to the solution, providing them with on-hand support and consultation as well. Most providers today offer different kinds of training depending on your needs, so make sure to discuss this with them!
Contrary to popular believe, there are ready-made commercial softwares and solutions that can still be tailored to a certain degree. There’s no need to worry about going over the budget just to get a customized solution as some of the one’s offered today can be changed depending on what you need. Should you think that customization is a high priority for you and your university, make sure to mention this to your potential partners!
Your organization will inevitably grow over the years and with growth comes new demand —meaning you’ll need a solution that can easily integrate new users in whenever you need it to! You’d want your provider to offer you a solution that can become an asset to your evolving school so keep this in mind!