Technology has played a vital role in the higher education sector over the years. This is especially true during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet moving forward, it seems that there is more to technology and its role in the sector.
When the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns took place around 2 years ago, higher education institutions needed a way to keep going. This meant being able to communicate with tier students while still ensuring everyone’s health and safety.
The answer lay in technology. Virtual classrooms seemed to be the only viable option. While online learning is nothing new, with virtual lectures being given over the internet for quite some time now, the new format now allied an exchange of ideas and learning between teachers and students. This meant students and teachers bringing the classroom setup online.
As the world goes beyond the pandemic, borders open up, and students return to campuses and in-person learning, higher education institutions are likewise beginning to realize that technology has more value than simply providing a temporary fix for learning during what many describe as a crisis.
Technology actually provides a few distinct benefits to the higher education sector. These include:
- Increased opportunities for learning: Many higher education institutions are now seeing that there is a whole world of learners who go beyond the usual college or university student. You’ve got CEOs, family men and women who cannot simply pick up and leave, people who wish to obtain a second degree or better their lot but must earn a living at the same time. These people can enroll in online courses that allow them to earn a degree while still running a company, staying with and providing for their families, and the like. And they get an international education while they’re at it.
- Preparing students for the real world: Just like the higher education space, the real world is made up of huge corporations, small businesses, and other entities and organizations increasingly dependent on computers, Artificial Intelligence, and other forms of technology. Utilizing these in the learning process will not only make things more efficient and interesting for students, it will likewise equip them with the skills needed to run these systems–preparing them for their future in the great big world out there come graduation time.
- Make teaching and learning more interesting: These to virtual reality, augmented reality, and other forms of presentation and interaction, technology has made learning more interesting and interactive. Medical students, for instance, can experience surgeries without actually stepping onto a real operating room. Automotive engineering students, meanwhile, can simulate testing a vehicle without taking it to the desert or test track. While this is admittedly not as fun as the real thing, it does come close to giving them an idea of how it is to perform these procedures, thus likewise heightening learning and the excitement factor.
- Increased work efficiency: There’s no denying how technology can help increase efficiency in the workplace. This likewise applies to higher education. Enrollment and admissions, applications, testing, and even managing scholarships and grants are now made much faster, more streamlined, and even reduces clutter such as eliminating the need for numerous paperwork. There is even a new software that helps manage scholarships and grants and helps eliminate the need for a mountain of emails and spreadsheets while making the process faster and more efficient.
Yes, technology has a lot to offer the higher education sector and its stakeholders. The only question is, will they embrace it?
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