Collaborative learning was on display this week at Educause 2012 in Denver. As colleges and universities are embracing technology to enable more dynamic teaching and learning, inside and outside of the classroom, it is clear that the “stale, passive lecture model” is transforming to a collaborative model of instruction.
A just published eCampus News special report on collaborative learning details how universities such as Duke, San Jose State University, Case Western, and West Texas A&M are embracing video, flipped learning and social collaboration platforms, like Cisco’s recently announced WebEx Social for Higher Education, to help faculty and students interact “in much richer ways’.
In a time of deeper and deeper cuts to education budgets, keeping community colleges afloat can prove challenging, but it’s a problem for which technology can provide one possible solution. The fiscal crisis has colleges experimenting with collaborative and virtual efforts to increase access to courses, as online education and mobile learning not only expands community colleges’ reaches, but also saves them money. Through one-time investments in equipment like telepresence endpoints, community colleges can set themselves up to offer increasingly desirable distance learning options for years to come. And, by embracing popular trends like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), community colleges can also configure their networks to support mass wireless connectivity and virtual access, mobilizing their academic offerings and making them more attractive to potential students.
In a recent survey of college students and young professionals, 40 percent said they would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.
To meet the needs of their students and faculty, most colleges and universities have employed a BYOD strategy on some level for years. However, the evolving expectations of flexibility and freedom of access present new challenges and opportunities for higher education institutions and their IT departments. The proliferation of mobile devices and the exponential increase in traffic from video and other rich media applications will place ever-increasing demands on a university’s network infrastructure. Universities not only need to support the requirements of today; they need to anticipate and plan for future requirements so they can scale the network in a prudent and cost-effective way.
Click on the video below to watch my VLOG on Taking a Strategic Approach to BYOD.