The Not-So-Silent Revolution: The Internet of Everything in Higher Education
Change has come slowly to higher education. This is understandable given the relative success that the American university system has had in granting four-year degrees that have helped students garner higher long-term earnings. Regardless, the traditional university system is facing crushing pressure from increasing student loan debt, rising costs, and expectations of hyper-connected students who want to learn anytime, anywhere from any device.
While the MOOC movement raised eyebrows and started people thinking differently about new delivery models, the sort of cataclysmic change some thought would happen with the advent of MOOCs didn’t. Most institutions, while including some form of virtual learning in their course line-ups, have remained doggedly tied to the traditional, in-person lecture-hall format for the majority of their classes. Talk about the need for a major revolution.
We believe that the Internet of Everything (IoE) is the catalyst for a revolution that we necessarily need to see in higher education. In fact, I believe that IoE will take the industry by storm. Successful universities will quickly learn how the IoE can and is helping to create compelling, Connected Learning Experiences for faculty, staff, and students, and then they will begin leveraging this important trend to transform how they’re educating students now and in the future.
IoE is the networked connection of people, process, data, and things and represents the confluence of multiple technology trends: mobility (ubiquitous, high-speed mobile networks, smart devices, and apps); cloud computing, social networks, instant collaboration with anyone, anywhere; data analytics, and finally, an explosion in connected “things,” via inexpensive, intelligent sensors. IoE brings these elements together with standards-based IP networks, and Cisco projects that it will generate a staggering $19T in value over the next ten years. Of this, $258B of the IoE value-at-stake will come from solutions for Connected Learning alone.
The network, which is at the heart of IoE, must be stable, scalable, reliable, and capable of handling the increased rate of traffic from the explosion of mobile devices, the use of video, and the implementation of new applications for communications and collaboration. It must be safe, secure, wired, and wireless, easy to manage and administer, and it must be designed to meet future growth requirements.
A number of universities have embarked on major change initiatives that take advantage of the IoE shift, and they are yielding concrete results: San Jose State University, Duke University, the 4-Virginia Universities, and others. These institutions are providing ubiquitous wi-fi, access to a world of experts, immersive learning environments, collaborative workspaces, blended learning environments, and a sharing of courses, content, professors, and credit. They have acknowledged that change is coming and that new technologies are accelerating change.
We are kicking off Educause today in Orlando, and we will undoubtedly be hearing a lot about IoE this week. Come by and visit the team in our booth at #Edu14, and check out this SlideShare to learn more about how IoE is transforming Higher Education.