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CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | August/September 2017
I2017 Ed Tech Trends: The Halfway Point
Three higher ed IT leaders weigh in on the current state of education technology and what’s ahead.
IN JANUARY, CT asked five higher ed IT leaders to opine on learning environments they create must not only become education technology trends to watch in 2017. Now that we’ve purposeful communities of practice, but also connect students passed the halfway point of the year, how are those trends with the real-world expert knowledge and complex skills that shaping up? We asked some of the panelists to weigh in. drive professional and personal success.
Susan Aldridge, Drexel University (PA) and Drexel Marci Powell, Marci Powell & Associates
University Online Much progress has been made this year getting us closer to the Given the exploding pace at which new technologies are changing tipping point of “immersive learning,” which includes 3D, VR, AR the way we live, learn and work, it will be imperative to reimagine and MR. But five accomplishments in particular are having a our institutions as virtual gateways to connected education, which significant impact on education: 1) AR- and VR-ready laptops
investments being made and starting to impact the way business is being done. There are dangerous, tumultuous times ahead if we can’t figure out ways to help all people within the workforce reinvent themselves quickly, cost-effectively and conveniently.
That’s why I’m so passionate about helping to develop a next- generation learning platform. Higher education, as an industry, has some time left to figure out its part in this new world. Some of the questions each institution ought to be asking are:
Given our institutional mission/vision, what landscapes should we be pulse-checking?
Do we have faculty/staff looking at those landscapes that are highly applicable to our students and to their futures?
What obstacles keep from us innovating and being able to respond to shifting landscapes, especially within the workforce? On a scale of 0 (we don’t innovate at all) to 10 (highly innovative), where is our culture today? Where do we hope to
be five years from now?
I don’t think we’re looking into the future nearly enough to see
the massive needs — and real issues — ahead of us.
Continue the conversation.
E-mail me at
engages, empowers and equips students to learn effectively and collaboratively, purposefully and continuously throughout their lives. That will mean using the growing array of such digital tools and applications as virtual reality, robotic telepresence, artificial
like NVIDIA’s new Max Q eliminate the need for expensive equip- ment and servers to support VR; 2) headset manufacturers are drastically reducing their prices, as new headsets continue to emerge; 3) Bluetooth and tracking-capable headsets, like the new Google Daydream, are removing the need to be “tethered”; 4) demand is causing a rapid increase in the number of headsets being purchased; and 5) the sheer volume of “learning objects” for VR is making powerful lesson creation quick and easy.
Daniel Christian, Calvin College (MI)
In the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, algorithms and big data, we continue to see massive
Rhea Kelly,
Executive Editor
intelligence and predictive analytics to facilitate customized, experiential learning in dynamic and meaningful contexts.
At the same time, we will need to design next-generation virtual learning platforms that connect formal with informal learning options across space, time and multiple spheres of influence or community. The

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