Technology: Harnessing the power for higher education

Technology: Harnessing the power for higher education

Technology is changing the way we teach, the way we learn, and the internationalisation of higher education. From the invention of the blackboard in the 1800s to the current-day boom in online open education, technology is driving dramatic change for higher education professionals. In this week-long series of blog posts, we will explore a variety of technological developments that aim to enrich international higher education.

The field of international higher education is incredibly broad, and so too is the potential that technological advancements can bring to each role within the field: Marketing and recruitment professionals now find themselves navigating the myriad of opportunities and challenges presented by the internet and social media. Study abroad professionals are now considering the possibility of intercultural exchanges which don’t require students to travel. Admissions officers are increasingly faced with flawlessly crafted fraudulent applications which have utilised the latest technology in their creation. Whatever your role in international higher education, you are unlikely to escape the changes taking place during this technological boom.

Powerful initiatives

As international educators, we should be taking note of the developments in technology and the ensuing benefits that these developments may bring. A recent EAIE conference keynote speaker, Sugata Mitra, has just been awarded the 2013 TED Prize to help cultivate his ambitions of creating a School in the Cloud, a “learning lab where children can embark on intellectual adventures by engaging and connecting with information and mentoring online”.  Perhaps this is the ultimate example of harnessing the potential of technology in order to dramatically change education for millions?

Not every development needs to involve ground-breaking, award-winning initiatives, however, we should all be openly exploring the potential that technology has to supplement, enhance, or re-design our daily tasks and our approach to education. Technology is not something to be ignored, and the higher education community should be ready to embrace its potential.

In this week long series of blog posts, we will highlight four different ways in which technology can or is making a sizeable difference in international higher education. In tomorrow’s blog post, Gudrun Paulsdottir discusses how technology is changing higher education, specifically with regards to MOOCs and the opportunities they hold for European higher education. On Wednesday, Robert O’Dowd highlights how technology can facilitate intercultural exchanges. On Thursday, Cheryl DarrupBoychuck will look at how technology can improve the admissions process through electronic funds verification, and in the final blog post of the week, Mandy Reinig looks at how technology, in the form of social media, can boost interaction with students.

EAIE members can look forward to an even deeper exploration of how technology is changing international higher education in the spring issue of Forum, arriving soon on your doorstep. An electronic copy is also available for download now from the EAIE member centre.