Educause – The Latest Thinking in Higher Education

People around the Dell booth at Educause 2014Educause is the premiere gathering for higher education IT professionals, and Dell played a big part at this year’s show in Orlando, Florida.

There were a couple of reports released at the event which highlighted the latest trends in IT for higher education that directly correlate to the explosion of mobile devices on campus. Casey Green, founding director of The Campus Computing Project, highlighted the trends in his annual survey of computing and information technology representatives in the US higher education market. Topping the list of priorities identified for the next 2-3 years is IT support. Over 80% of CIOs and senior campus IT officers report that assisting faculty and students with instructional integration of information technology is one of their top priorities. 74% identified providing adequate user support as a top issue as well.  A link to the summary report is here.

The Chronicle of Higher Education also released a report of 1,000 technology officers and faculty on their differing views of how technology solutions should be applied at colleges and universities.   Two big takeaways from the research:

  • 75% of technology officials believe that digital resources are well deployed on campus compared to just 40% of educators believing that IT understands and addresses their technology needs.  
  • In the use of big data and analytics to improve student success rates, 60% of IT professionals on campus believe that big data has the potential to improve student outcomes, where just 30% of faculty and educators believe that to be true. 

There seems to be a big disparity between perception and reality between the administrative and IT organizations in higher education organizations. All stakeholder needs have to be considered before IT solutions are implemented on campus that impact faculty and students.  See the full report here

In addition to these reports, Dell hosted a series of Think Tank discussions. Dell’s education leaders John Mullen, Jon Phillips and Adam Garry alongside higher-education customers and influencers participated in a dynamic discussion in front of a standing-room-only audience. Each Think Tank focused on an IT trend top of mind for higher education IT leaders – BYOD, student data security, big data and empowering the student voice – and gave Dell the opportunity to go beyond products and dive deeper into strategy as an expert IT advisor. Check out the full conversation via our photos and livestream links below:

Bill Odell, vice president of marketing for Endpoint Systems Management at Dell Software, chaired a session, entitled “Mobility without Security Gets You a Failing Grade.” Dell customers John Garcia, director of information technology at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina and Tim Smith, interim Chief Information Officer at the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio State University, shared informative insights on their mobility/BYOD security challenges. The panel also addressed need to bolster not just mobile device management but safeguard all of their systems with effective patch management, asset management, effective software distribution and next-gen firewalls.

“Higher educational institutions want to use the most current personalized learning apps and collaboration tools while safeguarding critical IT infrastructures from security risk,” says Odell. “Our highly interactive panel explored opportunities for enabling secure mobility on and off campus as well as the need to protect apps running on different devices across multiple operating systems.”

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