As we step into the new year, it is clear that educational technology (EdTech) has had a really challenging impact on the industry since 2023. The insights from EdTech professionals and experts shed light on the various transformations that universities and colleges have gone through. Here is an examination of the 5 key factors that have significantly influenced higher education over the past year to get ready for a future that will be dynamic and technologically integrated.
1. Proactive Security Measures Take Center Stage
In 2023, there was a paradigm shift toward proactive security measures in response to the growing cyber risks that educational institutions currently face. Universities and colleges prioritized preventive measures over reactive responses after experiencing significant cyberattacks in recent years, acknowledging the urgency of the situation. More so, institutions put a strong emphasis on programs like Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to reduce risks and strengthen security against possible hacks.
2. The Data-Driven Revolution in Decision-Making
After years of pushing for data-driven decision-making, higher education institutions finally took action in 2023. Understanding the inherent risks, organizations put specific plans in place as well as financial resource commitments to fully utilize analytics. Financial responsibility proof started to be required by accreditation processes, which made comprehensive scenario planning and financial transparency tools necessary. Amid the Great Resignation, institutions were facing labor shortages and looking for strategic collaborations to help them. The trend of linking investments to results heralded a new age of institutional effectiveness driven by data.
3. Strengthening Cybersecurity Amid Rising Threats
In 2023, there was more of an emphasis on bolstering cybersecurity efforts due to the growing number of risks facing higher education institutions. Academia’s IT departments are frequently underfunded and understaffed; therefore, institutions started implementing proactive security measures like biometric authentication. By taking precautions against phishing, fraud, and identity theft, educational institutions demonstrated how important it is to have strong cybersecurity procedures.
4. Tackling Unstructured Data Growth with Innovative Solutions
The exponential growth of unstructured data has resulted in organizations facing increasing expenditures and hazards related to data aging. The focus shifted to handling this massive amount of data in 2023, especially in on-premises storage. Traditional NAS vendors and public cloud providers forged strategic relationships to provide managed file services. These cloud-based solutions addressed the underlying hardware and operating environment, offered a streamlined on-ramp, maintained current procedures, and offered viable solutions to the growing issue of unstructured data.
5. Learning Evolution in the Post-Pandemic Era
In 2023, pandemic-related learning losses shook higher education, forcing institutions to quickly adapt. They are under tremendous pressure to stay ahead of the curve as student demands and preferences continue to evolve. Academic intervention services have become more well-known as a result of the changing nature of student difficulties. As mental health became a major problem, organizations began looking into technology-driven solutions to enhance current support systems, like telehealth. The state of the economy suggested that there would be a recession, which affected the emphasis on alternative credentials while emphasizing the continued value of traditional degrees.
The trajectory of EdTech in higher education paves the way for further innovation as we begin a new year. The knowledge gained in 2023 serves as a springboard for future developments. Be prepared for a heightened emphasis on data-driven decision-making, cybersecurity resilience, and adaptive learning solutions. The changing environment in higher education promises a dynamic interaction between academia and technology that will shape learning in unprecedented ways.
- Ascione, L. and Laura AscioneLaura Ascione is the Editorial Director at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. (2023) How did edtech impact higher ed in 2023?, eCampus News. eCampus News. Retrieved from: https://www.ecampusnews.com/digital-innovation/2023/12/29/edtech-impact-higher-education-2023/.