If you work in higher education or a related field you’ve almost certainly witnessed the impact of technology. In fact, technology has played a specific role in shifting learning models from instructor-focused to student-focused approaches. Several specific areas of technology are changing how students at the university level learn and interact both on and off campus.

Video Streaming

The use of videos and live streaming has increased in recent years all throughout higher education institutions. Your students can now live stream lectures from renowned experts and even special events on an international stage. This lets them witness and engage with people and events in real time. Streaming is increasing in use because it works well on a variety of devices, including mobile technology. Plus, you don’t need to worry about downloading files that may be too large for a particular device.

Mobile Technology

The increase of mobile technology has enabled instructors and students to engage outside of the campus IT structure. Cell phones can now connect independently to the internet, thus providing a way to personalize instruction and create an atmosphere of student-focused learning. Plus, you can individualize lessons and materials to fit each student’s specific needs, without needing endless hours to do so. Mobile technology also allows students to engage in learning almost anywhere and at any time. Students can record observations and analyze a wide variety of data at remote locations.

Hybrid Learning

While many schools embrace the concept of 100 percent online learning, other institutions promote the best of both worlds. When you implement hybrid education you involve a combination of traditional classroom instruction with eLearning. You can also set up group work and projects throughout the course to achieve hands-on and face-to-face interaction. Your students can then complete most of the class online at their convenience.

Vanishing Textbooks

In addition, online materials are routinely replacing traditional textbooks, with cost being one of the primary reasons. In the United States, for example, the cost of textbooks rose an astonishing 812 percent from 1978 to 2012. This trend is almost certain to continue. With students increasingly using the internet to find information, much of the material previously found in textbooks will be free. Even when purchasing materials such as e-books, the cost will be much less than traditional textbooks.


Massive Online Open Courses have changed higher education on many levels. Instructors develop these courses with the goal of providing easy access and unlimited participation. While participants can receive certificates for completing MOOCs, they generally cannot earn actual college credit. Even if open courses aren’t counted toward a degree, they are increasing college awareness regarding eLearning and the role technology plays in education. This can motivate you to adapt a wider variety of eLearning solutions.

Audio Feedback

Audio feedback may be more effective in helping your students improve than with written feedback alone. Programs are available that allow you to record your voice while you’re reviewing the work of your students; this strategy can provide feedback that is even more specific than just words on paper. The Higher Education Academy conducted a case study on this very scenario, specifically stating that audio feedback provided more in-depth feedback and was easier to understand.

These are just a few of the advances in educational technology that are changing the face of higher education for the better. Technology is helping to individualize instruction to fit each student’s unique needs, thus increasing learning and reducing costs. Advancing technology will continue to affect how universities and colleges educate and engage their students.


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